Hansard: Approppriation Bill: Debate on Vote No 26 - Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 02 May 2012
No summary available.
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 3 May 2012 Take: 397
START OF DAY
THURSDAY, 3 MAY 2012
PROCCEDINGS OF THE EXTENDED PUBLIC COMMITTEE OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER)
Members of the Extended Public Committee met in the Old Assembly Chamber at 14:06.
House Chairperson, Mr B Skosana, as Chairperson, took the Chair, and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon Minister, before we proceed with the Order of the day, I would like to clarify something with you. We do have the practice here that, if you are left with five minutes, we would then interject and inform you of that. We will do the same when you have two minutes left. I would like to know whether you are comfortable with that practice.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Absolutely, Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): I only ask because I have sensed irritation with other Ministers when I do interject.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Chairperson, I absolutely welcome that type of reminder because you know I can speak for very long, and I have a lot to say. Thank you, Chairperson.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 3 May 2012 Take: 397
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES
Debate on Vote No 26-Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries:
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Chairperson, hon members of the National Assembly and NCOP, MECs, former director-generals, ambassadors, captains of industry, winners of our national female entrepreneur awards, leaders of political organisations, unions, NGOs, community organisations, faith-based institutions, farmworkers, fisher folk and community forestry organisations, students and leaders from our agricultural colleges and other training institutions, ladies and gentlemen, comrades and colleagues, our struggle icon and father of our nation, Nelson Mandela, once said that we do not want freedom without bread, nor do we want bread without freedom. We must provide for all the fundamental rights and freedoms associated with a democratic society. This means that we can neither divorce freedom from food, nor food from freedom. I thus implore all of us to recommit ourselves to working together for food security. This is the theme of today's budget speech.
Our draft food security policy and the zero hunger strategy promote equity and prioritise the eradication of poverty and the reduction of inequality amongst the masses of our people. We believe that the goal of a developmental state can only be reached when our people gain access to food within an economy that promotes sustainable livelihoods.
The right to food, as enshrined in our Constitution and the Freedom Charter, demands a rethinking of our past approaches to food security. We can produce enough food, but whether the poor can afford the food on the shelves largely determines South Africa's food security status as a country. High food prices, food price volatility and food price hikes will be the largest challenge to our nation over the next few years. This will further be exacerbated by high fuel and high energy prices.
To curb these challenges, smallholder farmers will be assisted with the provision of livestock, tractors, implements, seeds and fertilisers. "One family, one vegetable garden" should be the mantra of each and every family here today and in South Africa. If you haven't planted your garden, please go home with your trees and plant your garden today. We will give you the first tree. [Applause.]
We will increase agroprocessing investments as a means of reinvigorating specific strategic value chains such as soya beans, rooibos, beverages, fruit and vegetables, and forestry.
An amount of R50 million will be allocated to the promotion of local agroprocessing businesses. An equitable food security economy will improve access to markets for especially smallholder farmers. It is important that we seek to increase the extent to which we seek to export processed rather than unprocessed agricultural products. The entire value chain of biofuels will also be a priority.
Food processing in agro-industries have provided jobs, demonstrating growth of over 25 000 agricultural jobs in this sector for the third quarter of 2011. A further 6 000 agriculture jobs were created in the fourth quarter of 2011. This demonstrates year-on-year growth of 3%. This has brought the total employment in the agriculture sector to 630 000.
This is definitely a reflection of confidence in our sector, since job growth should be measured within the context of a sector which has been shedding jobs since the 1970s.
Now, what we need to say very carefully is that the tide is turning in agriculture, for the better. We are creating jobs and we are expanding our markets. These are not our statistics; they were provided by Statistics SA, and I welcome you to go to their website to see that the tide is turning. When you get up today, please tell me how many jobs you have created.
We must continue building on this trend through employment on commercial and smallholder farms. We are cautiously optimistic when we say that we have curbed job losses in agriculture. Our community works programmes – Working For Fire, Working For Water, and Working For Fisheries – will increase our capacity to create jobs.
Notwithstanding the ongoing legal processes around Wallmart – which government has taken in order to protect our agroprocessing industries and jobs – we are also working with the company to ensure that opportunities are maximised by their entry into the market. To this end, we will be leading a delegation of farmers to Costa Rica with Wallmart to learn from Wallmart's direct-to-farm procurement programme, which focuses on market access for smallholder farmers.
South Africa's trade of both primary and processed agricultural products has grown from 10 billion exports in 1996 to 48 billion in 2011. Our wine exports are soaring, despite the recent global economic slowdown. We are now exporting three times more wine than we did a decade ago. The export of fish and fish products has rapidly expanded in China and Cameroon. Timber and forestry products are gaining ground in China and Indonesia. We are exporting more and more maize to Zimbabwe.
Our export markets have undergone structural changes from 2001 to 2011, with new destinations in Asia, the Middle East, North America, while our exports to South Korea have increased from 2% to 3%. Exports to China increased from 1% to 3% and those to the United Arab Emirates from 1% to 3% of our agrifood export basketry. Exports to Zimbabwe have increased from 2% to 8%, while we now have a 5% export percentage to Mexico – where we were once a zero exporter.
Despite our success story as a country – which is a net exporter of food – international trade has yet to include more black farmers in the equation. The branch economic development trade and marketing is allocated R200 million to support international trade, marketing, agro-processing and co-operative development.
Our department is positioning itself to participate in a meaningful way in the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Brics, partnership. The department will open offices in Russia, India and Brazil, in addition to the one which is already operating in China.
Furthermore, I wish to specifically thank all the stakeholders who made it possible for us to have agriculture included in the climate change texts at the Conference of the Parties, Cop 17. South Africa made three proposals for inclusion with the final text. These relate to adaptation, mitigation, actions in the sector and a programme of work under the reduction in emissions, deforestation and degradation, or REDD-Plus, which considers agriculture as one of the key drivers for deforestation.
The department has gazetted the AgriBEE Charter and the draft set codes for public comment. I would like to encourage all South Africans to make their inputs to the AgriBEE Charter in process by 26 May 2012, so that you form part of the transformation in our country.
The restructuring of the former branch of marine and coastal management corresponds with international trends which recognise fisheries as an economic activity rather than a purely environmental or bio-diversity matter.
Government has also expanded the mandate for fisheries management through the inclusion of freshwater and inland fisheries as well as aquaculture to our existing responsibilities. We will gradually establish offices of the fisheries branch in other coastal and inland provinces. These are economic decisions which contribute to employment creation and poverty alleviation.
The small-scale fisheries policy will be finalised and implemented this year. The policy seeks to address imbalances of the past and ensure that small-scale fishers are accommodated and properly managed. For the first time, fishing rights will be allocated on a group, rather than individual basis. [Applause.]
The department has entered into a service level agreement with the South African Navy to manage our fleet of four patrol vessels and three research vessels for a period of one year, while we consider our various options regarding the long-term management of these vessels. Regrettably, following extensive allegations of maladministration in the Fisheries department and after extensive consultation with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, and the Presidency, we will be requesting the Special Investigations Unit to look into all tenders awarded by the branch. I repeat, all tenders, and not just a specific tender. [Interjections.] This will be done as a preparatory step to the committee of enquiry which I had previously announced.
This year we successfully hosted the sixth session of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's, FAO, committee on fisheries' sub-committee on aqua-culture. This sector has shown increased production at an annual average of 11,6%. The branch fisheries management will get R400 million this year to oversee the management of our fishing industry, including R253 million for the Marine Living Resources Fund.
Please! Fisheries does not derive its money exclusively from poached abalone! It does have a budget, but the budget will further be increased if Fisheries acts like a national department, instead of behaving like a Western Cape provincial department. [Applause.]
Fisheries belongs to our country; it does not belong to the Western Cape. And for those who do not know the geography of South Africa...
An UNIDENTIFIED MEMBER: Like you!
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: ... Northern Cape has a coast... [Interjections.] The Western Cape has only a part of that coast. Eastern Cape has a coast, and KwaZulu-Natal has a coast.
An UNIDENTIFIED MEMBER: Can they manage it? [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Inland provinces... [Interjections.] Inland provinces...
An UNIDENTIFIED MEMBER:... [Inaudible.] in Pretoria.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: ... have the responsibility to deliver on aqua-culture... [Interjections.]... so that you can grow jobs and we can grow the industry.
Hon members, the department...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order, please, hon members!
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Thank you, Chairperson.
Hon members, the department is the custodian of South Africa's forest resources which covers over 40 million hectares of the country's land surface area. The forestry sector employs about 201 000 workers. It provides a 77 000 direct jobs and 50 000 indirect jobs. It provides livelihood support to 2,3 million people in our rural areas.
Now, if this is a livelihood provision for 2,3 million people in rural areas, then there has to be transformation in Forestry, and we cannot have Forestry being predominantly owned by the Sappis and Mondis. [Interjections.]
Downstream activities in the sector employ 52 000 direct and indirect jobs. Another 11 000 workers are employed in miscellaneous jobs in the sector. The Forestry and Natural Resources Management branch of the department will continue to support and conduct research initiatives and programmes to gain a better understanding of the processes behind climate change, vulnerability and ecofriendly agricultural practices. The branch Forestry and Natural Resource Management will get R1,2 billion during this financial year to manage our forests and natural resources.
There are huge policy gaps in Forestry. We need the lifespan of the BEE and BEE Council to be extended so that our transformation agenda can be achieved. Eighteen years into democracy we are still lagging behind in some parts in Forestry. There is a need for constant monitoring and evaluation of black economic empowerment and its impact on the historically disadvantaged in forestry. There is need for policy integration that will be integrated into all institutions to ensure continuous and constant empowerment of black people in forestry.
To the students who are here today, welcome. We would like to see you have a future in agriculture, but I have a serious problem. We were able to find students studying agriculture, but we struggled to find students studying forestry and fisheries. So, to all those students who say that they don't have bursaries, please consider studying forestry and fisheries as a priority so that we can have black students in that sector as well. [Applause.]
Our country has been plagued by natural disasters and animal diseases. Between December 2010 and January 2011, we had devastating floods in the Limpopo, Free State, North West, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape provinces. We have begun the process of implementing the flood assistance scheme...
An UNIDENTIFIED MEMBER: Where?
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: ... with its emphasis on infrastructure and repairs. [Interjections.]
We are still concerned that flood relief does not reach the farmers adequately and sufficiently and fast enough. To this end, we will ring-fence money and prioritise that money as an advance for future disasters, so that disaster relief money does not arrive a year after the disaster, but is actually in our budget, ahead of any potential disaster.
This is not an agriculture problem. It is not a uniquely agricultural problem because the money comes from Treasury. From Treasury it goes to local government, and from local government it is then allocated.
Animal disease outbreaks such as Rip Valley Fever, Newcastle Disease, avian influenza, foot-and-mouth disease, African horse sickness, and African swine fever, have been serious challenges in our industry. Our department will have to improve on its capacity to deal with such disasters, as they impact adversely on the rural economy.
An amount of R954 million is allocated for plant and animal production, including inspection and laboratory services; R935 million is allocated for agricultural research – which is a substantial increase for research; R868 million is allocated for food security initiatives and R340 million is allocated for extension support services, including new farmer development and support.
Chairperson, I'll do the thank yous when I wrap up.
Mr M L JOHNSON / nvs / END OF TAKE
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 3 May 2012 Takes: 398 & 399
"Old Assembly Main",Unrevised Hansard,03 May 2012,"[Take-333333398] [Old Assembly Main][90P-4-082A][gs].doc"
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES
Mr M L JOHNSON: Igama lamadoda.
Hon MEMBERS: Malibongwe!
Mr M L JOHNSON: Hon Chairperson, farmworkers, fishermen and -women, forestry planters and union leaders in the respective sectors of the industry, farmers, fishing industry players, forestry operators, Minister Tina Joemat-Petterssen, Ministers present, Deputy Minister Pieter Mulder, Deputy Ministers present, colleagues, fellow chairpersons from other provinces, director-general, Langa Zitha, and his team from the department, presidents, chief executive officers and managing directors of state-owned enterprises, staff, Members of Parliament and fellow South Africans, allow me to salute you in this month of the workers in the name of the downtrodden, the poor fishermen and -women, farmworkers and forestry planters to whom I dedicate this speech.
It was on 26 June 1955 when the Congress of the People declared: [Interjections.]
The land shall be shared among those who work it.
Restrictions of land ownership on a racial basis shall be ended...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Order! Order, hon members!
Mr M L JOHNSON:
...and all the land re-divided amongst those who work it to banish famine and land hunger.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M B Skosana): Hon members, order!
Mr M L JOHNSON:
The state shall help the peasants with implements, seed, tractors and dams to save the soil and assist the tillers.
Freedom of movement shall be guaranteed to all who work on the land.
All shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose.
People shall not be robbed of their cattle, and forced labour and farm prisons shall be abolished.
That's what the Congress of the People said and, indeed, the pseudo-Congress of the People of today cannot say anything close to this.
Almost 40 years later, the Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, further enhances this Freedom Charter vision by aiming to increase production and employment in agriculture through further development of commercial agriculture. At the same time, it sees the need to change ownership patterns through land reform and improve support to small scale agriculture, particularly to women.
A key aim of the RDP is to provide affordable food to meet the basic needs of all South Africans.
Full worker rights will be extended to farm workers and their working and living conditions improved.
That's what the RDP says. It continues, and says that:
The fishing industry must be restructured so that poor coastal communities have access to sea resources and there is sustainable management of these resources.
There must be tighter government control and better management of our forestry resources in order to lower the price of paper.
These are not my words; this is what was proclaimed in the RDP in 1994.
Our own National Development Plan further enjoins us to envision a South Africa in which, by 2020, the number of households living below R418 per month has decreased from 39% to zero.
By 2030, South Africa's rural communities should have greater opportunities to fully participate in the economic, social and political life of the country. People should be able to access high quality basic services to enable them to be well nourished, healthy and increasingly skilled. Rural communities will be supported by agriculture agroprocessing and fisheries.
The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Department, consistent with the country's development plan, has identified Vision 2030 in its integrated growth and development plan. It seeks to grow and transform these three subsectors of our economy through, I quote:
... equitable, productive, competitive, profitable and sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors, growing to the benefit of all South Africans.
Right from the time the Freedom Charter was adopted, until now, with the Integrated Growth and Development Plan, IGDP, society was taken on board, confirming every step of the way that, indeed, ANC leads and ANC lives! [Applause.] This is precisely so because here you are talking about a shared vision. Any vision must be shared by all for it to succeed in any society which intends to implement it.
Hon Deputy Minister, Vote 26 therefore provides us with a platform that seeks to take forward this vision of "an equitable, productive, competitive, profitable and sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector, growing to the benefit of all South Africans" by realising the goal of land being shared among those who work it.
I must spell out from the onset that, given the mammoth task confronting the department, its budget, alongside those of the National Agriculture Marketing Council, the Perishable Products Export Control Board, the Agricultural Research Council, and Onderstepoort Biological Products, falls far short of realising the vision that has been spelt out.
Minister, I am convinced that, in the words of the hon Finance Minister, Pravin Ghordan,-
In harnessing all the resources at our disposal, we have to do more, with less; we have to work smarter and harder.
Fellow South Africans, commercial agriculture covers productive areas of approximately 82 million hectares and is made up of less than 40 000 predominately white-owned farmer units in South Africa. It is responsible for more than 99% of South Africa's former marketed agricultural output. There has been a significant increase in the concentration of farm holdings as a result of smaller and less efficient farms, unable to take advantage of increasing economies of scale, being forced out of the sector.
Despite the decrease in the number of farming units, output from commercial agriculture has continued to grow, implying an increase in the efficiency of production. Export growth has increased, especially in the horticultural sector. Trade figures show that South African farm exports increased from R45 billion in 2008 to R46 billion in 2009, while imports decreased by 8,5% to R35 billion in 2009. The sector has, however, become more sustainable in environmental terms.
Smallholder agriculture covers an estimated 14 million hectare of agricultural land, and involves some 300 to 350 predominantly black-owned farms. It is concentrated principally in the former homeland areas of the country, and is thus marginalised into regions of poor productive land, with little or no infrastructural support or water resources.
The smallholder farmers, generally, have low levels of productive efficiency, and their productive inefficiency is linked primarily to poor farmer management skills, e.g. natural resource management, production and infrastructural management. This is exacerbated by poor and unco-ordinated support services directed at smallholder farms, among others, financial services, technical support, access to transport and other support infrastructure.
The nature of existing value chains and value chain governance locks small farmers out of the markets. There is poor co-ordination amongst small farmers in accessing services which is exacerbated by input and output markets. In general, there is insufficient information and data regarding smallholder farming. Hence the need for a co-ordinated research, data information and call centre.
When it comes to transformation, Minister, I must mention that our committee is not satisfied with the legislative programme from your department especially aimed at driving transformation in agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors of our economy.
An HON MEMBER: We don't want transformation! [Laughter.]
Mr M L JOHNSON: Yes, we do have the AgriBEE Charter and the Forestry Charter, but these seriously lack teeth, as these sectors remain untransformed due to the fact that these charters do not obligate the industries to comply with the rest of the country on a forward march drive. We have no option but to engage with the fisheries sector role-players – both fishermen and -women and the industry players – to establish a Fisheries Charter.
Lastly, the Department of Trade and Industry, DTI, must be called upon to present its Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Bill, currently under discussion.
In this day and age, it can't be that we have people who still promote fronting, both perpetrators and victims and go on unpunished. Part of measures aimed at supporting and empowering smallholder and subsistence farmers are the state-owned enterprises, whose mandate continues to be that of both pre and post settlement support and marketing of agriculture, forestry and fisheries products.
Research and development cannot be a debate of whether to support it any longer. If we are serious about food production and security and export of net food produce in our country, we must invest in Agricultural Research Council, ARC - our premier state-owned research institution.
With the advent of diseases flowing out of climate change, whether due to rains or drought, Onderstepoort Biological Products, OBP, must always be combat ready to anticipate any outbreaks by inoculating our animals on regular intervals.
Indeed, climate change impacts on poverty, health and jobs on the daily survival of people. When addressing a Globe International Forum in December 2011, the hon Speaker of Parliament, Mr Max Sisulu, said:
Climate change is becoming the main restraint on development, reversing the significant progress being made towards achieving our developmental goals such as the Millennium Development Goals.
Obsolete equipment in both ARC and OBP must be attended to as a matter of urgency if we are to achieve our intended goals in our stated vision and our food security goals in South Africa. It is at research and development that all nations make a vast difference towards sustainable food security.
Hon Minister, let it be the last financial year that Land Bank is detached from where it belongs, which is agriculture. Also, as legislatures, we have a duty to make Land Bank a smallholder's first lender of choice that is accessible and affordable.
A debate as to whether we are a developmental state is behind us and as such without a lender of first choice called Land Bank, South Africa and its dreams of growing smallholder farmers and the transformation of agriculture will remain a pipedream.
Lastly, after all said and done, an extension service makes or breaks any ambition of any smallholder. I repeat, after all said and done, an extension service makes or breaks any ambition of any smallholder farmer. Our state of extension services in South Africa, by and large, leaves a lot to be desired.
Through a collaborative exercise between all agriculture, forestry and fisheries training institutions, both within the said sectors and other provinces and at national level, strengthening of external services must be treated as an emergency.
In 2003, South Africa signed into a Maputo Declaration agreeing to an increase of our national annual Budget to 10% by 2008. Agriculture's contribution towards the gross domestic product, GDP, is expected to be at 6%. Currently, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Budget stands at 0,9% of our national Budget, whilst agriculture's contribution towards the GDP stands at 3%.
Whilst we may be struggling with fiscus in meeting our own signed agreements like the Maputo Declaration, payment of the 10% equity for communities at the price and time, SA Forestry Company Limited, Safcol, privatisation transactions were concluded and cannot be extended anymore. What this means is that, the development in these poor communities has since stalled unnecessarily, due to lopsided priorities of our own Department of Public Enterprises.
The last point I want to make is, as we move forward with our country on the instruction of His Excellency, President Zuma, who has given us a clear historic challenge to rewrite a new story about South Africa – the story of how working together we can drive back unemployment and reduce economic inequalities - the situation in the farms is certainly writing a different story, clearly been given instructions elsewhere with no intentions of moving forward with our country. We have a duty and responsibility to redirect those energies of both the farmer and the farmworker. Those energies are needed more in writing His Excellency, the hon Jacob Zuma's story of driving back unemployment and economic inequalities.
No amount of anger shall lead to killing of any farmer shall be condoned in South Africa we live in today. Nor such anger shall be allowed to rob and mainly any Afrikaner boer – an African farmer so to speak, equally, neither amount of hatred shall drive any farmer to shoot and kill a young Rodney Tarentaal of 11-year-old in Kliplaat and thinking that he was a dog. His case remains unresolved until today. [Applause.] Farmworkers are human beings who can never be thrown out in Patensie, only because they are no longer workers of any particular African farmer. The ANC supports the Budget Vote. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mrs A STEYN / MS/nvs& AZM / VM
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 3 May 2012 Takes: 399 & 400
Mr M JOHNSON
Mev A STEYN: Agb Voorsitter, daar is elke jaar 74 miljoen meer mense op aarde. Dit was groot nuus verlede jaar toe die wêreldbevolking die sewe miljard-kerf verby gesteek het. Elke vier dae is daar nog 'n miljoen nuwe monde wat kos, water en klere moet kry. Alles dui daarop dat die wêreldbevolking teen 2050 tot meer as nege miljard sal styg.
Die voorspelling vir Suid-Afrika is dat die bevolking teen 2030 tot 57 miljoen sal styg. As u vandag een van die gelukkige mense was wat geeët het – miskien selfs alreeds twee keur – dink daaraan dat daar jaarliks agt miljoen mense sterf omdat hulle te arm is om hul mees basiese behoeftes te bevredig.
Daar is elkedag 30 000 kinders wat aan voorkombare siektes en hongersnood sterf. Elke jaar sterf ses miljoen kinders voor hul vyfde verjaarsdag weens wanvoeding. In Suid-Afrika is daar nastenby 14 miljoen mense wat nie verseker is van 'n bord kos elkedag nie.
Prof Julian Cribb voorspel in sy boek, The Coming Famine: The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do to Avoid It, dat die belangrikste kwessie vir die samelewing in die volgende 50 jaar nie klimaatsverandering of die wêreldwye finansiële krisis is nie, maar voedselsekuriteit. Dit is vanuit hierdie perspektief dat ek fokus op die landbou in Suid-Afrika.
According to the strategic overview of the department, the estimated volume of agricultural production in 2010-11 was basically the same as in 2009-10. The volume of the full crop production reflected the 4,5% decrease as a result of a decline in the production of summer grains. Maize production decreased by 2 million tons of 15% against the previous season followed by wheat with 27%. The animal production increased slightly by 1,8% as a result of the 23 000 tons in cattle and calves slaughtered and 3,3% in poultry slaughtered. However, the sheep and goats slaughtered showed a decrease in production of 16,7% or 20 000 tons.
A reply to a parliamentary question this week revealed that in 2011 there were 3 000 reported sheep deaths and 268 000 goat deaths from Rift Valley Fever alone. Given that the majority of deaths are not reported, true figure is likely much higher. A large part of this decline may be attributed to state vaccine deficiency - a subject I shall shortly return to.
In terms of our balance of trade, it is expected that the imports of most of the basic food staples, meat and dairy products will increase and exports will decrease. Poor South Africans can hardly afford the resultant food inflation. This is still out of the strategic report of the department itself.
Dit is die ware prentjie van die Suid-Afrikaanse landbou. Ons moet ons dus afvra watter rol die staat moet vervul om te verseker dat Suid-Afrika se boere hul volle potensiaal beruik. Die doel moet tog wees om 'n gunstige beleidsomgewing te skep waarin die landbou kan fokus op winsgewendheid en mededingingdheid in 'n globale omgewing.
Agriculture plays numerous roles in society. The most obvious is to produce food. Factors such as weather conditions, commodity prices, input costs, stock levels and consumption demand, as well as exchange rates will continue to influence agricultural production in the country. It is becoming more and more difficult to manage farm costs due to rising prices of input costs like electricity and water tariffs.
It is therefore important to ensure regulatory certainty for people to make informed choices. The uncertainty regarding the land reform programme and safety and security in rural areas plays a critical role in farmers deciding to leave South Africa to farm elsewhere in Africa.
Minister, South Africa is built on the back of dispossession, and the DA recognises the policy shift of the department to put more emphasis on job creation, the development of smallholder producers, and implementation of the Zero Hunger Programme. But, with a total budget for agriculture of only R5,8 billion or 0,6% of the total Budget, we cannot afford to lose focus of the role of the department, and we should debate the extent to which the state should be directly involved in economic activity.
The DA supports the development of small-scale farmers and the establishment of food gardens to help with the massive need to eradicate hunger and poverty, especially in the former homeland areas. It is for this reason that I undertook a road trip, together with my colleague, hon Trollip, to the Eastern Cape to see for myself what progress has been made in the former Ciskei and Transkei areas. According to an answer by the Minister, the department has spent R90 million since 2008 on the revitalisation of the Eastern Cape irrigation schemes; this amount excludes the amount spent by the province or district municipalities.
Die resultaat van hierdie besoek was gemeng, en het gewissel van baie goed in sekere areas tot baie swak in andere. Dit was opvallend dat die skemas waar daar samewerking was tussen die gemeenskappe, regering en privaatsektor, duidelik meer suksesvol is. Dit is dus belangrik dat geld nie vermors moet word op projekte waar mense net elke jaar nuwe fondse ontvang, en waar gemeenskappe nie vir hul eie vooruitgang verantwoordelikheid aanvaarnie.
'n Besoek aan Qamata was 'n laagtepunt vir my. Die kwaliteit van landbougrond word ondermyn deur ernstige erosie, en daar is feitlik geen boerdery aktiwiteite sigbaar nie.
Toe ek amptenare van die departement by die plaaslike kantoor uitvra oor hul pligte, was die rede vir die verval gou duidelik. Hulle kon geen antwoorde verskaf nie. Ek moes later navraag doen oor wie elke maand hul salarisse betaal, net om te bevestig dat hulle wel vir die departement werk.
Die grootste gedeelte van die fondse vir hierdie programme word aan provinsies oorgedra. Ons komitee het in die verlede baie min inligting ontvang oor die resultate wat bereik is. Die DA het voorgestel dat ons vanaf hierdie jaar 'n volledige verslag van elke provinsie ontvang, om seker te maak dat die begroting aangewend word tot die voordeel van gemeenskappe.
Agricultural production, health and food safety get the biggest slice of the department's budget allocation with an amount of R1,9 billion, and rightly so, as this programme's purpose is to manage the risks associated with animal diseases, plant pests, genetically modified organisms and registration of products used in agriculture to promote food security and safety and to create an enabling environment for increased and sustainable agricultural production.
Chairperson, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is responsible for the bio-security of animal health. The assurance of a disease free animal population is critical for the export of live animals as well as meat products. South Africa has experienced a number of disease outbreaks since 2010, and you have mentioned that in your Budget speech, Minister. This is costing the country billions of rand in lost export revenue. A possible reason for these outbreaks could be the fragmented way in which the department deals with animal health. I have asked the chairperson of the portfolio committee to call an urgent meeting with all role players to find a solution to this situation. It is not assuring to read the following in the annual report of the South African Veterinary Council that-
... another year has passed in which the Council has failed to secure a meeting with its Minister. It therefore could not advise the Minister on matters affecting the veterinary and paraveterinary professions, the people and animals they serve.
I have later learnt that they've met with the Deputy Minister but it is a concern that for three years they haven't met with the Minister. Maybe I am wrong, but that was my information.
During the state of the nation address in 2011, President Zuma announced R800 million for flood damage, and two weeks later Minister Gordhan announced a further R600 million. This was later followed up by another announcement of R250 million from Minister Joemat-Pettersson. Now, more than a year later, farmers have not received a single cent of the disaster relief promised. Minister, you have mentioned that it will be ring-fenced in future, but both the farmers out there and I want to know what is happening with the money that was promised in 2011. To achieve food security, farmers and farmworkers need dedication and support from government. We do not need a Minister that is simply out of touch with the needs of the agricultural sector. [Applause.] It is simply not good enough to have a Minister that tells farmers about fashion and how she was responsible for making ostrich feathers fashionable. [Laughter.]
Dit help ook nie dat die agb Adjunkminister moet kom verduidelik wat sy werk in die komitee is nie. Die Adjunkminister het ons meegedeel dat die werk was om wetgewing voor te berei. In die laaste drie jaar het hierdie portefeuljekomitee geen wetgewing hanteer nie.
When I asked a farmer how important management on his farm is, he responded that it is not the land is that brings in the money; it's the management that ensures whether you make it or break it. Well, Minister, we are afraid that you are not making it. More than that, it is clear that members of South Africa's rural economy have lost faith in your management. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr B M BHANGA / AZM MNGUNI/VM & TH (Afr)//nvs(Afr)& GG (Eng)//Mia / END OF TAKE
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 3 May 2012 Takes: 400 & 401
Mrs A STEYN
Mr B M BHANGA: Chairperson and Minister, in Hogarth Column, Sunday Times 29 April under "Letting 'em have it", the following appears:
The Department of Public Works recently came under harsh criticism. In the words of the outraged critic: There are a lot of shenanigans in Public Works. All big tenders have a problem. It's a fact that there are serious problems in the department. Officials disregard supply chain management procedures and accept big gifts, such as cars. Nobody wants to associate himself with this department.
Members, I ask who the critic was. Why do I ask this? It is because he is none other than the Minister of Public Works, Thulas Nxesi. If the hon Minister Thulas Nxesi is correctly quoted, then he deserves accolades for his forthcoming admission, without fear or favour of the failures of the department, and our hon Minister can notch up credibility if she emulates this responsibly and professionally.
For now, the signs are that her department is in a state of political confusion, as it lacks political leadership cohesion. The relationship between the Minister and the Deputy Minister in the department is a cause for concern in the department corridors. The Minister continued to centralise power to her office, undermining the Deputy Minister and senior officials. The Minister undermines the role of the administrators, and she has become the director-general of the department herself. We doubt her understanding of professionalism and the relationship between political office bearers and administrators. [Interjections.] She always distances herself from the collective responsibility of the department. The department's poor service delivery is not because of officials that the Minister keeps changing every month in the Ministry and the department. The Minister blames officials whenever the department is accused of poor service delivery.
Due to the Minister's approach, we have seen specialists in the department moved to areas that do not relate to academic specialisation under her leadership. We ask...
The TEMPORARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Mabuza): Order, hon members! Hon member, hold it. Hon members, you are making it difficult for me to hear the speaker.
Mr B M BHANGA: The ANC is unable to listen. [Interjections.] We ask ourselves whether she understands the department's strategy objectives of recruiting specialist personnel to assist the processes of food production and security in our country. Politicians must stop treating officials like slaves. They are good men and women of credibility and value in the Public Service. Doing things differently is a strategic imperative; it requires speed. Doing things differently does not need to be used to settle old political scores.
Chairperson, in 2010 the department was to spend R450 million for the purchase of the tractors and farm equipment to be delivered to all nine provinces, but only two provinces benefited. The nondelivery to other provinces was stalled in controversy. The Minister allegedly stated that the acquisition could not be concluded because the procurement process was compromised and proceeding with the project would have impacted negatively on the image of government. The Minister must explain which procurement processes were compromised and whether delivery to the other provinces was executed.
"Old Assembly Main",Unrevised Hansard,03 May 2012,"[Take-333333401] [Old Assembly Main][90P-4-082A][gs].doc"
The Minister must abide by laws of the country when issuing tenders, like King Maker Communications. Chairperson, Cope knows that several commodities, including but not limited to potatoes, wheat, chicken, beef and many more are being imported to the country at the expense of the promotion of local industries with the net result that compromise jobs. Jobs are being lost in the downstream value addition.
The department is not only failing workers but the country as a whole by not doing enough to promote the growth of local commodities. Foreign imports continue to undermine our local products. Let the progress in exports not compromise local production.
For a lengthy period, the Red Meat Industry Forum failed to access an appointment with this Minister and the department. We wanted to raise serious concerns about issues that impact on sustainability of the local red meat industry. Cope notes that this industry generates billions for our economy. Yet, the Minister refuses to listen to these critical stakeholders. Many of the stakeholders are compelled to take the department to court.
The Land Bank celebrates 100 years of existence this year. Since its foundation, it promoted many new farmers, extending bank loans at low single-digit interest. The bank is expected to do the same for today's new emerging farmers as it did in the apartheid era. The cost of accessing loans is very high for emerging farmers. The Minister once more promised to put in place… [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Mabuza): Hon member, may you please take a seat.
Is it a Point of Order?
Mr M JOHNSON: It is a point of Order, chairperson. Is it parliamentary for the member to shake when he raises a statement? [Laughter.]
Mr B M BHANGA: The Minister promised more to put in place a one-stop finance vehicle at a much lower interest rate. Should Land Bank be unable to provide it, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Daff, must revise the single-digit interest loan facility which worked well years ago. The Land Bank must also account to the nation on empowerment of emerging farmers.
Its catastrophic record for failing to deal pro-actively and timorously with emergencies and disaster management, the poor control of animal and plant diseases, and the spread of food and mouth diseases has extremely affected black emerging farmers.
In our oversight visit to KwaZulu-Natal, KZN, poor black farmers are left alone to starve by this Minister, with no support system from the department to assist in alternative ways of cattle farming or alternative markets for them to sell their products. One senior citizen literally cried in front of us because this Minister does not give them hope.
We note the contribution made by stakeholders in capacity-building in terms of Grain South Africa. Since 2004, they spent a minimum of R88 million in assisting black farmers. The Minister has done nothing in terms of assisting black emerging farmers.
The Marine Living Resources Act, Act No. 18 of 1998, states that:
All our natural living resources and our marine environment belong to all the people of South Africa.
We must admit that a lot needs to be done in transforming the fisheries industry in South Africa for us to realise the attainment of empowerment of South Africans. This sector continues to benefit historically dominant industry of the old order. Fundamental transformation is needed. The quota formula has disadvantaged many. If properly managed, this sector can be an alternative food basket to our country.
Minister, it is our concern that we are failing to produce black marine biologist as a country. In building the next new generation of academics an effort to build specialist from the historically marginalised will be critical. Cope is prepared to have few friends as long future security and access to food is compromised! Cope can provide a better budget, Minister! [Time expired.]
The TEMPORARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Mabuza): Hon members, can we please have order so that we can hear the speakers!
Ms B D FERGUSON: Is it parliamentary of the Minister to stand and harshly command other members to sit down?
Prof C T MSIMANG / GG (Eng)//Mia & Mosa /
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 3 May 2012 Take: 401
Mr B M BHANGA
Prof C T MSIMANG: Thank you hon Chairperson, we will support this budget vote mainly for two reasons. Firstly, we could like to see an implementation of the key programme to transform this sector. Secondly, we would like to see acceleration of agricultural developments in the rural areas.
Currently, these are where the poorest of the poor are living. Yet, they are almost totally neglected. This makes it clear, therefore, that the IFP support for the budget is informed more by expectations than achievements of the department.
I am fully aware that this is a new department which needs time to put its strategies and structures in place before it can turn to implementation. This preparatory work usually takes up to two years, but, perhaps there is just one major weakness of the ANC government. They do not allow many departments to stabilise and settle down to their business. Each new term of government sets up its new departments and appoints new Ministers.
It may be argued that such is necessary but it definitely has its shortcomings as portfolio committees are then bombarded with plan after plan of what the new department would like to achieve, leaving themselves little time to deliver on such plans. No wonder that there is this huge outcry for delivery of services even by supporters of the governing party.
Strategic plans which are not implemented remain just that - mere plans that benefit nobody - no matter how beautiful they might be! This department needs stability even more than many other departments because it must bring hope of survival to millions of citizens of this country by ensuring food security. In these days of unprecedented unemployment agricultural products would go a long way towards putting some food on the table.
With the little time at my disposal, let me focus more on rural development. As far as this concerned, I sometimes can an idea that those who strategise around rural development are not quite familiar with this terrain. For instance, they recognise that the planting of mealies, which is a staple food for most South Africans, is imperative. Provincial departments of agriculture then proceed to rural areas to plough the land.
In Nkandla, where I come from, their tractors usually arrive in February, whereas the ploughing season in that part of the world is between October and December. In my book, that counts for sheer wasteful expenditure!
Then again, the department focused more on enhancing productive capacity of black emerging farmers and neglect access to markets. Through its extension officers, it encourages such small holder farmers to concentrate on poultry farming as well as vegetable and fruit gardens, which unfortunately yield perishable products. They assist with seeds and capital funding.
Sadly, there is no buying power in the rural areas. People who have some money are pensioners and other categories of persons who receive government grants. Add to these a few teachers, nurses, police, councillors and municipal staff, etc. That constitutes your local market!
I have witnessed thousands of potato bags which go rotten in the farmers' sheds. I have witnessed many ripe chickens which continue feeding for a week or more, thus eating into the profits due to slow sales because there are no abattoirs to slaughter them for bulk sales.
In the neighbouring towns where commercial farmers have abattoirs galore, these are not accessible to the black farmer, even for hire, on the pretext that the black farmer's chickens carry diseases. The tragedy of this whole exercise is that this country imports up to 800 000 chickens every month from countries like China and Brazil.
It is not that I am against white farmers. In fact, the IFP deplores the exodus of white farmers to countries like Mozambique, Zambia, Uganda and Kenya. This had eroded our status of being the food basket of the continent. I am only decrying the lack of collaboration by certain role players in this industry.
Accordingly, more serious attention must be given to black emerging farmers and even subsistent farmers if we are committed to rural development. I thank you! [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Mr L B GAEHLER /Mosa/ END OF TAKE
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 3 May 2012 Take: 402
Prof C T MSIMANG
"Old Assembly Main",Unrevised Hansard,08 May 2012,"Take 402 [Old Assembly Main].doc"
"Old Assembly Main",Unrevised Hansard,03 May 2012,"[Take-333333402] [Old Assembly Main][90P-4-082A][gs].doc"
Mr L B GAEHLER: The UDM supports Budget Vote 26. Agriculture continues to play an important role in South Africa. It provides employment and business opportunities to many people. In addition, it represents a significant proportion of the South African exports, and thus makes a valuable contribution towards generating foreign revenue.
Therefore, the department needs all the support it can get from us. However, there are a number of areas which we find worrisome. The department gives inadequate support to rural communities and emerging farmers. As a result, agricultural activity in rural communities merely revolves around subsistence farming.
Adding more insult to injury was the failure of the department to provide tractors and farming equipment to poor rural farmers as it had promised.
According to this project, R450 million was set aside for the mechanisation of rural poor farmers, which the department failed to implement properly. This crisis deepened when the department seemed to lack a clear policy on how to allocate the tractors in question to various provinces. To date, the department is yet to provide a credible explanation for this fiasco.
Hon Minister, in your visit to the Eastern Cape in the area of Mqanduli, you promised AmaGebe rural tribal authority 17 tractors and 17 employments; to date those tractors have not been delivered. Furthermore, regarding the policy of the tractors, when you visited Pongola in Natal, the chairperson of the standing committee in KwaZulu-Natal said that one of the tractors was lost and they did not know how the tractors were located to people. That is why you need a proper policy.
There are also uncertainties about whether the department is going to finance the Ram Exchange programme, which is assisting the rural woolgrowers faming so that they can produce proper wool. We also find it difficult to build a world-class agricultural sector capable of competing with the best in the world without first taking steps to root out inefficiencies in the department.
Hon Minister, it is very clear that there are inefficiencies within your department. We have sent many questions to you, in fact, even yourself, Minister, you fail to answer questions and meet with the stakeholders. You need to sort this out Minister because it affects you or else you will end up being a Minister of promises. Thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES:
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 3 May 2012 Takes: 402 & 403
Mr L B GAEHLER
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Chairperson, hon Minister, we all know that the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries sectors are of utmost importance and the backbone of socioeconomic development in South Africa. However, these sectors are facing immense challenges. Their future will be shaped by the following critical factors, and I will mention just a few, climate change with the further implications of floods, droughts, changes in water supply, soil erosion and variation, etc, the growth in population, skills shortages, the changes in consumer needs and preference, and the shifts in the global economy and the markets.
The key priorities of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries are thus aligned to ensure food safety and security amidst the ever-changing environmental factors and increasing population is possible.
Om hierdie prioriteite aan te spreek, het die Minister vandag aangedui dat daar, onder andere, R954 miljoen vir plant en dierproduksie, en 'n verdere R935 miljoen vir landbounavorsing begroot is. Ons durf nie toelaat dat Suid-Afrika, vanweë 'n gebrek aan vondse, met navorsing en tegnologie agter raak en verdere kundigheid verloor nie. Kom ek gee vir u een voorbeeld.
Tydens my besoek verlede week aan die Kongo het ek gesprekke gevoer met die President van die Kongo, asook met die Kongo se Minister van Landbou. Die gesprekke het onder andere gegaan oor die Suid-Afrikaanse boere in die Kongo. Albei Kongolese leiers het met groot lof gepraat oor wat die Suid-Afrikaanse boere in die Kongo regkry.
Binne enkele maande het die boere 1 200 hektaar ontbos en met mielies beplant. Hulle het die waterpompe en pype herstel, met die gevolg dat die plaaslike bevolking nou ook kraanwater het. Waar die plaaslike bakker voorheen maar enkele brode 'n week verkoop het, bak hy nou 200 brode per dag as gevolg van die nuwe werksgeleenthede en salarisse vir die plaaslike gemeenskap. Die projek is ook deur die president as 'n presidensiële projek verklaar.
Dit is met gemengde gevoelens dat 'n mens luister na die waardering wat die Kongolese politici vir die Suid-Afrikaanse boere se kundigheid en hardwerkendheid het. Dit is belangrik dat die Suid-Afrikaanse bevolking ook die waarde van hierdie boere moet begin besef. Eers dan sal almal saamwerk om die verlies aan sulke landboukundigheid te stop.
The department will, in the 2012-13 financial year, be taking various steps to respond to the mounting aforementioned challenges in order to minimise their impact on the South African economy and its people.
As a follow-up to the commitments made at COP 17, the department will promote climate smart agriculture. This will entail promoting the adoption of sustainable production systems, namely organic farming, agroecology and conservation agriculture.
An organic farming policy is to be presented to Cabinet and the portfolio committee before December 2012. With regards to conservation agriculture, pilot projects have been implemented in several provinces. This was accomplished in collaboration with the Agriculture Research Council and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
Chairperson, in order to respond comprehensively to the management of regulated plant pests and diseases the department, in close collaboration with the South African fruit industries, has developed an early warning surveillance programme in relation to quarantine fruit flies. Moreover, the technical forums, which include the industry, continue to identify, prioritise and manage quarantine pest risks such as the risk posed by the African invader fruit fly.
This having maintained the country's lucrative fruit export markets thus far, production and exports are still under threat. Accordingly, imports of host fruit from countries where this pest has already been established must be appropriately managed, emphasising the importance of our border control and risk management responsibilities. To further strengthen contingency planning with regards to pests and diseases, an emergency plant pest response plan is being developed for implementation in 2013-14.
Chairperson, the global trade of food and food products, veterinary public health and food safety aspects in relation to animal products have received increasing attention. In particular, our organised industry role-players, consumers and producers have expressed serious concerns relating to the standard, quality and independence of meat inspection at our abattoirs - I had discussed that with the director of the board.
To respond to the challenges, the department is consulting widely with all stakeholders and role-players. A policy on Independent Meat Inspection will be concluded during the present financial year. The department will, in collaboration with provinces, also embark on strengthening the monitoring of domestic and foreign meat processing plants. All these efforts will hopefully restore domestic and international consumer confidence in meat and meat products.
The skewed distribution of veterinary professionals, especially in rural provinces, remains a key challenge for South African Agriculture. Whilst the rural provinces require access to a range of veterinary services to support livestock production and livestock trade, the unavailability of accessible and affordable animal health care services remains a key constraint.
Chairperson, R100 million has been set aside for the primary animal health care. The priority will be the major rehabilitation of existing infrastructure, as well as the building of new clinics, animal health centres and other animal handling facilities. Mobile Veterinary Vehicles will also be considered for remote areas.
These efforts will support the creation of an enabling environment for the planned compulsory community service for newly qualified veterinarians. Quite some progress has been made with the amendment of the Veterinary and Para-veterinary Profession Act. The Cabinet has approved the Amendment Bill on September 2011 and the Bill is now in its processes for consideration by this House. The Bill aims at addressing the need for qualified vets in many of our rural areas.
With regards to the rest of the legislative mandate, the fertilizers and feeds Bill is in the process of being certified by the state law advisor. Thereafter, it will be tabled in Parliament.
Further consultation with regards to the plant breeder's rights amendment Bill is currently underway. This Bill aims to strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights relevant to new varieties of plants. Such protection contributes to economic growth as it has a positive impact on the competitiveness of South Africa's agricultural sector.
A proposed Plant Health Policy and Bill have already been prepared for public comment.
A great deal of progress has been made with the proposed pounds Bill. This Bill will establish national norms and standards relating to pounds and the impounding of animals. The liquor products amendment Bill has been drafted after lengthy consultations with stakeholders and is currently being scrutinised by the state law advisor. We trust that this Bill will be tabled in the near future. Subsequent to a tender process, the University of Pretoria has been appointed as the service provider to assist the department with the review of all its legislation.
The livestock industry is an important element within the agricultural sector, both in terms of food security and sustainable livelihoods. Animal production contributes approximately 41% to the agricultural GDP of South Africa. This includes at least 500 000 people who are employed by the livestock industry.
Interesting enough, 40% of South Africa's livestock is owned by communal and small scale farmers in our rural villages. They are unable to utilise these assets for sustainable income generation; hence unable to ensure household food security.
To resolve this dilemma we will need to introduce new technologies
and scientific farming methods to them.
The Agricultural Research Council, ARC, in partnership with all the provincial Departments of Agriculture will be rolling-out the implementation of the Livestock Development Programme. In this initiative the ARC will introduce and expand on the dissemination of technologies such as artificial insemination and embryo transfer.
The National Agriculture Marketing Council is also actively engaged in a programme to introduce farmers to the structure, operation and requirements of the formal red meat market. This is the National Red Meat Development Programme and works with emerging and communal farmers to increase the income earned from raising cattle through greater and more beneficial participation in formal red meat markets.
Onderstepoort Biological Products is embarking on a new era of strategic alignment to government priorities. The quality of Onderstepoort Biological Products, OBP, vaccines is a critical issue. The quality control system has been accredited and this must ensure that no substandard batch of vaccines leave the plant. This can however not be the only way to ensure that the end-user receives an effective vaccine. A system is now in place which ensures that the cold chain is maintained up to the point of sale.
Profits are being invested in new product development and replacing critical equipment to maintain manufacturing capacity over the short-term.
The Perishable Products Export Control Board has maintained very tight financial controls over its business in 2012. This is commendable given the difficult economic climate experienced. The Perishable Products Export Control Board, PPECB, collaborated closely with the department in up-skilling smallholder farmers across the country. They reached 1500 smallholder farmers through 24 technology transfer days. Assisting smallholder farmers to become export ready and to export their product successfully is an important future priority.
Chairperson, I am happy to announce that for the period of January to December compared to the same period last year, the value of exports to Singapore has increased by 78% for products such as grapes, apples, pears and avocadoes; to Hong Kong it increased by more than 5%; and to Malaysia an increase of 20% was achieved. This is a clear indication that theNational Agricultural Marketing Council, NAMC, model is working.
Voorsitter, ek wil graag alle rolspelers bedank – dit sluit die departement asook georganiseerde landbou in – vir hul volgehoue goedgesindheid en bereidwilligheid om saam te werk, want alleen gaan ons nie die probleme oplos nie.
Nieteenstaande sommige mediaberigte, stem ek en die Minister oor baie landbou sake saam. Natuurlik verskil ons ook oor sekere sake. Dit is normaal. Ek glo dat ons albei besef dat dit in belang van landbou is dat al hierdie sake verantwoordelik hanteer moet word. Daarvoor bedank ek haar en die departement.
This is going to be a productive year, hopefully where the department, my office and ourstate owned enterprises, SOEs, will work with the Minister and everybody to ensure success.
I thank you. [Applause.]
///tfm/// /TH (Afr)//nvs(Afr) / END OF TAKE
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 3 May 2012 Takes: 403 & 404
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES
Mr M A CELE: Comrade Chairperson, Comrade Minister, Deputy Minister, Mulder, members of the portfolio committee, Director-General, Comrade Langa Zitha and the staff from the department, distinguished guests, this debate takes place at the historic moment in time, the celebration of the centenary of the ANC, a movement proud of its 100 years of selfless struggle and confident in its future, a testament to the correctness of its policies, strategy and tactics.
In response to the resolutions of the 52nd National Conference of the ANC in 2007 government adopted, in October 2010, a new economic framework called the New Growth Path as a policy framework for implementation.
The New Growth Path sets out core strategies to achieve job creation and broad measures to address unemployment, poverty and inequality. In so doing it seeks to put in place a more equitable economy. One of the measures of this economic framework is to support employment creation through rural development. It is within this context that this Budget Vote debate takes place.
Any debate on the forestry sector must respond to the demands that the New Growth Path places upon the forestry sector. The policy seeks to ensure that across the sectors of our economy we develop labour absorbing practices, a long standing ANC perspective.
Support mechanisms in the forestry sector must therefore respond to this and this includes finances. Out of the five job drivers in the New Growth Path, Jobs Driver Five: Spatial Development speaks directly to the rural population who are engaged in the rural economy. It is here that future plan and the new structuring of the forestry sector must address itself. Future plans and indeed Programme Five of the Budget Vote must in its objective and measures and its subprogrammes be aligned with the macro and micro objectives of the future shape of our rural economy.
Research indicates that rural development programmes have the potential of improving the livelihoods of some 500 000 households to which the forestry sector must respond.
Forestry plays an important role in rural development and should have an integrated approach in both its own programmes and that of rural development. The design and implementation of these must be devised in collaboration with rural communities. Whilst management of the plantation and indigenous forest is very important the environmental and economic orientation must be driven by policy perspective that places the masses of our people in the rural areas in the center. The role of this budget must therefore be looked at in this context.
The institutional framework of the forestry sector and its programmes has been informed by the 1997 National Forestry Action Plan. General speakingmost policy documents, after 15 years in existence, require assessment and evaluation.
The key questions here are whether what the plan setout to do has been realised and if not what were the challenges. Secondly, the National Action Forestry Plan was drawn up in the first phase of macroeconomic strategy which at that time favoured the selling-off of state forest to the private sector. This position no longer holds and we are rather informed by the needs of the New Growth Path. Not least of all, the job drivers in the New Growth Path have relevance of employment levels and criteria that are applied in forestry as measured per hector.
The perspective on special development in the rural areas and the development of the rural economy and forestry must converge in concept and practice.
Since the National Forestry Action Plan was instituted there have been major institutional changes. The first phase of our transition paid close attention to redefining the categories of forest and under which department they should fall. It also dealt with the long standing environmental, commercial and community forest debate.
The more recent institutional charges have been driven by the economic rationale of the governing party, the ANC. These have been to institute better co-ordination of the agriculture and forest sector with planning being done within the ambit of a single department.
It was back in 1994 that the ANC first put forward integrating the Department of Forestry with that of Agriculture.
Under the subheading the land and its use, clauses 3 and 4 respectively of the Freedom Charter speak to the country's wealth and land, and I quote:
The people shall share in the country's wealth and the land shall be shared among those who work it
This has direct implication for the forestry sector since the Freedom Charter in these two clauses speaks distribution and production perspectives which constitute the relevance of any attempt at changing land related patterns and systems of land ownership and control in our country.
There is a direct relationship between these perspectives and assertions of the Freedom Charter on wealth and land. This means that the future direction of the forestry sector must place the ANC-led government's economic structure at its centre and address the essence of relationship between land and forestry sector.
The ANC is committed to ensuring security of land tenure especially for women in rural areas as a way of promoting agriculture and forestry.
Dealing with challenges going forward the Forest Sector Charter Council has a life span of 10 years. The ANC in its preparation for the national policy conference in June this year is looking critical at an impact-assessment of what has been achieved under Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment. The approach therefore in the forestry sector needs to reflect this. This was greeted with much fanfare in the later part of the 1990s in the forestry sector with the sale of state forest.
The key question that we need to ask is, what has been the impact assessment of this period and have we achieved them? Are these achievements in line with our policy objectives, in the first place? Equally, unlike what happened in the late 1990s, there has to be, in terms of the new growth path, a noticeable increase in job creation in this sector. The state of the nation address, in February 2012, committed government to address unemployment, poverty and inequality, and therefore, forestry sector is not an exception.
In fact 12 000 green jobs that were created through the in forestry livelihoods strategy in the financial year 2010-11, bears testimony with regard to progress. Institutional restructuring must, in any national democratic revolution, be constantly under review. This, in particular, relates to the South African forestry company within the South African Forestry Company Ltd, SAFCOL, which is currently located under the ministry of public enterprise.
Its history is well known and its historic influence on practices within the forestry sector shaped a particular approach which favoured commercialisation of forests. It played an important role, to its credit, in the implementation of the National Forestry Action Plan, NFAP, but its location outside of the ministry, which deals with forestry, needs to be examined. In conclusion, I would like to thank the Minister and her team, for all their hard work and engaging debates. This is a sign of a healthy relationship. The ANC supports the Budget Vote 26. I thank you. [Applause.].
Mr P J GROENEWALD / GC / /TH(Afr)//nvs(Afr) / END OF TAKE
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 3 May 2012 Take: 404
Mr M A CELE
Mnr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Voorsitter, die agb Minister het netnou gepraat van voedselsekerheid. Sy sê dat die regering en die ANC graag voedselsekerheid in Suid-Afrika wil hê, maar ek hoor nie dat die agb Minister vir die boere sekerheid gee oor hul eiendomme en hul veiligheid nie.
Wat doen u as Minister om met u kollegas in die polisie te praat oor plaasmoorde, sodat ons boere veilig op hul plase kan wees en sodat hulle sekerheid daaroor kan hê? Wat doen u as Minister om met die Minister van Landelike Ontwikkeling en Grondhervorming te praat, sodat ons boere sekerheid kan hê oor hul eiendom? U wil voedselsekerheid hê, maar u wil nie vir die boere ander sekerheid gee nie.
Agb Minister, u het 'n blaps gemaak met die polisieëring van ons visserye en visbronne aan die kus. In Desember al was daar 'n hofsaak aan die kom. U het geweet dat die kontrak aan die einde van Maart gaan verstryk, maar u praat in die komitee en sê dit is 'n probleem. Toe skrik u direkteur-generaal wakker want volgens die records, het hy toe besluit dat hierdie saak dalk na die polisie toe moet gaan.
Ek wil vandag vir u sê dat landbou 'n wetenskap is. Jy moet kennis hê om dit te kan doen. U het 'n onbevoegde DG aangestel. U stel meer belang in politieke kaderontplooiing as in kundigheid om landbouwerk te kan doen! [Tussenwerpsels.]
U gaan na die boere toe en u wil oor modes praat!
Ek wil vandag vir u sê dat toe u begin het, ek gesê het dat u dalk die rain queen [reën koningin] van die boere kan wees. Ek het verlede jaar vir u gesê dat u 'n Tina-promises [beloftes] is, want u maak net beloftes en beloftes. U het netnou gehoor dat beloftes gemaak was, maar dat die boere nog steeds wag vir hul voergelde. Daardie beloftes word nie gerealiseer nie.
As ek so luister na hoe u oor modes praat, en dat u meer daarin belangstel as in die probleme van die boere, wil ek vir u sê dat ek verkeerd was. U is eintlik 'n drama queen! [drama koningin] Dit is waarmee u besig is, want u veroorsaak net drama vir die boere. [Tussenwerpsels.] U maak beloftes, maar u kom dit nie na nie. U departement is besig om in duie te stort en die probleem is dat u nie kritiek kan hanteer nie.
Die agb Salamuddi Abram van die ANC het verlede jaar uit 'n boer se hart gepraat. Hy het kritiek uitgespreek. Hoekom kan hy nie in hierdie debat deelneen nie, want ek sien nie sy naam nie? U moet leer om kritiek te hanteer en om na die boere te luister. Gee vir hulle sekerheid in terme van hul eiendomme sowel as in terme van hul veiligheid. Ek dank u. [Applous.] [Tussenwerpsels.]
Mr B M BHANGA: Hon Chairperson, on a point of order: Is it correct that the people in the gallery participate in the debate that we are having?
The TEMPORARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Mabuza): I haven't seen them but they are not supposed to be part of the debate. I will now call on, hon Dudley.
Mrs C DUDLEY
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 3 May 2012 Take: 404
Mr P J GROENEWALD
Mrs C DUDLEY: Chairperson, countries in both the east and west, including our partners in Brics, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, regard their commercial food producers as a previous national asset toward ensuring food security. They recognise that there are not many people who want to farm. Commercial food production is a calling which requires special skills and work ethic which had to be learned.
Food security is essential, both economically and politically, and social cohesion has to be a by product, not the main goal. Consequently, government seeks to help producers to increase productivity and production. It is very concerning that South Africa, by contrast with most of the governments, neglects and is even hostile toward this industry; giving it virtually no budgetary, research or trade quality support. This is perhaps most noticeable with regards to the Agricultural Research Council, ARC.
Some of the finest and largest volume of agricultural researches in the southern hemisphere, if not in most of the world, comes from this, and other South African institutes to help keep our commercial food producers in the forefront of the world's food productivity. The ACDP was alarmed that stakeholders claim that if the council were to be scrapped, it would scarcely be noticed, as it has deteriorated so severely.
The number of commercial food producers in South Africa has dropped from a 120 000 in 1994, to about 40 000 today, becoming on balance, which is a net importer of food in recent years and in turn, putting our food security in jeopardy. The reduction in budgetary allocations to maintain existing infrastructures, let alone improve them, has a negative effect on production. It also accelerates the departure of food producers who are enticed, to the other African countries and particularly Australia, where their skills are welcomed.
The government has been disadvantaging every consumer in South Africa by not supporting this industry. If this continues, we will be faced with even more rapidly increasing food prices. Producers, who remained, are reluctant to invest because of long delays in finalising land acquisitions. This had adversely affected crop production. It had been brought to the attention of the ACDP that inland fishery has been neglected in favour of marine fishery.
More funding will be necessary to establish a more and better capacity; structures and projects for recreational as well as the subsistence and commercial inland fishery. In order to establish inland fishery, as an important job creation and food resourcing sector, encouragement and funding are essential. Furthermore, improved and stronger partnerships between the Department of Water Affairs and the provincial conservation agencies will go a long way in achieving this objective.
Lastly, the veterinary establishment in the agricultural sector is a cause for concern as corruption of the few is, undermining the integrity of this establishment; an integrity held high regard in the food production industry. The prescribing and the selling of potentially lethal game capture drugs for rhino poaching, by certain rogue veterinarians, must be stopped. [Time expired.] Thank you. [Applause.].
Ms M N PHALISO
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 3 May 2012 Takes: 404 & 405
Mrs C DUDLEY
Ms M N PHALISO: Chairperson of the extended public committee, Minister Joemat-Pettersson and all protocol observed. In debating any Budget Vote, we are in essence looking at a political and economic context in which a Budget Vote is delivered. This is a necessary consideration because it provides us, as public representatives, with an understanding of how the ANC led government, is reversing past imbalances and creating a better life for all, using the budget as an instrument for change.
This vote of funds must be debated in the context that, it is a political and financial instrument that the ANC led government uses, to ensure that its quality programmes are operationalised; through the allocation of financial resources and appropriation to the programmes and projects for which the department has the responsibility.
It is a reflection of an outcomes centred public spending approach. Most importantly, for those who have an oversight responsibility, this vote of funds must be used as a tool in which we evaluate its financing of key policy objectives. The challenge is to evaluate whether the vote matters matches up to the strategic plan of the department; the macro economic perspectives of government; and the requirements of ANC policies and give substance to the government's five year plan.
The vote is a critical tool to track a 100 years old ANC; priorities that the department had set for itself, in terms of a delivery designed to meet national, provincial and local policy responsibilities, as well as constitutional responsibility.
In order to do this, Chairperson, the point of departure must be whether this Vote is consistent with government policy. Here I shall specifically refer to the programme in this Vote that deals with fisheries.
The ANC believes that the natural resources of South Africa - including marine resources, belong to all the people of the country, and should be managed and developed to the benefit of the country as a whole. [Applause.] South Africa's rich marine resources make a major contribution to alleviating poverty in coastal communities. The ANC has over the years' seeked to improve the quality of life in coastal communities by restoring rights of access to marine resources, by increasing employment opportunities and by improving health conditions in the industry, particularly with regard to income, health and safety and job security.
With the implementation of policy come challenges, these challenges have been extreme in fishing communities as the reconstruction of marine and fisheries sector has taken root. Years of established bad practices have come up against the need for the ANC-led government to rebuild the industry and the institutions managing marine resources; so as to achieve its policy objectives. Ownership of marine resources must be vested in the state as the custodian for the people and the rights to utilise the resource equitably allocated. [Applause.]
The policy intention is clear. The ANC-led government wishes to encourage the sustainable use of the marine resources to ensure optimal long-term social and economic benefits. The fishing sector in particular has to be developed as an integral component of a general development strategy for coastal areas. For this to be achieved, the transparent and accountable administration of marine resources has to take place. This has been the greatest challenge, hon Minister.
The implementation of ANC-led government policy has exposed just how complex this sector is structured by both centuries and decades of particular practices, most of which had no policy basis of a new democratic order but was rather steeped in both culture and tradition, which for the ANC is important. But, on the other hand practices of capital accumulation that has resulted in some of the worst cases of corrupt practices, which ANC policy has seeked to eradicate, which if we had left this alone would have collapsed the sector and the fishing industry into a plundering of resources and the survival of the most corrupt. A discussion on the redistribution of fishing rights was always going to be and has proven to be a double-edged sword.
With regard to the principle of working together with the people, we do not only do more, but we solve challenges together and build capacity together to ensure both growth and development. In principle, access rights should be allocated as closely as possible to the actual doers of fishing. Licensing systems has historically been highly problematic in that it has granted many commercial licenses to a privileged few. The ANC policy seeks to protect and advance the interests of those who are dependent on fishing for a livelihood. [Applause.]
Promoting stability in the sector industry means dealing effectively with access rights, quotas on species, the monitoring of performance and the complications of performance and the allocation of longer-term quotas. Most importantly, the rights of coastal communities, small scale and artisanal fishers must be protected. Restructuring and transformation must be accompanied capacity building and support of previously disadvantaged fishers and fishing communities. I'm talking to the poorest of the poor. Restructuring of the sector is a precondition for things to happen. The medium term to long-term objective is both to ensure sustainable and economically thriving communities whilst at the same time ensuring optimal utilisation of marine resources.
Central to this is the realignment of administrative and operational activities of the Marine Living Resources Fund, MLRF.
The Marine Living Resources Fund finances the operations of the Marine and Coastal Management Programme, which is responsible for managing the development and sustainable use of South Africa's marine and coastal resources as well as protecting the integrity and quality of its marine and coastal ecosystems. Whilst falling within the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries it receives its own budget from the National Treasury and this need to be urgently reviewed.
Further restructuring needs to be informed by a review of the Marine Coastal Management Act. This should equally address the incorporation of the Marine Coastal Management directly into a division of the department as opposed to the detached entity it currently is, like in the old order of sea fisheries. Critically, the Marine Living Resources Act has not adequately addressed diversity within small-scale fisheries. In terms of governing party policy, the Act has not taken into account the contribution to poverty eradication and food security by the small-scale fishing sector, for example, the Department should ensure that the much-acclaimed small-scale fishing policy must have measurable targets as we are moving towards its adoption.
Amongst others, these must include but not limited to the following: 90% of all near shore marine resources within 25 nautical miles of our coastlines high water mark and 25,1% of the full remainder of all South Africa's 22 commercial fishing sector resources. That includes 50,1% of the use of all harbour related leases and tourism facilities, which are exclusively reserved for the direct benefit of poor coastal community co-operatives and credible Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment structures.
Under the ANC's accelerated multi-trillion infrastructure investment strategy, we should establish a marine projects financing facility such as the Land Bank or Fish Bank in Agriculture to enable our coastal community fishing co-operatives and Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment structures to acquire fishing infrastructure like vessels and processing facilities; to competently execute their fishing quotas.
In addition, the infrastructure investment strategy should establish co-operative marine produce marketing structures that will secure maximum financial advantage from the local and foreign market value chain for all South African marine produce, in particular, marine produce from community co-operative structures within coastal fishing communities. The MLRA and permit conditions must be reviewed to ensure the protection of all men and women who works in the fishing industry on land and on sea. These workers must enjoy the same rights as all other workers under the Labour Relations Act and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
The publication in the Government Gazette of the small-scale fisheries policy in September 2010 after a period of consultation, opened up debate on both what still needed transformation and what needed to be restructured. The concerns at that stage where that whilst the policy seeked to address critical long-standing grievances, operationalising these draft policies was going to be the main challenge.
In addition, looking at the small-scale fisheries sector without addressing the impacts and contradictions it has for the small-scale fishing sector would result in a deepening of these contradictions. Other concerns raised with the 2010 draft list were timelines of the draft policy document; the review process of quotas; long term fishing rights; multi species; zonal fishing; financing structures and finally the setting up of a co-operative for the fishing sector.
The Nedlac process that has been undertaken over the past two years has had influence on the February 2012 redrafted policy for Small Scale Fisheries Sector. We would encourage the department to ensure that there is widespread public participation over the content of the 2012 draft.
Finally, we also welcome the Minister's announcement of considering a committee or Commission of Enquiry to Investigate the Evil of Fronting. [Applause.] We encouraged the Minister to go even further and ensure that our poor fisher folk who lost their quotas and were fraudulently treated, to be financially compensated by the state and the culprits be brought to book, hon Minister. [Applause.]
In conclusion, fish farming and, or aquaculture needs to be extended to add to the limited marine and inland resources to actively promote job creation and food security for the poorest of the poor.
Chairperson, the ANC supports Budget Vote 26 Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr P VAN DALEN / LMM/Eng / /TH (Afr)//nvs(Afr) & C.I / END OF TAKE
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 3 May 2012 Take: 406
Ms M N PHALISO
"Old Assembly Main",Unrevised Hansard,03 May 2012,"[Take-333333406] [Old Assembly Main][90P-4-082A][gs].doc"
Mr P VAN DALEN: Hon Chairperson, I was appointed to this portfolio at the beginning of this year and I have a keen interest in fishing and practically grew up at the sea. My uncle, Oom Bennet Uys was also a fisherman from a young age. He was a humble, hardworking, poor fisherman. I sat for many hours listening to the fishermen's stories of legends that fared the sea. I was told that in those days there was an abundance of fish, but you still had to work hard every good seafaring day to put food on the table.
So, why do I tell the story? The simple truth is that there are a lot of Oom Bennets out there whose livelihoods are being threatened by a department whose leaders do not know what they are doing.
Madam Minister, your leadership of this department has a significant impact on the future of poor fishing communities. You cannot buy your credibility back by handing out t-shirts emblazoned with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries logos. Neither can you win back their loyalty by asserting that you will, like Glory-Robin Hood, steal quotas from the big 5 fishing companies and give them to communities.
We are here today to debate the Budget Vote of the fishing department and I must tell you that I am very concerned about the state of your department.
This week we interrogated the strategic plans of the Marine Living Resources Fund and the Marine and Coastal Management Branch. Lacking entirely in both these documents was any reference to the National Development Plan, NDP, the same plan the hon Chairperson was talking about. When I read the Small Scale Fishing Policy, I note the same omission the policy even contradicts the NDP in places.
All departments' strategic plans and policies should have their cue from the NDP, given its emphasis on poverty alleviation and virtuous economic growth. The NDP identifies fisheries as a strategic economic sector with growth potential, especially in the area of small enterprise development.
The document also recognises that large scale industrial fisheries employ more than 27 000 people and that these sectors offer employment conditions that are better than most other economic sectors. This truth must be quite hard to swallow for you Minister, given your obsession with transforming the fishing industry. Apparently the 66% black ownership levels already attained and achieved is not black enough for you, even though the NDP states that the sector is black empowered.
Importantly, the NDP emphasises that quotas cannot be allocated in a way that threatens compliance and sustainability.
The Small Scale Fishing Policy, on the other hand, is ideologically moribund and devoid of an understanding of the economics of the industry. It is therefore incapable of delivering the fruits of poverty alleviation that it promised. As the NDP rightly points out, small scale fishing should be encouraged but it is not the answer to alleviating unemployment. The policy emphasis should be on the creation of small enterprises and protecting fishing stocks so that responsible firms can profit sustainably and thereby employ sustainably.
Finally, the NDP states that unrealistic expectations have been created by promising communities fishing rights. Short-term political expedience will backfire in the long-run, hon Phaliso.
How is it possible that Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Minister are unaware of the NDP and its analyses? If government departments such as fisheries have already elected to ignore the NDP, we can rest assured that this rather grand vision for 2030 will never be more than a paper written on. But the problem with this year's Budget Vote reaches beyond its ignorance of the NDP and enters even more sinister waters.
It states as fact that the Marine Living Resources Fund received, as a supplement to revenue, the proceeds of the sale of confiscated fish and fish product, including abalone.
This brings me to the very serious matter of abalone poaching and this department's inability to stop the phenomenon. The question has been raised as to whether there is a conflict of interest at play. It was admitted by the director-general and the Minister in a portfolio committee meeting that at some stage it would have to be stopped. But for now it will be allowed to continue as they don't have anything in place to substitute the foregone revenue.
I ask you, Minister, with tears in my eyes: How is it possible that budget for income that you will derive from an illegal activity that you are the entity that you have to police that same activity? [Laughter.]
You have now created this perverse incentive to leave the poacher in the water, instead of preventing the extraction of the near-extinct species. Rather, you wait until enough has been poached to extract the targeted income from the sale of confiscated abalone. The problem of conflicting interests appears to be a trend in your department, Madam Minister.
Minister, you recently announced the institution of an independent committee of inquiry, at a press conference on 21 March this year the public holiday. You undertook to internally investigate the alleged corruption and irregularity in awarding the tender for the maintenance, manning, and operation of the departments' marine patrol and research fleet. The contract was prematurely awarded to politically connected Sekunjalo Consortium whose subsidiary premier fishing owns extensive fishing quotas and then withdrawn under pressure from the DA and others. This committee should have started their work by early April of this year, but we have yet to see anything concrete happening.
Minister, you seem to believe that your intention to institute an inquiry exonerates you or your department from answering questions. Please let me assure you that this is not how things work in a democracy, nor will we allow them to operate in such a manner.
Finally, I received a reply from the Minister last week which indicates that the findings of a 2008 report on the 12 small scale fishing harbours have yet to be implemented. The report was commissioned at a whopping R4,8 million cost to the taxpayer. It found evidence of gross mismanagement in every respect, and the best the department can tell me is that it has established an interdepartmental task team who will establish timeframes to implement the recommendations. Whoh! [Laughter.]
I see that Mr Abram, who is not speaking here today. He is very outspoken at the committee. May I take the liberty to quote him - where he spoke, he would say:
This dysfunctional department with all the actors, including the acting positions, is a disgrace to this government and to the poor fishing communities outside here.
The sustainable use of our fishing resources has a potential to contribute to economic growth and job creation. It can play its part in us achieving 8% gross domestic product, GDP, growth.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N Ngele): Order hon members! Order! Order!
Mr P VAN DALEN: But only if there is sound management and political will. Sadly, the fisheries branch lurches from one blunder to the next.
Mnr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Voorsitter, op 'n punt van orde: U moet u knoppie indruk; dan sal die mense kan hoor as u vir orde vra. Niemand kan u hoor as u sê dat daar orde moet wees nie.
Mr P VAN DALEN: Thank you. The Minister has been in the position for the past three years now. The department is in the worse position today than it was three years ago. Under the circumstances Minister, I think you should do the right and honourable thing which is to resign! [Applause!]
The TEMPORARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N Ngele): Hon members! Hon members! Please! This is too much really please! Thank you, hon
Mrs N M TWALA / AZM MNGUNI (Eng)/TH (Afr)//nvs(Afr) / END OF TAKE
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 3 May 2012 Take: 407
"Old Assembly Main", Unrevised Hansard,08 May 2012,"Take 407 [Old Assembly Main].doc"
"Old Assembly Main", Unrevised Hansard,03 May 2012,"[Take-333333407]
[Old Assembly Main][90P-4-082A][gs].doc"
Mr P VAN DALEN
Mrs N M TWALA: Chairperson, hon Minister Joemat-Pettersson, Deputy Minister Mulder, director-general Langa Zitha, hon members of the portfolio committee and distinguished guests in the gallery, of all the programmes contained in the 2012 Budget Vote of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, food security and agrarian reform attempt to address one of the fundamental pillars of the National Democratic Revolution.
Within agrarian reform, the principle of food security is embedded. The R1,4 billion that has been appropriated to this programme must be seen within the context of what the ANC-led government has to achieve.
The ANC defines its vision for South Africa as that of a national democratic society, a society in which the values of human freedom, socioeconomic rights and progress prevail. The food security system must in itself ensure that the agro-food complex advances the basic objectives of the national democratic society. In moving towards a food secure society, the right to food, as enshrined in the Freedom Charter and South Africa's Constitution, makes the debate of this Vote one of great political importance. Engulfed within the paradigm of population growth, global economic instability and climate change food security presents a formidable challenge for the national government and this Vote.
The historic approach to food security in South Africa has tended to lean towards food production, to the exclusion of a holistic approach in discussing food security. The reality that South Africa still has an unresolved land and agrarian question poses numerous challenges for the ANC in pursuing the vision of a national democratic society. The food security question remains amongst the most important policies in the consolidation of a national democratic state.
The two poles reflected in the ongoing debate around food security reflect those who are in the agri-processing business who reflect the advanced accumulation path within the sector, in general, and those who reside in the retail food industry. While South Africa may be food secure as a country, large numbers of households within the country remain food insecure. Food security must not be about total food output, rather it must be about an individual's food security. Therefore, greater emphasis on both physical and economic access to food is necessary.
An understanding of food insecurity shows that access to adequate food at a household level increasingly depends on how food markets and distribution systems function. The ANC has adopted the principle of constructing a developmental state, which means that we have a common understanding of the application of food policies. We, therefore, must address food security within the broad framework of a developmental state.
The developmental state must ensure that the agro-food market and macroeconomic considerations address food security in the country. This means ensuring that our policy and legal instruments address the issues of the negative effects that high food prices have on the food security of the population, particularly the poor.
The Integrated Food Security Strategy was adopted in 2002 by the government. It focuses primarily on food supply problems, that is volume and stability of food supplies. The development of agriculture within the context of food security is often viewed solely as a technical advancement of large scale commercial farming. This is the view that agriculture can only contribute to the economy through commercial production. This same argument states that small holder and subsistence farming have little to offer in terms of production and income from farming.
The 2007 52nd ANC national conference resolved that, one, the current structure of commercial agriculture is the outcome of centuries of dispossession, labour cohesion and state subsidy for the chosen few. Since 1994 commercial agriculture has continued to develop in a manner that is characterised by a growing concentration of ownership and farm size, underutilisation of vast tracks of lands, capital intensity, job shedding and the casualisation of labour.
While deregulation, liberalisation and the resulting competitive pressures of the sector have eliminated many of the privileges of large scale farming, various aspects of policy and legislation still reinforced the legacy of the past, concentrated ownership, price collusion and the high degree of vertical integration in farming, agro-processing and the retail sector limit the space for new entrance, particularly for small holding farmers. Monopolistic practices also reinforced recent rises in food prices which undermine economic growth and the fight against hunger and poverty.
In addressing food security certain guiding principles must apply. The developmental state must create an environment where communities are able to produce food and have control over its production, and are also empowered economically to be agents of their own development. The emerging agricultural sector requires a level of market protection and should not be subjected to competition regulations for its development.
Sustained economic growth and sustainable development are interlinked, and the fourth principle is that poverty is one of the most formidable enemies of choice. Therefore, one of the important principles of food security is to contribute to the eradication of poverty and all forms of social and economic discrimination through the programmes that are aimed at eradicating poverty.
In examining the Budget Vote on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, we must appreciate that this Budget Vote must be used as a tool of evaluating government programmes that are operationalised through the allocation of the budget. It reflects the outcome-centred public spending approach. The challenge is to evaluate whether or not the macroeconomic perspectives of this Budget Vote meet the requirements of the ANC-led government's policies and give substance to the ANC-led government's five-year plan.
In order to do this we have to ask key questions of this Budget Vote. Firstly, does the Budget Vote reflect the funding of policy priorities of the ANC-led government? Can this be traced to government programmes and projects in the Vote? Secondly, can we trace the increase of funding of policy priorities from the 2011 Budget Vote to the 2012 Budget Vote? Thirdly, does the Vote address issues of adequacy, given the mandate of the department? Fourthly, does the Vote reinforce issues of equity? Does it deal with unemployment and poverty, and can this be traced in it? Fifthly, are the directives of the Medium-Term Budget Vote Statements of 2011 met in this Budget Vote?
In assessing the Budget Vote, it is clear, as reflected in the programmes of this Vote, that this Vote does reflect the funding of policy priorities. These priorities are largely, but not exclusively, found in the New Growth Path policy document and can be traced in the line items of the Vote of funds.
The central question remains whether or not the budget is adequate given the huge mandate that this department has been given within finite resources? The thrust of this Budget Vote speaks to dealing with matters of unemployment and poverty eradication. The question of whether or not the Vote addresses matters of ensuring greater equity is to be found. Certainly, the linkages between the October 2011 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement and this Budget Vote can be drawn. In conclusion, the ANC supports Vote 26: Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES / JM/UNH (Checked) / END OF TAKE
EPC – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Thursday, 3 May 2012 Takes: 408 & 409
"Old Assembly Main",Unrevised Hansard,08 May 2012,"Take 408 [Old Assembly Main].doc"
"Old Assembly Main",Unrevised Hansard,03 May 2012,"[Take-333333408] [Old Assembly Main][90P-4-082A][gs].doc"
Mrs N M TWALA
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES): Thank you Chairperson and all the members for the contributions. Thank you, Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform for attending the speech.
I would like to conclude by saying that our dedicated Strategic Integrated Project for agriculture, agro-logistics and rural infrastructure is part of the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission which includes plans for: fresh produce marketing depots for smallholder farmers; production infrastructure for crops and animals; the revitalisation of various irrigation schemes including the Vaalharts-Taung irrigation scheme; the refurbishment and upgrading of agricultural colleges; grain storage facilities and rehabilitated irrigation schemes in the former homelands; fencing which includes border fences; and animal quarantine facilities at our borders. These infrastructure projects will be implemented in a phased approach. [Interjections.]
In addition, the rail freight network will be made more easily and cheaply available for the transport of bulk agriculture, forestry and fisheries commodities. Hon Chairperson, in keeping with our theme of "Working together for food security", we hosted our first delivery forum during March this year. The delivery forum is an ideal platform to cement stakeholder relationships in pursuit of our developmental objectives. It will emphasise strong co-ordination and communication to ensure that things get done. Improving the flow of information and ideas between government and the private sector will enhance our ability to identify new and better opportunities for investment.
This industry that we manage has more than 360 organisations in agriculture alone and 360 organisations in fisheries. Half of the 360 organisations in agriculture is lily-white and the other half is black. If I have to meet a white Red Meat Association and later meet a black Red Meat Association, I'll spend five years just meeting all these organisations. [Interjections.]
Hon members, tell me earnestly: How do I meet each commodity group under the sun when there is only 365 days in a year? Hon Groenewald, you have a Deputy Minister, who is the leader of your party. I have already asked the Deputy Minister whether you people do speak because it is obvious that you don't speak to the Deputy Minister. You behave as if your party is not part of this Ministry. If you have advice on agriculture, forestry and fisheries, go to the Deputy Minister and give him that advice. That advice will reach me very ... [Interjections.]
Mnr P J GROENEWALD: Agb Voorsitter, op 'n punt van duidelikheid... [Tussenwerpsels.]
Hon Chair, on a point of clarity: I just want to make sure that I understand the hon Minister clearly ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N Ngele): Order, hon members! Hon Groenewald, please sit down! You will get your clarity later.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: What I am actually saying is that, through your interpretation of what we are doing, you are saying that your own party is failing in government. You are saying your own leader, the leader of your party, the Deputy Minister, is failing in government because he is part of this government. In keeping with ... [Interjections.]
Mr P J GROENEWALD: He is not part of the government. You are misleading yourself. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N Ngele ): Hon member, will you please stop what you are doing!
Mr P J GROENEWALD: Madam Chair, I will stop!
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: We thank the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector in general and each individual component in particular, for their selfless support in working towards creating a better environment for industry. There are people who work with us such as the Transvaal Agricultural Union of SA, Tau. They come forward to even assist us with the training of extension officers. Hon Groenewald, it seems as if you don't know what is happening in your own constituency because I thought Tau is also part of your constituency. I really don't know where you belong. [Laughter.]
Our country has to play its role in creating prosperity, jobs and equality for all. Statistics SA, in its Quarterly Labour Force Survey, has clearly articulated that agriculture has contributed 26 000 jobs to employment in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. It seems hon members do no have relevant information and we are prepared to provide them with it. If you say that nothing is working in this department, hon Steyn, go and have a look at the third and fourth quarters of the Statistics SA survey and you will realise that there is an increase in jobs. This is not our statistics or agriculture statistics that has been fabricated. [Interjections.] If you do not know, Statistics SA is an independent association. [Interjections.]
Hon member, your role is to look deep into your work and ask yourself whether you have created a single job in this country. I am certain that you haven't created a single job. [Interjections.] Hon members, in this gallery there are people who have assisted in that job creation. We have turned the tide in agriculture and things are working. We have created jobs and markets.
Hon Van Dalen, it is alleged that you shot at two children, needless to say that those children come from a black race group. What is worthy of mentioning is that after you allegedly shot at those children, you laughed at them. [Interjections.] This case was never brought to court. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N Ngele ): Order, hon members! Hon Minister, will you please sit down for a moment!
Mr D J MAYNIER: Madam Chair, on a point of order: Is the hon Minister allowed to impute on the integrity of an hon member? She should stick to the subject of the debate, Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N Ngele ): Hon Minister, did you say that? She says that she didn't.
Mr D J MAYNIER: Chairperson, a Member of Parliament may not impute the integrity of another member in this House. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Hon Van Dalen, if you say that we are beyond ignorance, is that not questioning my integrity and intelligence? The National Development Plan is a draft plan, it is not the policy of government. How informed are you?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N Ngele ): Hon Minister, please sit down! Hon Minister, I understand that you said the hon member shot two people.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: I said that it is alleged.
The TEMPORARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N Ngele): yuiuiuiuiuio
klophjjgSo, you said alleged. I'll come back to you to make a ruling. Continue.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES:
The hon member is always part of stories, gossips, allegations and information peddling. The hon member, hasn't alleged, but actually said that I have appointed my sister in this department. In the gallery, there are two people who the parents of Rowena Joemat. My parents died more than ten years ago. Unless if those people who are sitting in the gallery are ghosts. There is no way in which Rowena Joemat could be my sister and there is thus no way in which I could have appointed my sister in the department. [Applause.]
The hon member is part of trading information and information paddling. What I am about to say is not an allegation, but you just need to go and look on the DA's website and google the DA member' name and you will see the alleged incident of him shooting at children.
Now I would like to thank the hon member for always being a wikileaks. I love the way you peddle and trade with information, because you spend your time looking at gossips. In the reality, I would like to thank those colleagues and friend who have worked and contributed towards a better country, a better South Africa, and a better agriculture, forestry and fishery. The ANC portfolio committee members have assisted us. Chairperson, we have learned and took advice from you. I would like to say that you should continue doing that because through you, agriculture is growing jobs, we have turned the tide, and we are expanding markets. [Applause.]
In conclusion, today we present you with a success story ... [Time Expired.]
The TEMPORARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N Ngele): Hon members, let me make a ruling on what has been reported. Hon Minister, it is not parliamentary to say that an hon member is alleged to have shot and killed two people. Will you please withdraw that?
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: I withdraw, but I ask you to google his name and you will find it there. [Laughter.] [Applause.]
Mr D J MAYNIER: Chairperson, can the Minister please withdraw unconditionally?
The TEMPOARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N Ngele): Must I accept it? Hon Minister, you cannot say … [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Hon Chairperson, I withdraw, but ... [Interjections.]
The TEMPOARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N Ngele): Hon Minister, no but. Please you cannot say that. You cannot say I withdraw, but.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHERIES: Hon Chairperson, I did not in any case, say anything after but. I withdraw.
The TEMPOARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms N Ngele): Hon members, you are requested to bring back the attendance register to the desk, please. Whoever is having it should please bring it back.
The Committee rose at 16:21.
END OF TAKE
No related documents