A statement about the land audit by the acting minister of Land Affairs, Lechasa Tsenoli, led to chaos in Parliament yesterday, after one of the FF Plus members, Dr Pieter Groenewald, said that the minister was talking “nonsense”.
Groenewald started his speech by saying that the minister had only confirmed that a land audit was being done, and nothing new. The FF Plus has been asking for a proper land audit since 2004, to establish how much agricultural land is owned by black and by white farmers.
If this cannot be established, the Government cannot say how far they are from their goal of 30% black ownership of agricultural ground.
After a point of order, the Speaker determined that although the word nonsense (snert) is not un-parliamentary, it is disrespectful to a minister, and Groenewald was asked to withdraw it. He refused, and the speaker asked him to leave the chamber.
Groenwald later said that it was clear, from the answers he had received to written questions for the minister of agriculture, Gugile Nkwinti, that Land affairs does not know how much land actually belongs to white or to black farmers.
“In one answer the minister says that 7.2 million ha out of a total of 24.5 million ha has already been transferred to black farmers. That is only 9.8% of the goal of 30% which government has set.
“The minister does not include communal land, or land belonging to the government, into the calculation. We have on numerous occasions said that a proper land audit must be done, so that all parties would know what they are talking about.
“It is unacceptable that minister Nkwinti admits that 90% of the land reform projects have failed and that these projects must first succeed, before further land is distributed. If this does not happen, assured food supply in South Africa would be threatened.
“Until a proper audit is done, the ANC will continue misusing landownership as an emotional tool in an attempt to gain votes for the upcoming elections. This will not only negatively impact agriculture, but South Africa as a whole”, Groenewald said.
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