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Government’s confusing comments on land are causing great harm to agriculture

The ANC government’s confusing comments about land creates great uncertainty and is busy causing great harm to agriculture in South Africa, Dr. Pieter Mulder, Leader of the FF Plus says.

Dr. Mulder said in Parliament today that on the one hand the deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, last week encouraged commercial farmers in Limpopo to invest in agriculture and as game farmers expand their interests.

At the same time the minister of land reform, Gugile Nkwinti, is forcing certain proposal through the land summit that their should be a ceiling on the amount of land that farmers may own, Dr. Mulder says.

“The guidelines which he sets are not practicable and even more difficult to enforce. These proposals are being made while the debate is still raging and there is no clarity about the position of the minister’s proposal that 50% of their land should be given to farm workers.

“The issue is further being muddied by the reports of City Press that the 50%-proposal is the minister’s own proposal and that he did not have any approval of the ANC structures or government structures to make such a proposal. The National Development Plan (NDP), in chapter six, also has different proposals on land reform at district level.

“If one pays attention to the comments made by the secretary general of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe, to commercial farmers about land, it seems that he prefers the NDP’s proposals to the various Nkwinti plans. Then we are still waiting for clarity about what exactly the new expropriation law will entail which has been approved by Cabinet.

“The government must also realise that announcements of all various ill-considered plans about land about which no consensus had been reached with the various role-players, are causing irrevocable harm to agriculture.

“At present farmers are making far-reaching decisions about taking their whole farming production to other African countries or to move to Australia, or to stop investments and expansions, or to reduce the number of workers based on these confusing policy positions. It is causing permanent damage to South Africa’s agriculture and is to the detriment of food security in South Africa,” Dr. Mulder said.

 

Contact no.: 083 419 5403 / 082 674 6670

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