President Zuma arrives in Qwaqwa for rural development monitoring visit
4 Oct 2011President Jacob Zuma has arrived in Qwaqwa in the Free State on 4 October 2011 to assess the impact of rural development, land reform and food security programmes of government, as part of the Presidency’s monitoring and evaluation programme.
The visit will accord the President an opportunity to monitor progress in the implementation of agrarian transformation and rural development in the Free State. In all monitoring visits, while assessing a certain priority for example job creation or rural development, the President also assesses the general functionality of municipalities based on the status of basic services such as water and sanitation, electricity, housing, refuse removal amongst others.
The President is visiting the eastern part of the Free State province which houses the largest rural population in the province as a whole. The two villages to be visited are are Diyatalawa and Makgolokoeng. They are both based in the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality in the Thabo Mofutsanyane District. Government has invested significant resources in order to develop the two rural villages as part of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme.
The rural development monitoring visit follows the release of the Green Paper on Land reform at the end of August 2011 for public comment and the visit presents an opportunity to hear public comments on land reform.
Government is working towards a properly re-configured single, coherent four-tier system of land tenure, which ensures that all South Africans, blacks in general and Africans in particular, have reasonable access to land with secure rights, which will contribute towards fulfilling their basic needs for housing and productive livelihoods.
“Land ownership remains imbalanced with 87% of commercial land owned by white farmers and businesses while 13% is shared among Blacks, Coloureds and Indians. Land Reform requires the development of a new land tenure system; especially as we head towards the centenary of the 1913 Land Act, in 2013’’, said the President.
Since the start of South Africa’s land reform programme, the Government has distributed 6.4 million hectares of land but only 10% of this land is currently productive.
“The Green Paper aims to speed up the process, helping the government meet its 30% redistribution target by 2014, while increasing agriculture’s contribution to gross domestic product. As Government we also plan to ensure that all land reform is productive. That is why we are currently undertaking an audit of all state land within the country to be completed by March 2012. We also want to ensure that we implement land reform programmes without disrupting agricultural production and food security’’, President Zuma added.
There are also plans to limit foreign ownership of sensitive land, in particular farms that are crucial for the production of food for the domestic market and also to limit the sale of land to foreigners.
Enquiries: Zanele Mngadi on 082 330 1148 or Rural Development Spokesperson Mthobeli Mxotwa on 083 578 9023
Issued by: The Presidency
4 Oct 2011
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