MEC Norman Shushu Northerm Cape Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Budget Speech 2012/13
25 May 2012An oppressed class is the vital condition for every society founded on the antagonism of classes. The emancipation of the oppressed class thus implies necessarily the creation of a new society The condition for the emancipation of the working class is the abolition of every class there will be no more political power properly so-called, since political power is precisely the official expression of antagonism in civil society... the antagonism between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie is a struggle of class against class, a struggle which carried to its highest expression is a total revolution.
We present this budget policy statement on an important and auspicious day in the history of the oppressed and marginalised working class of Africa and the Diaspora, Africa Day. This year, on the 19th June 2012, will mark 99 years since the introduction of the Native Land Act of 1913. This Act not only robbed the indigenous people of their land rights and the right to own property but essentially made them foreigners and refugees in the land of their birth and was the creation of the modern racial and class contradictions as we know them in modern day South Africa. We also present this budget speech in the year in which the oldest liberation movement in Africa, the African National Congress (ANC) celebrates its centenary. We need to be able to reflect on these two significant events in an attempt to understand and to better make the connection between the struggles of our people and colonial dispossession and subjugation. Perhaps to elucidate the point is to look at the writing of one of the greatest intellects to be produced by our struggle, Cde. Govan Mbeki in his book titled The Struggle for Liberation in South Africa. Comrade Govan Mbeki makes the following observation In the latter half of the nineteenth century a fertile ground was laid in which the national liberation took root. For during this period Boer and Briton set the foundations for the systemic oppression and exploitation of the indigenous people of South Africa, against which the liberatory forces have pitted themselves for more than a century.
It is for this reason that people like Kgosi Galeshewe together with Luka Jantjie and many other African traditional leaders, chiefs and kings fought wars against colonial dispossession and subjugation. His heroism and bravery was inspired by his love and respect for the people he led particularly in the Phokwane area where he led the Phokwane Rebellion. It is therefore not an accident of history that the indigenous people of this land continue to work the land, albeit for a pittance in return for wages under unbearable working conditions.
In a nutshell, when we talk about the land question in South Africa, we have to go back to the beginning. We cannot forget the history of conquests, dispossession and colonial subjugation by the European invaders: our land was taken away from the indigenous people by colonialists and the apartheid government. The livelihoods and the social and political systems of our people were destroyed. This dispossession was followed by the most brutal and racist exploitation of land and people through successive systems of labour coercion and so-called unfree labour, including slavery, as part of the emergence, growth and development of a capitalist economy of a special type in South Africa. Land dispossession also forced black people to work as cheap labourers in the mines, factories and in the agricultural sector in order to advance the capitalist ruling class within South Africa. During apartheid, the racist state consolidated and entrenched landlessness by the majority through continued forced removals and carefully nurturing and supporting white commercial farmers through a plethora of interventions including but not limited to state subsidies and cheap black labour. This is an unfortunate state of affairs that our democratic government will have to confront and deal with decisively.
Honourable Speaker, the budget proposals for the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development are tabled amidst an uncertain and continuing capitalist induced world economic crisis that has the potential to, according to some economic analysts, drag the whole world economy into a double dip recession.
In the context of our country we are, however, confident that through our macroeconomic approach and the New Growth Path the country has workable programmes and interventions that will see us realise projected economic recovery in the outer years of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework period. In relation to our sector, interventions such as job creation through infrastructure development; improved support mechanisms to enable increases in productivity and access to markets; and development of rural communities form important elements in the contribution to provincial economic growth and transformation.
Let me also take this opportunity to reflect briefly on the performance of the Agricultural sector in our Province. The 2010/11 production season will be remembered for the floods in the middle and especially the lower parts of the Orange River. Due to the rise in water levels, up to 7.75 meters on 14 January 2011, various low water bridges were underwater and the breaking of flood diversion walls caused widespread flooding. A second spell of flooding occurred early in February 2011 which caused large scale damage to crops and agricultural infrastructure.
In the past season, maize production in the Northern Cape amounted to 550 000 tons during the 2011 harvest season and early estimates predict similar tonnages for 2012. Wheat production for the current season also recovered from 225 000 ton in 2010 to 252 00 ton in the 2011 season. The Wheat price increase between March 2011 and March 2012 has reached 16 percent nationally. Barley production remained steady at 53 000 tons while groundnut production decreased marginally to 21 500 tons.
Honourable Speaker, despite the positive production performance, food security at household level is threatened by continuous fluctuation in food prices. The Quarterly Food Price Monitor (February, 2012) shows that Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) increased up to 6.3 percent year-on-year. The CPI released for October 2011 showed the food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation increase by 10.7 percent year-on-year and by 11.1 percent between November and December 2011. We intend to curb these challenges through support to smallholder farmers and increase our investment in the agro-processing industry. This commitment is made conscious of the fact that we cannot divorce freedom from food or food from freedom.
Honourable Speaker, in as far as animal production is concerned, although better than average rains were predicted for the 2011/12 summer season, large areas especially in the Pixley ka Seme and Namakwa Districts received below average rainfall. Currently some areas have adequate grazing, but in other areas the situation is getting critical as the growing season is coming to an end without any significant rain. This situation will be monitored, since this can lead to drought conditions during and after the winter of 2012 and this can adversely affect our animal production capacity.
Currently, the sheep industry is the major contributor of animal production in the Province with 64 percent of animal production and 52 percent of animal products. Sheep numbers have steadily decreased over years due to reasons that include predators, theft, disease outbreaks especially Rift Valley Fever and a sizeable shift to game farming.
Recent statistics indicate that lamb slaughtering has decreased from 600,000 units to 260,000 per quarter and this is cause for concern as it inadvertently has an impact on the price of meat.
Medium Term Report
Honourable Speaker this year marks a mid-term of the fourth democratically elected Government of the Republic of South Africa and this Legislature, the responsibility of leading one of the key priorities of this Government, Rural Development.
In the past three years significant time was spend in developing plans and programs and implementing these to ensure that government achieves its mandate in respect of Rural Development. It is therefore imperative that we provide this august house and the people of our Province with a synopsis on what we have done in pursuit of this mandate and to appraise the work of government.
Rural Development and Land Reform
In the first year of the term of this Department, our focus was on institutionalising the new mandate of rural development in the provincial government and putting in place the policy framework. At the same time, the Department had to champion the piloting of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme in Riemvasmaak. The guiding philosophy in doing all this work, is that comprehensive rural development is about changing the lives of people in rural communities, enabling them to take control of their destiny and enjoy the freedom and dignity promised by our constitution and ensuring that their socio-economic rights as enshrined in the constitution are realised.
Today, we are proud to report that the Northern Cape Rural Development Strategy was adopted and that the Riemvasmaak Pilot site is indeed a success story. Some of the milestones recorded include:
Propelled by the successes and lessons learned in Riemvasmaak, the Executive Council approved the expansion of the CRDP to other communities that include Schmidtsdrift in the Siyanda District, Heuningvlei in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District and Renosterberg in the Pixley Ka Seme District. While preparatory work in some of the new sites is underway important milestones were recorded particularly in Heuningvlei where at least 186 solar energy units and 20 street lights were installed.
- 37 km bulk water pipeline completed;
- 2 Sports facilities upgraded;
- Upgrading of bulk Construction of sewer network for 240 sites and sanitation
- (VIP toilets) upgrade;
- 2 community halls built;
- Upgrading of internal roads between the two communities of Vredesvallei and Sending;
- 2 Early Childhood Development centres built • Stock handling facilities; and
- 35 Learners have been enrolled at the FET College in Upington in various disciplines such as electrical engineering, boiler making, mechanical engineering, fitting and turning and carpentry. Some of these learners will be appointed by companies and municipalities in Siyanda for in-service training.
This intervention made a profound impact on the lives of the rural poor since it was the first time that households could turn on a switch and have lighting in their houses, it is the first time that they can turn on a television set without having to spend hundreds of rands to recharge a battery about a hundred kilometers from their place of residence. This has not only improved the lives of the people in Heuningvlei but also contributes to the creation of safer communities in rural areas.
Honourable Speaker, in relation to Land Reform our focus is on providing post settlement support to land reform beneficiaries and acquiring land for redistribution to the dispossessed and landless, in the main poor black people. Support through training and other interventions was provided to Communal Property Associations to ensure that they advance the interests of land reform beneficiaries effectively. This has not been an easy task precisely because of the contending interests in areas where there are mineral deposits. Unscrupulous and bourgeoisie lumpents with deep pockets contribute to the creation of conflicts among members of the Executive Committees of Communal
Property Associations through promises for money in exchange for support for applications for prospecting permits and mining right applications to the Department of Mineral Resources. These are but just some of the challenges that have led to the inability of most CPAs to properly function in the best interest of their people.
During the 2011/12 financial year 30 claims were settled and five claims for financial compensation were finalized to the value of R36 938 242.00. These were for the communities of Delportshoop, Warrenton, Vioolsdrift, Gatlhose (Lohatlha), Griekwastad, Ga-Segonyane and Phokwane Mixed Location. There are two phased claims for land restitution to the value of R12, 7 million for the Gong-Gong and Wedberg Communities.
Honourable Speaker, the Regional Land Claims Commission in the Northern Cape expects 9 new claims to be settled during the current financial year, to finalise 20 backlog claims and also settle 10 phased claims. This should leave us with a total of 153 outstanding claims in the Northern Cape. We are happy to report that since 1994 561252.35 hectares of land has been approved for land restitution of which 471827 hectares has already been transferred to the claimants.
The total allocation for the Regional Land Claims Commission Northern Cape/Free State is R39 613 000 and R180 686 000 for the capital allocation.
We have made great strides in acquiring land for previously disadvantaged individuals by purchasing land through the Pro-Active Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS). At least 146 new small holder farmers acquired land through PLAS while 177 420 Ha were redistributed. Our government transferred 148 395.3406 ha of land during the 2011/12 financial year in the Northern Cape to the value of R233 946 066. In the John Taolo Gaetsewe District, 23652.7929 ha of land was transferred as one of the District identified among 23 District Municipalities in the country with a value of R72 652 762. We also acquired the Bells Bank properties with 33 007.3445 hectares to the value of R62 059 259 in the Francis Baard District Municipality as part of our land reform program. Our Government has since 1994 acquired over 1, 26 million hectares of land for land redistribution.
The Provincial Department of Rural Development and Land Reform in the Province has undertaken 26 projects under the land reform program where major infrastructure upgrades have been done on farms, livestock purchased for emerging farmers, accredited training provided for emerging farmers and linking these farmers with markets and to also increase food production for food security for all. The Provincial Office has been allocated an amount of R215 065 000 to continue to advance our land reform programme in order to address the injustices created by colonialism and racial subjugation.
Great strides have been made in acquiring land for previously disadvantaged individuals by purchasing land through the Pro-Active Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS). At least 146 new small holder farmers acquired land through PLAS while 177 420 Ha were redistributed.
Agrarian transformation and food security
Honourable Speaker, our strategy on agrarian transformation and food security is based on a number of pillars which include improving access to markets; agri-business development; increased production; rural finance; sustainable resource management; and Integrated Food Security National Programme (IFSNP). In this respect we are able to report the following:
In relation to access to markets at least 821 farmers were provided with marketing information through information sharing sessions while 402 farmers were assisted to access markets, most of whom sold livestock through formal livestock auctions. Over the last year four auctions were organised in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District, two each in Laxey and Glenred where animals worth R1, 142 million were sold.
Vineyard development scheme
Work is currently underway to add 40 000 tons of grapes to meet the shortage in the production of grapes for wine, juice and raisins. To this end, the Northern Cape Vineyard Development Scheme has been formed comprising of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, the National Agricultural Marketing Council( NAMC), Land Bank, Distell, Winetech and OWK. Thus far, a draft six year plan has been drawn to implement this project.
Niewoudtville Rooibos Tea
Honourable Speaker, The Niewoudtville Rooibos Tea processing initiative is centred on development and economic empowerment of the small holder farmers, unlocking economic potential of the area through exploitation and beneficiation of this natural resource and overall improvement of the lives of the people in Nieuwoudtville and the Suid-Bokkeveld area through the creation of sustainable jobs and increasing the skills base. We have been able to complete the installation of the pasteurisation equipment and we have already exported tea to countries such as Germany, Spain and Japan.
Comprehensive Agricultural Support (CASP) and Ilima/Letsema
Honourable Speaker, the Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme and Ilima/Letsema remain critical funding vehicles that enable us to continue supporting our farmers. This support includes provision of production inputs and mechanisation as well as extension advisory services and training to assist farmers to put their land into production in order to increase production. Through this program we have been able to establish 1321 backyard gardens, 10 community food gardens and 12 school gardens. In addition, we allocated 72 tractors and 352 associated implements to emerging farmers as part of our mechanisation program to enable farmers to increase their productivity.
The Department identified a number of projects in the last financial year in response to the clarion call made by the President of the Republic His Excellency Mr. Jacob Zuma to declare 2011 the year of job creation. In this respect, we identified the following projects as locomotives to assist in our endeavor to create jobs:
Through the above initiatives a total of 282 jobs (56 permanent and 226 temporary). Furthermore 459 temporary jobs were created through the Expanded Public Works Programme through the different phases of our infrastructure development; this was made possible by funding from the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Program, ILIMA/Letsema and LandCare.
- The Rooibos Tea processing and packaging facility
- The revitalisation of the Warrenton Superchicken project
- The revitalisation of the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme
- Heuningvlei Bulk Water Infrastructure
- Tshwaraganang Hydroponics Packing Facility
- Blocuso Irrigation Development and the
- Riemvasmaak Irrigation Development
Our outlook for 2012/13 financial year is to invest a further R82 million rand into these projects through the above programs in order to provide infrastructure for primary production, agro-processing and marketing. Production inputs and mechanisation will also be provided to increase agricultural production and we expect, through this initiative, to be able to create 471 job opportunities. In addition to this, we would be funding 15 projects from the CASP and 6 projects from the ILIMA/LETSEMA Program to the value of R39 850 million and R11 520 million respectively. This investment is expected to benefit 1520 in the three categories i.e. subsistence, small holder and black commercial farmers. We anticipate that this initiative will create 1103 job opportunities and R33 110 million of this funding will be utilised in our additional CRDP sites, namely Schmidtsdrift, Phillipstown and Riemvasmaak.
Honourable Speaker, this year, during the routine Avian Influenza surveillance, samples from ostrich farms in three State Veterinary Districts i.e. Siyanda. Pixley Ka Seme and Namakwa yielded positive reactors for Avian Influenza and the farms had to be re-bled for new samples. Further tests through blood samples and tracheal swabs for viral isolation and Polymerise Chain Reaction (PCR) came back negative
'Ask the vet' Radio Programme
We have entered into a partnership with Radio Teemaneng and our Veterinary Services which led to the launch of the ASK THE VET radio show that features Veterinary Practitioners from our Department. This initiative gives listeners the opportunity to phone in and ask animal health related questions as well as educate our people on primary animal health. So far, only listeners in Kimberley and the surrounding areas have benefitted from this initiative which is broadcast every Monday. We plan to expand this service to other districts in the next financial year for the benefit of all districts through the community radio stations.
Budget allocations and outlook 2012/13
Honourable Speaker, during the last financial year, our Department worked extensively to ensure that the planning processes and results respond sufficiently to the mandate as set out in the Medium Term Strategic Framework 2009-2014. The Department has a total budget allocation of R730, 345 million for the 2012/13 financial year. This is an increase of almost 105 percent when compared to the original budget estimate of R357.084 million of the 2011/12 financial year. This significant increase is primarily due to both improved and new conditional grants allocation particularly the Flood Relief Scheme. Funding from conditional grants constitutes 69 percent of the fiscal resource envelope of the department. In the 2012/13 financial year, the department will manage four conditional grants with an allocation amounting to R504.723 million. An important development in this respect is the Flood Assistance Scheme which seeks to repair/replace infrastructure that was destroyed by the floods in 2011. The Northern Cape Province was allocated an amount of R 1,009 billion over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period, of which an amount of R 353 million was allocated for the 2012/13 financial year.
The CASP conditional grant has a total budget of R424.999 million of which R353.948 million is earmarked for the repair of flood damaged infrastructure. The remaining amount of R71, 051 million will be utilised for projects and the implementation of the Extension Recovery Plan (ERP). The first phase of the Flood Relief Scheme entails a baseline study to be conducted in order to determine critical areas in terms of the current flood protection infrastructure, as well as alternative protection infrastructure as a risk reduction strategy. Structural damage suffered in the Eksteenskuil- and Onseepkans irrigation areas will also be addressed as a matter of urgency. We must caution, however, that media statements that have sort to suggest that the Department was slow or unwilling to spend the flood relief allocation are incorrect, mischievous and downright irresponsible as they have sought to portray the Department as unwilling to assist those that have suffered losses after the floods. However, we will also not be coerced into reckless spending of limited public resources just because people continue to run to the media and want to force government hand in doing certain things.
The LandCare Programme Grant has an allocation of R12, 724 million of which R6 million has been set aside for the roll-out of the National Fencing Scheme. An estimated 150km of fences will be constructed in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District in the Joe Morolong Local Municipality to the value of R6 million. Funding for the Ilima/Letsema Projects Grant amounts to R63 million while the EPWP Incentive Grant has an allocation of R4 million. This funding has mainly come about as a result of the exceptional ability with which we have been able to run our EPWP job creation initiatives as a Department and we shall only strive to do better in as far as this scheme is concerned.
Programme 1: Administration
Administration will receive R77, 363 million, which is an increase of 4.6% from the previous year allocation to cover mainly only inflation. Included in this budget is R0, 448 million for ICT to cover the improvement of the Departmental IT infrastructure. Even though the Department is experiencing budgetary constraints, the department through reprioritisation process has been able to increase the allocation for Bursaries from R1, million to R2, 5 million to cater for needy students within the province, 69 bursaries were given to needy learners from outside of the Department and 37 bursaries for officials of the Department. Our newly established Planning Performance Monitory and Evaluation (PPME) Directorate has been capacitated and its work has focused on conducting verification exercises, developing M&E framework for the department and providing support and reporting to all programmes.
Programme 2: Sustainable Resource Management
Honourable Speaker, the main deliverables for the Sustainable Resource Management programme are to provide technical support to the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme as it expands; the implementation of the Flood Relief Scheme; and the Vaalharts Revitalisation Programme which includes the construction of three irrigation reservoirs and the installation of 20 km sub-surface drainage piping. The programme is allocated an amount of R 383, 207 million which includes R353, 948 million for the Flood Relief Scheme. We have also developed a software program that will assist with floods damage assessment reporting.
Programme 3: Farmer Support and Development
The Farmer Support and Development Program provides support to, in the main, smallholder farmers in order to enable them to adopt modern farming techniques and thereby increase their productivity. Accordingly, the Programme has been allocated an amount of R169 082 which includes R63 million for Ilima/Letsema and R71, 051 for Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP). 16 CASP and 12 Ilima/Letsema projects will be implemented throughout the province, focusing on the provision of infrastructure, production inputs, agricultural implements and training of farmers that will lead to optimal production. Comprehensive Rural Development remains a critical focus area for this government with R35, 310 million of the total conditional grant budget allocated for development in the CRDP sites. In the Joe Morolong Local Municipality, the focus will be on the second phase development and revitalisation, as well as the extension of the Heuningvlei Bulk Water Supply Scheme; construction of animal housing facilities to establish a piggery at Philipstown as part of the Renosterberg Municipality initiative as well as further development of Schmidtsdrift in terms of the construction of fences and stock water reticulation development.
Programme 4: Veterinary Services
This Programme will receive R34, 035 million. The key focus areas include the rolling out of Primary Animal Health Care in the province through the deployment of newly graduated veterinarians to render compulsory community services and a sheep scab campaign in the Namakwa district through aggressive farm inspections.
The Department is in the process of addressing the skewed distribution of veterinarians in rural areas through the community service program and to expose newly qualified veterinary practitioners to the challenges facing our province in primary animal health care.
Honourable Speaker, we have also started discussions between our Department, the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Cuban Embassy with a view to getting veterinary practitioners to work in the rural areas of our Province.
Programme 5: Technology Research and Development
An amount of R44.663 million has been allocated for Technology Research and Development of which R9.1 million will be allocated to the Commercialisation of Goats Programme and R1.67 million for the Nguni Initiative. Continuous support will be rendered to the agricultural sector in the Province through research and development on the seven Research Stations of the Department. These research stations house biological assets which are not only of provincial importance but rather of national importance and a key factor in the support to food security in the Province.
Programme 6: Agricultural Economics
The programme will be allocated R8, 956 million, which will be used for providing support for agro-processing, co-operatives development and to disseminate market information and provide financial training to emerging and small holder farmers.
Programme 7: Rural Development
Rural Development will receive R13, 039 million. Included in this allocation is R4 million of the EPWP incentive, which will be used to create 121 full-time equivalent jobs in rural areas, particularly CRDP sites. In terms of the work related to the second phase of rural development in Riemvasmaak, we will commence with the implementation of the Tourism Masterplan this year. The National Development Agency has provided an amount of R2.3 million which will be used for the upgrading of the tourism infrastructure. An additional R3.3 million will be provided by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. The Department of Economic Development and Tourism will pay for the appointment of a tourism expert who will act as a project manager during the upgrading phase.
In addition, we are also commencing with the agricultural development in Riemvasmaak. The Trust will be signing an agreement with Afrifresh to develop 180 ha of export grapes in Vredesvallei.
This is pending a community resolution in support of this initiative. The estimated development costs will be R200 million. Furthermore, discussions are underway with South African Fruit Exporters (SAFE) to develop 100 ha of grapes for the export market.
This agreement between the Trust and SAFE will be signed upon resolution by the community. Honourable Speaker, in conclusion, our government remains committed to resolve the challenges of land and agrarian reform, rural development, transformation of the agricultural sector and other ancillary challenges related to our work. We shall not be deterred nor shall we be discouraged in our quest to work together with our people to create a better life for all.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank
I thank you
- Madame Premier Mme Hazel Jenkins and the Acting Premier Mme Grizelda Gjiekella for their leadership, guidance and wise counsel and take the opportunity to wish the Premier well on her recovery
- Members of the Executive Council for their collegial support
- Chairperson and members of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land
- Reform and Rural Development for their oversight role
- The Leadership of the Tri-partite Alliance in the Province for their political
- Women in Agriculture and Rural Development (WARD) for their commitment to rural development and women empowerment
- Youth in Agriculture and Rural Development (YARD), for championing the interests of young people in agriculture
- Members and the leadership of organised agriculture in the Province both emerging and commercial for their engagements and support
- Mr. Obed Mvula from the Provincial Shared Service Centre of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and staff for their support
- • The Regional Land Claims Commission for the Northern Cape and Free State Region under the leadership of Mme Cindy Damoense and staff for their unwavering support
- The Head of Department, Mr. Viljoen Mothibi , Senior Managers and Staff of the Department for their dedication
- The staff in the Ministry, under the able leadership of the Head of Ministry Comrade Pele Modise for their continued dedication and support
Issued by: Northern Cape Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
25 May 2012
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