Black farmers reject land expropriation

Black farmers have acknowledged that more effort and support was desperately needed from the government to increase their participation in the agricultural sector, but said land expropriation without compensation was not the answer

.The farmers as well as academics, business representatives, members of the legal fraternity and other economic and agricultural sector stakeholders were speaking during the three-day National African Farmers Union of South Africa 2019 Land and Agricultural Summit in the city.

The first order of business was for members to deal with the long-standing issue of land reform and how best to move beyond land expropriation without compensation, as well as possible options for South Africa.

Union chairperson and president Motsepe Matlala said that as it stood black farmers struggled to get finance from banks. “Black farmers are battling to succeed because they have to deal with challenges such as lack of fencing and equipment, inadequate and poor conditions of market facilities and transport systems.

“The road transport is the most serious bottleneck facing agriculture development.”

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Matlala said while the government had instigated numerous strategies to support land reform beneficiaries and other black farmers since 1994, they still failed to reach the small-scale farming sector to any meaningful extent.

And even after such a poor performance, Matlala said that at the ANC 2017 conference it was decided that the process of amending Section 25 to make land redistribution possible would be looked into.

But that had to be done ensuring that it would not harm the agricultural sector or the economy, Matlala said.

“We initially supported the move to amend the Constitution and the call for land expropriation without compensation. However, today we would like to change this view because of the possible dangers to this sector.”

“We believe this move will in all probability not only affect white farmers but will also affect some African farmers.”

Furthermore, he called for what he termed “apartheid of water” to be looked into, adding it was concerning that the government only owned 350 of 4000 dams in the country.

Founder and CEO of Farmers of Thought Joshua Maponga said it was time for African solutions to be at the forefront of the future. He said one way was to get rid of white governance systems and rather look to African solutions to African problems.

Pretoria News



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