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"Employment opportunities in agriculture will dramatically decrease over the next decade due to the abnormal outflow of labour that can be attributed to the extreme economic pressure on the agricultural industry, the new unprecedented technological development deriving from the fourth industrial revolution in the world and the expropriation of land without compensation," says Fanie Brink, an independent agricultural economist.

Brink responded to Agri SA's statement that agriculture has "an enormous potential to create jobs provided the government will support the industry" and because "Africa's doors are open to South African agricultural products."

The current generally accepted job creation capacity of agriculture is as ridiculous as the claim by the National Development Plan (NDP) that it can create 1 million jobs. The findings and recommendations of the NDP are undoubtedly one of the most important reasons why the ANC's policy will completely destroy the economy and the country because it was founded on purely socialist and communist doctrines that were totally rejected worldwide years ago.

"The recommendations of the NDP are in fact still as irrelevant and unimplementable as when it was written because it was all based on an economic growth target of 4,5% which was exclusively sucked out by the thumbs by commissioners who wrote the Plan. Since it was written, the growth rate in the country was barely 1% and the chance that the economy will grow again is extremely slim."

The NDP also made a prerequisite for job creation that was plugged out of thin air that the outflow of labour from agriculture will decrease without taken into account the development of new technologies such as advanced computers, sensors and robots that are already changing the industry very quickly as well as the considerable reduction in labour that will flow from the detrimental and unwanted effects of land expropriation without compensation.

"There is no possibility that the new owners of the farmland which will be expropriated will be able to maintain such many job opportunities for farm workers and their families as the white commercial farmers do with the further free food and housing, medical and transport benefits, as well as education and training."

Brink said that if the commissioners of the NDP were so clever they would have known that the ANC's ideology to redistributes all the assets, potential economic growth and wealth of the country would destroy the economy altogether rather than sucking their recommendations from their thumbs or plugged out of thin air!

According to Brink, agriculture's primary objective is not to create jobs, but to produce more food through greater efficiency, profitability and sustainability with less basic resources and production factors such as land, capital, labour and management to secure the financial survival of farmers, food security for the country and agriculture's contribution to economic growth.

There are, therefore, no grounds for the president of the country to base his claims on that the agriculture can create as many jobs as claimed by the NDP.

Almost all political and agricultural leaders have expressed their views many times at every meeting in the past that the "doors of Africa are open" to export agriculture products, but since then it has produced very few benefits for the South African agricultural industry. Even the World Food Organisation of the United Nations and the major international donors who supply the African countries with staple food do not buy any agricultural products from South Africa, but rather from their own countries.

On average, Africa import about R50 billions of food per year, financed by international donors, of which almost nothing is imported from South Africa.

For example, South Africa only supplies about 600 thousand tons of maize per year of the total consumption of 10,5 million tons of locally produced maize as the main staple food to its immediate neighbouring countries, namely Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. All surplus maize produced in South Africa is exported to overseas markets.

"However, there must be no doubt that the ANC government has since 1994 never financially supported the commercial agriculture which produces 95% of the country's food, and has only called commercial white farmers capitalists and racists and therefore always tried its best to exclude them from drawing any support from the state, even during the worst drought that the country experienced in its history two years ago. Therefore, Agri SA should rather try to keep as many commercial farmers in production on their farms to reduce an unprecedented exodus of thousands of farmworkers and their families out of the industry and without forcing thousands of small black subsistence farmers and their families into severe poverty," Brink said.


31 October 2018
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