Hon Chairperson of the House, hon members, esteemed traditional leaders, ladies and gentlemen, I would like also to acknowledge and welcome the special guests who have honoured us with their presence in the gallery today, emerging farmers, commercial farmers, committee representatives on Comprehensive Rural Development Programme, CRDP, sites, National Rural Youth Service Corps, Narysec, women and youth crafters and members of our reference groups across the country. [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, inspired by the Freedom Charter and the Reconstruction and Development Programme, the 52nd National Conference of the ANC in 2007 decided that rural development and land reform should rank amongst the top five priorities for the country. It recognised that the 1913 Natives Land Act had left lasting scars on rural communities; a painful legacy that, as part of addressing the national question, must be reversed.
Consequently, the post-2009 election administration, led by His Excellency President Zuma, established the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. Weeks later, the new department unveiled its agrarian transformation strategy, supported by the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme, CRDP. I am pleased to report that the CRDP is gaining momentum and effectiveness. It is becoming a way of life and is working. [Applause.]
The CRDP rolls out in three phases, which run both sequentially and simultaneously. Phase one is meeting basic human needs, including food security; phase two focuses on rural enterprise development; and phase three focuses on rural industries supported by localised markets, credit facilities and infrastructure. This is in line with the National Development Plan's, NDP, vision.
The question we ultimately had to answer, after several pilots across the country, was what worked and what didn't. Put differently, what were the success factors, where things worked out and what factors contributed to failure, where things didn't work out.
After four years of hard work and an investment of almost R2,2 billion, all indications are that a winning formula is evolving - in terms of the CRDP.
In Limpopo, we invested in infrastructure, in the form of housing, pack sheds, boreholes and support to co-operatives. In Masia, we are investing in a multipurpose facility, including information and communications technology, ICT, an administration block, cultural and sports facilities in terms of an amphitheatre and library - this is in conjunction with the Department of Arts and Culture - and the upgrading of sports facilities, in conjunction with the Department of Sport.
In Muyexe, we constructed housing and other infrastructure. Recently, 50 youths have been trained in construction and will soon undertake road paving in Gon'on'o, Dingamazi and Thomo villages. Plans for an amphitheatre in Thomo are complete and construction will be undertaken soon. These are all things that look small to us but are things that communities have come forward and said they required in their communities. We respond to them. [Applause.]
In the Eastern Cape, we will soon hand over a 141 m- long bridge over the Mbhashe River, which is dedicated to the world's greatest bridge builder, Nkosi Dalibhunga Mandela. This bridge leads to Nelson Mandela's birthplace, Mvezo. Construction has been completed, together with a 10 km block paved road which links it with the N2. I believe even our great former President himself would be pleased with this. [Applause.] As a direct result of this project, youth in the two villages of Mvezo and Ludondolo have been trained in manufacturing bricks and paving. They will now pave the inter- and intra- village roads, thereby improving roads and communities' access to services such as economic hubs, clinics and schools.
Information and communications technology, ICT, is being rolled out to schools, for example, the Cofimvaba e-Textbook programme, which involves the roll-out of the required information technology, IT, backbone infrastructure to a 26-school education circuit and the provision of a tablet device to every pupil and teacher involved. This is done in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology.
The department has novel systems to address the challenge of water in rural areas. One of these is the water purification plant at Empindweni Village in Mhlontlo Local Municipality in the O R Tambo District, which uses "unfiltration" technology to purify river water. This plant purifies 50 000 litres of water per day. The department has invested R347 million in acquiring 6 000 hectares of land in Cradock for sugar beet production. This is part of the biofuels national demonstration plant soon to be built in the town.
In the Western Cape, we invested in infrastructure in Witzenburg with the building of a walkway that not only improved the aesthetics but also the safety in the area. This project was undertaken by youth from the town.
In Dysselsdorp, we constructed a crche and improved infrastructure, including ICT at schools. The high school in this small village has linked up this technology with Stellenbosch University for teaching. We hope that this will serve to improve the results of the school, thereby making learning easier and fun. Community members have been trained in road maintenance and school garden projects. The old age home has been refurbished using local labour and emergency housing. The use of sandbag technology was also reduced in that small village.
In Gauteng, we constructed solar lighting and high-mast lights for 200 households in Devon, one of the CRDP sites. This contributes to efficiency and community safety. Bulk infrastructure plans are being rolled out in Mamello in support of sustainable human settlements. Schools have been renovated and roads paved in and around the community facilities.
In the Northern Cape, we laid a 37 km water pipeline, which feeds water from the Orange River to the community of Riemvasmaak. This is the first time that the entire community received piped water, making daily access to water possible. [Applause.] Agricultural activities have increased, and production has led not only to a boost in food security for the community but, more importantly, to a much-needed boost to the local economy.
Schools have been renovated, a clinic built and access roads tarred in support of a community once cut off from services. A stadium and sport facilities have been constructed, enabling youth to participate in a range of sporting activities.
In KwaZulu-Natal, conservation agriculture technology has been introduced in Msinga Top with the support of the Agricultural Research Council. Implements like the four-row tipper planter, boom sprayers and other devices have been supplied to 19 co-operatives in 44 villages in that area.
Infrastructure is being rolled out in other Msinga areas with the construction of water reservoirs and the roll-out of electricity to more than 700 households, as well as the upgrading of a water canal for the revival of the Tugela Ferry Irrigation Scheme. Msinga recently hosted the country's first indigenous goat auction, generating an income of more than R500 000 for the community through the sale of 575 goats.
In Sikame, Ward 7 in Vryheid, 904 houses have been built, creating a new sustainable human settlement there - a far cry from the mud houses they once occupied. This was a joint effort between the province and us.
In Uthungulu, 1 550 households are gaining access to sanitation. In short, Ward 5, Ward 6 and Ward 7 in Vryheid have benefited in terms of the installation of VIP toilets, renovation of schools and the construction of houses in the area.
In Mansomini, working with the SA Sugar Association, we facilitated the agricultural production of sugar cane and other crops, thus contributing to growth in the local economy. Mansomini has become one of our flagship CRDP projects. So successful is this enterprise that it has influenced Engen to reopen a filling station which had been closed for a long time. Small traders have reopened shops because of the success of this enterprise in that area. [Applause.]
In the Free State, the first semi-green village has been constructed in Diyatalawa using modern technologies in the form of solar lighting and solar geysers. Sports facilities have been constructed to encourage youth to participate in sport. A dairy parlour, equipped with new milking machines, pasteurisers and milk handling facilities has been constructed. Cattle was purchased to supply the dairy with milk and an off-take agreement concluded with Nestl.
The community also planted and recently harvested their first crop of wheat, which generated substantial income to both the community and households. The community has now leased 400 of their 2 000 hectares of land at a rate of R400 per hectare per annum. This is a novel enterprise development initiative. The provincial government has also built boarding facilities for the local school.
Sixty-eight farms in the Free State have been recapitalised and are flourishing, serving as flagship projects in this regard. Some are already moving into the red meat value chain. The Mokhachane family is going to open its own butchery in Virginia soon ... [Applause.] ... thanks to the successful contract that they have with Boer Feeds in the Free State where they sell tripe.
In the North West province, schools have been upgraded, solar and high-mast lighting erected, and bulk water infrastructure construction is being planned. There is a very successful recap project there in Dabulamanzi, on the boundary of the North West province and the Free State province. This is a wonderful project - which is actually a flagship - employing 300 persons and is about to enter the agricultural value chain process.
In Mpumalanga, an early childhood development centre and housing were constructed and solar lighting, water and sanitation infrastructure installed. Low-water bridges and roads are being constructed in Mayflower and Donkerhoek, facilitating better access to facilities by communities.
In Donkerhoek, a new school with boarding facilities has been built and housing renovated. These are projects undertaken jointly with the province. This is a further demonstration that working together, everything is possible.
I just want to quickly jump to what we are going to invest in this year, because it is a very important aspect of what we request the House to support.
In order for Rural Development to increase food production in the country, the department will invest approximately R240 million to revitalise irrigation schemes on 5 000 hectares of land in Vaalharts and Taung. Five schemes in uMkhanyakude, Uthungulu, Mzinyathi and Zululand districts in KwaZulu-Natal; and three schemes in the Eastern Cape, including the Keiskamma and Ncora irrigation schemes, will be enhanced. [Applause.]
The department will also invest approximately R220 million to improve animal and veld management across the country, including the areas of Mzimbugwe, where the big dam will be built by the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs. [Applause.] This initiative will also contribute to improved environmental management.
Approximately R70 million will be invested in roads and bridges across the country, including bridges in Pniel and Wupperthal in the Western Cape, as well as a bridge and road in Diyatalawa, in the Free State.
In the agricultural value chain, investments of R60 million in poultry, R32 million in dairy, R100 million in the fruit and vegetable industry, and R300 million in grains will be made.
With regard to land reform, R2,7 billion will be invested, this in recapitalising 552 farms and acquiring 170 000 hectares of land. The commission will invest approximately R3 billion in settling 438 claims across the country.
With regard to spatial planning and land use management, this House recently passed the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Bill. An amount of R31 million will be invested in preparation for the implementation of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Bill once enacted. An amount of R68 million will be invested in the formulation of spatial plans in municipalities, which will focus on rural and poor municipalities, as well as the drafting of the national spatial framework, which is a requirement of the NDP, and R25,2 million in formulating the integrated information systems, which informs our planning decision making.
In terms of e-Cadastre, an amount of R448 million will be invested in the development of the e-Cadastre system, which will enable a holistic view of land ownership and also answer the question of who owns South Africa.
Much of the work of the department aims to reverse the negative legacy of colonialism and apartheid. There is, I believe, national consensus that the country must move on in order to promote real growth and anchor that growth in sustainability. This is why I am confident that the next phases of our programme will receive widespread backing.
There were numerous disastrous socioeconomic consequences of the Natives Land Act of 1913, not least the destruction of a fledgeling class of African farmers, the destruction of the environment and the deliberate impoverishment of black people in South Africa. This is the legacy we must reverse.
The President, during his state of the nation address, announced the reopening of the lodgement of land claims for those who did not claim during the first window of opportunity. [Applause.] There are two aspects to this announcement, the first being the reopening of the lodgement process itself; and the second, the creation of exceptions to the cut-off date for claims relating to the Natives Land Act of 1913, specifically for heritage sites, historic landmarks and opportunities for the Khoi and San and their descendants to claim.
In terms of the 1998 cut-off date, I am pleased to announce that Cabinet has approved the Restitution Amendment Bill for public comment. [Applause.] The Gazette is available at all our offices and on the website. As for the 1913 cut-off date for the descendants of the Khoi and San, and the heritage sites and historic landmarks, we have instituted consultative workshops and work is underway to codify these exceptions.
Ladies and gentlemen, during this latest lodgement opportunity people will be assisted with a Citizens' Manual for Land Claims. This will be available in all official languages, including languages spoken by the Khoi and San. [Applause.]
We are resolved to compiling an accurate oral history during this period. Too often in the past our histories have been recorded by the oppressor or uninvolved quests and witnesses. Now we intend to collect information directly from those descended of people who experienced first-hand the effects of the Natives Land Act of 1913. Narysec will play an active role in this regard.
There is a tendency amongst casual observers to express impatience at the rate of progress on rural development and land reform. Be patient. Three- hundred-and-sixty years of injustice cannot be put to rights completely in a mere 19 years of democracy. [Applause.] The damage is too deep. But we are going in the right direction and doing things correctly. It is a work in progress and it is working.
We witness daily the development of infrastructure to reach and help the people in need. We are working hand in hand with more and more communities to enable them to take maximum advantage of that infrastructure and use it as an agent for changing their own lives and futures. We have a plan in place and it is a plan that is working. To achieve our goals, we have the co-operation of other departments, business and civil society at all levels. They are working with us. So, too, are the President and the Deputy President, and I thank them for that.
Next month, on 19 June, it will be precisely 100 years since the introduction of the Act which, more than any other, undermined the progress of this nation: the Natives Land Act of 1913. We intend to call, on that day, for a widening and determined national effort to put that Act and its implications behind us, to spread out our hands and grasp one another in a common bond by which we promise to move forward in harmony and unity, and pledge that never again will this country's good name be soiled by such ruinous legislation. On that day, on 19 June, I urge the members of this House and the citizens of this country also to make that pledge.
On 20 and 21 June, we are exhibiting a walking tour of a special reflective monument which has been mounted with co-operation from several sister departments, nongovernmental organisations and personalities, which traces the history of our country and its people and pays homage to those who suffered in order to give us what we now enjoy.
We humbly invite the hon members of this House, including Ministers and Deputy Ministers, as well as political parties represented in this House, to this exhibition, which will be held on 20 and 21 June at the International Convention Centre. You may wish to sign the pledge on that day.
Vision 2030, as set out in the National Development Plan, is the objective that will close the gap between the urban and rural segment of the economy. In pursuit of this vision, the following will be done, namely improved land administration; improved sustainable agrarian reform; increased access to quality infrastructure; sustainable rural enterprises; increased employment opportunities; increased employment rate in rural areas; and improved integration and co-ordination as a result of implementation of synchronised rural development strategies. These are fully in line with the CRDP.
I hereby table this budget policy speech for consideration by this House. I thank you! [Applause.]
My apology, hon Chair! This is Nelson Mandela Bridge, and I wish to hand it over to you on behalf of the President of the Republic. It is a beautiful bridge, 141 m long. There is a 10-kilometre-long road from the N2. This road has been built by young people. It is not tarred, but paved. They manufactured the paving, built the road and linked the bridge. It runs for 10 km, through Lidondolo to Mvezo. This is a model. This is what we are going to do in every village. We are going to use young people and local labour to pave the road, not tar it. This is for you. Thank you very much, hon Chair. [Applause.]