OVERSIGHT AND INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT: (Mnu A J
Sihlalo waleNdlu, Sekela Sihlalo Wemkhandlu Wavelonkhe Wetifundza, soSwebhu Wemkhandlu Wavelonkhe Wetifundza, Mphatsiswa kanye neliSekela lelitiko, malunga lahloniphekile, nine bekunene, ngiyanibingelela kulentsambama yalamuhla,
James Baldwin said "we can disagree and still love each other unless our disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist."
Hon Chairperson, the last time I was at this podium last week I invited hon Smith that he must visit the preamble of the Constitution which says:
"We the people of South Africa recognises the injustices of the past, honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land." And have someone who is an hon member to assist you to interpret that and you won't have this problem that you are displaying today.
The Department of Land Reform and Rural Development Budget Vote 39, and Budget Vote 24 of Agriculture, forestry and fisheries - let me indicate upfront that we support it. We are supporting it because we ANC or it is fashionable. To those that do not have ovation of the theory of creation, the furniture that you see in this Council and in your house and the food that you eat is because of the importance of what we are dealing with today. If you are opposing that it means you don't understand the theory of creation.
The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development is tasked among other priority mandates to address inequalities, associated with apartheid spatial development patterns. Apartheid spatial development patterns made possible the subjugation of our black majority into poverty and created townships that were meant to serve as labour majority and as reserve to the apartheid economy.
The apartheid economy, a continuation of imperialism did not see fit include the majority of our black people and literally pushed them to the peripheries of the main economic activity.
In dealing with the historical injustices of the past, it will require massive resources investment in the poorest of our poor villages and townships that you want to teach us about today.
The ANC Policy on Land Reform is very progressive and is informed by the Freedom Charter adopted in 1955. It is important to note that since the adoption of the Charter in 1955, the ANC has never promoted populist stance on land. The Minister and Deputy Minister have commendably outlined the mandate of the department and we acknowledge the progress made and the journey ahead of us.
We would like to emphasize that the security and safety of all South Africans is our national priority and our 2019 election manifesto spoke about building safer communities. We reject with the contempt it deserve the insinuation that the ANC-led government promotes the killing of our farmers and call upon all those making such scandalous claims to desist from making such statements. The safety of our farmers is our collective responsibility. We understand the negative impact that crime has on our agricultural production and we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement agencies to ensure that we improve on the safety of our farming communities.
Let us all partner with government in bringing general safety to our communities and let us stop spreading malicious lies that these are political killings and therefore linked with our land reform programme.
We confidently stand here today to express our conviction that the ANC-led government has a progressive and reconciliatory land reform programme. The wellbeing of our farm workers and farm dwellers is very dear to us. When carrying out this function special emphasis should be put on the vulnerability of women, youth including people living with disabilities in those farming communities.
Criminal activities on our farmers has driven most of our small holder farmers out of the agricultural business. One farmer in eMjindini, in Ehlanzeni District in Mpumalanga lost almost 90% of his livestock to illegal miners known as the Zama Zamas. This small emerging farmer was left distraught. Farmers lost their crop through theft and other illegal activities. This is totally unacceptable and we are confident that the relevant institutions are doing their best to combat the unwanted activity. Economic and social safety of all our farmers is paramount and without these we cannot realise the desired agricultural productivity and growth.
Hon Minister and Deputy Minister, local economic development in our local municipalities is very important. It is important the progress made in our municipalities in availing municipal commonage to our small farmers. In many of our municipalities land is made available
to aspiring farmers and this is important not only in encouraging sustenance farming, but also the emergence of small holder farmers.
We welcome the collaboration between department district offices with their respective localities. We need this pulling together of resources to take route in more of our local municipalities to realise our progressive Land Reform Programme. Linked to this is the release of the state-owned land in order to radically fast-track our Land Reform Programme as indicated by His Excellency President Ramaphosa during the state of the nation, Sona, debate.
According to the land audit of 2013, the majority of Africans largely occupies 13% of land and this 13% is constituted by former Bantustan the former Ciskei, Gazankulu, KwaNgwane, Lebowa, kwaNdebele, Qwa-Qwa and Transkei. You will take note that our government made considerable progress in this former Bantustans and slow progress in other areas that were exclusively under the apartheid government. What is the cause of this delay?
However, we want reiterate the call made by the President that state-owned land must be released and we call upon all municipalities in the provinces to heed the call that says "Khawuleza." [Hurry up!]
We further call on our people not to occupy our land illegally. We hope that political parties represented here today and those outside of this House will help our government deal with land grabs. Please tell your members to stop land grabs. This call is not only limited to political parties but to civil formations.
We, as the ANC understand the frustrations of our people and we will not seek to exploit this by making populist statements. It is important to maintain peace of our beloved country South Africa. It is the intension of the ANC-led government that our people must have access to land for housing, for clinics, for schools, for their small businesses, recreational facilities and other utilities. In order to achieve these, the department branch of geospatial must be adequately capacitated.
We welcome the increase in funding from R497 million to
R512,8 million for this programme of the department whose mandate includes cadastral surveys, deeds registration and spatial planning information that is very important for our provinces and our municipalities. We must indicate that this funding is not sufficient given the enormity of the task given to branches concerns. However, we welcome this budget given our fiscal consolidation.
Chairperson, it is not the intention of the ANC to make any race group landless. It is not right and it can never be right and that would be tantamount to the violation of the most basic of our cherished human rights. The DA will help us recall how it was a policy of apartheid government to make many of our people landless. This monstrous policy has impoverished many of our people and the whips of that unjust administration still linger on our people's minds. The DA must not attempt to replicate the fallen state with gentrification policies in the Western Cape.
We are not vengeful as the ANC and we will never embrace any form of bitterness and we call upon our counterparts to stop running wild in foreign lands and causing unnecessary panic. We did not come this far from 1912 only to display some form of hatred or bitterness against other human beings.
We are always mindful as the ANC of the international support and solidarity that we have received during our most trying times. We want a South Africa that is equal, just and at peace with itself and the entire world community. Land redistribution will remain a condition that will make such a reality. So it is not right that 82 million hectares of land is in the hands of you, white minority.
A Nigeria Chief once said:
"I conceive that land belongs to a vast family of which many are dead, few are living, and countless members are yet unborn."
I am reminded that anything that you say here hon Cloete and hon Smit - Plato once summarised simple for us when he said:
"Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something."
Allow me to conclude, but before I do so - anything that you say here not an effective and efficient at all time you must know that it is very reactionary.
In conclusion, Martin Luther King Junior said:
"Returning hate for hate multiples hate adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate only love can do that."
That is why our African revolutionary Thomas Sankara when he talks about love he says:
With love and inspiration for our revolution invariates revolutionaries out to remain immaculate."
Hon Chairperson, as the ANC we support this budget because it is taking the country forward. I thank you.
The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT:
Thank you very much House Chairperson, and thank you to the colleagues for responding to the debate and the proposals that were made. I am not going to mention one by one what members have said; I am appreciating all of your contributions. I thought it was necessary as hon Cloete apologised that when I respond he won't be here, that indeed history is important. It enables us to know where we come from in order to understand where we have to go.
It may be good, as the hon member of the EFF took us a bit on the various legislative mechanisms that were put in place deliberately to actually redefine South Africa. I just wanted to say in addition to those that there was the Group Areas Act of 1950; there were the Koornhof Bills which actually decided to create the Bantustan and self-governing territories as we knew it. There was also the Beaumont Commission in 1916 that decided where blacks and whites should stay in South Africa. I think it is necessary for us to
remind ourselves of this history, so that we can know how to move forward and become an inclusive society.
Hon Smit, you talked about tribal lands - the 13% of the reserves, because the African majority were driven away from the fertile land where they were actually farming as successful farmers. If you read the Beaumont Commission of 1916, it actually affirms that even after the 1913 Land Act, black farmers bought land from some white farmers who were willing to sell and they remained very successful.
For me it is important today that before we can determine what should happen in those areas with regard to what legislation, what tenure system we must find, let's engage with those communities and listen to understand what they want. In this instance, I want to actually applaud Wiphold Trust led by Gloria Tomato Serobe and Louisa Mojela for taking their investments as cooperate citizens and go and work with the people of Centane and Mbhashe in the Eastern Cape; investing their resources in developing those areas agriculturally.
There are farmers in Limpopo who were given land by their chiefs in Xitlakati, who are farming and exporting citrus in communal areas. What these show us is that people know and are able to do what they
can, albeit the circumstances in which they are in. What is important for me as we engage in this conversation is that if we want to build a united prosperous South Africa, we need to do so, with honesty, appreciating the pain and be able to heal those wounds of the past. We appreciate the share ownership schemes - yes, it is important, but let's us also appreciate that, the system has been abused by some farmers who actually robbed the workers who were given shares and not give them.
Here in the Western Cape, we have examples of those, even the latest share equity scheme of the 50/50 policy that came up with the hon Nkwinti. There have been some farmers who sold the dead duck to our people and we can't allow that. We have a collective responsibility, all of us as members here. I want to say that the amendment of the Constitution has gone through a process where we listened to the constraints that our people present.
It is important to say that our people don't see land expropriation without compensation as the panacea to solve the land problem in our country, but they see it as just but one instrument to assist us to deal with some of these problems. The state is saying that we are willing to release the land that is owned by the state to our people. I want to say that that work has begun - we actually know
where those lands are, what is it for agriculture, what is for human settlement and in due course we will be announcing where those land are. [Time expired.]
As I close, I also want to indicate that as we go forward, it might be necessary that beyond this debate, we should have an engagement with the select committee so that we can see what are the best solutions to the problems of agriculture in South Africa. How do we ensure that we inclusively share the experience - as we have heard from the MECs - on best models that are working, but also acknowledging where there are problems? Issues of integrity and ethical conduct are not only the issues that we must address administrators, it is equally for our partners in the sector who have acted unethically at times. Thank you very much. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The Council adjourned at 19:48 -----------------------