SA’s rising black farmers are set to benefit from a multibillion-rand support that businessman Patrice Motsepe needs to set up.
The billionaire, who is the African Rainbow Minerals chair, said at the African Farmers Association of SA (Afasa) agribusiness transformation conference in Bloemfontein at the end of the week that the reserve will concentrate on helping those in agriculture, agribusiness and related businesses.
“We need black farmers to be part of sustainable, commercially viable and profitable enterprises. When we do that we will build a future for all of our people,” he said.
Motsepe described land as a “deeply emotional issue” among South Africans, saying: “You will never be able to take the politics out of the land.”
Afasa president Dr. Vuyo Mahlati couldn’t promptly be reached for comment.
Agribusiness is one of the key segments of SA’s troubled economy. Its commitment to the GDP tumbled from 4.2% in 1996 to 2.4% in 2018, while its worth hopped from R50.5bn to R74.2bn over a similar period.
Agriculture, land reform and rural development minister Thoko Didiza said the government is expected to have a system for youth and women’s advancement in farming.
“In addition, we have a responsibility to revitalise restituted land back to production as well as support farmers settled in agricultural state land and those in our communal areas who have acquitted themselves as farmers even where land scarcity remains a challenge.”
In obvious differentiation to this, the division said a month ago that it would offer the North Gauteng High Court ruling in favour of Limpopo cattle farmer David Rakgase.
The decision constrained the state to sell Rakgase the land he has been renting from the government for about three decades.
Likewise, in his last governing as a Constitutional Court judge in August, equity Edwin Cameron, in a different issue, impacted division authorities, they failed “to practically manage and expedite land reform measures in accordance with constitutional and statutory promises [and this] has profoundly exacerbated the intensity and bitterness of our national debate about land reform”.
In 2018, the rural economy contracted 4.8% year-on-year because of poor summer grains collect because of drier climate conditions.
Recently, FNB agriculture information and marketing head Dawie Maree said joint effort between smallholder farmers will upgrade sustainability and profitability.
Maree said land expropriation without compensation “is one of the key risks” for the industry. “There is very little that farmers can do to mitigate this. We have to work around it. We consider the new policy on land a risk for agriculture but are not overly concerned at this stage. We do expect more clarity around March next year.”
In July, the National Assembly consented to restore a multiparty specially appointed advisory group to present enactment altering area 25 of the constitution, or the property statement. It is relied upon to report back by March 31, 2020.
#AFASA Agribusiness Transformation Conference 2019, 06-09 Oct under theme: Farmers growing SA: creating jobs & trade opportunities. Key note adress by Dr Patrice Motsepe who announced a multi-billion fund to assist black farmers. pic.twitter.com/5Yhhq49mxC
— Fruit South Africa (@FruitSAfrica) October 7, 2019