NEWS

Media release

21 August 2018

Agri SA welcomes the ANC’s commitments on agriculture

Agri SA is encouraged by today’s productive discussion with senior ANC officials regarding agrarian reform and agricultural property. It is highly appreciated that specific policy commitments where made, among others:

  • No land grabs will be allowed.
  • The protection of productive agricultural land will remain a priority.
  • Optimising the use of fallow land in deep rural areas.
  • Property rights will remain a key priority in agrarian development.
  • Government is finalising an audit of state land for transfer to black farmers
  • Initiating production on 4 000 farms currently in government possession to unlock commercial value and create farming opportunities.

Agri SA and Agbiz met with David Mabuza, ANC Deputy President, and Paul Mashatile, ANC Treasurer General. This is in addition to the meeting between President Cyril Ramaphosa and Agri SA President Dan Kriek, to be held in Cape Town today.

“Agriculture is asking for a collaborative framework for growth, similar to what the motor industry has achieved,” said Francois Strydom, Agbiz Chairman. “All the players in agriculture are keen to take this process forward.”

The Inter-Ministerial Task Team on Land Reform was also discussed at the meeting; an invitation was extended to organised agriculture to delegate three representatives.

“This historic meeting sets a foundation for a lasting partnership with the aim to sustainably transform and grow agriculture,” said Omri van Zyl, Agri SA Executive Director. “However, our focus will remain on negotiating for tangible benefits for producers.”

All agreed that those factions who are purposefully polarising society with regards to land question, should be resisted.

“The commitments from the ANC is important, but Agri SA also committed to assist with the roll out of a pragmatic plan to grow the sector and assist black farmers,” said Christo van der Rheede, Agri SA Deputy Executive Director.

Enquiries:

Francois Strydom

Agbiz, Chair

C: 083 274 2862

Omri van Zyl

Agri SA, Executive Director

C: 082 417 5724

Christo van Der Rheede

Agri SA, Deputy Executive Director

C: 083 380 3492

 


Media release

5 September 2018

Agri SA makes its case against EWC

Agri SA delivered its oral presentation this morning to the Constitutional Review Committee at Parliament. In no uncertain terms Agri SA is opposed to any amendment to Section 25 of the Constitution.

The following is a brief summary of the presentation:

  • Changing Section 25 will not bring about the outcomes we all seek in terms of overcoming the legacies of the past. In fact, Section 25 as it currently stands do provide the state with the necessary legislative powers to ensure that land reform takes place in an orderly way and according to prescribed processes. No change is necessary.
  • What needs to be changed is the entire bureaucratic system, the current land reform policies and programmes.
  • Agri SA is appealing to government to have a look at the work done by commercial agriculture to empower new farmers all over the country.
  • Key priorities are to expand ownership and security of tenure to all of our people. Ownership not only empowers people, it restores their dignity and it lays a solid foundation for wealth creation.

Agri SA acknowledges the indignity, humiliation, pain and economic suffering South African’s had to endure due to dispossession, forced removals and racial exclusion. Agri SA is committed to land reform and has been supportive of all the legislative programmes flowing from the current wording of Section 25, and has also participated actively in various processes aimed at land reform, farmer and agricultural development.

Government departments tasked with land reform, agricultural development and providing the necessary support systems are often in conflict with each other. There is little collaboration between provincial and national departments and state institutions such as the Land Bank, Dti and Agri-Colleges. This is a damning indictment on the part of government and politicians who’ve failed to ensure successful land reform by holding those responsible for land reform and related programmes accountable.

“It’s not the Constitution that is failing the people, it is a bureaucratic, inefficient, highly fragmented and unaccountable government system,” said Christo van der Rheede, Agri SA deputy executive director. 

Agri SA remains firmly opposed to any amendment to Section 25 of the Constitution. On behalf of our members, we will fight any material amendment which undermines the protection of property rights and is out of step with international best practice in the highest courts.

Enquiries:

Christo van der Rheede

Agri SA, Deputy Executive Director

C: 083 380 3492

Annelize Crosby

Agri SA, Head of Centre of Excellence: Land

C: 082 388 0017


Trump asks his secretary of state to study land expropriation and ‘farm killings’ in South Africa

Staff Writer23 August 2018


Media release

15 August 2018

Limitation of land ownership is an economic disaster

Agri SA is deeply concerned by the recent comments made by the ANC Chairperson, Gwede Mantashe. Mantashe reportedly suggested that a limitation on land ownership should be implemented on white farmers owning more than 12 000-hectares. He further suggested that these farmers should hand over the remainder of their land to the government without compensation. South African property rights must be protected in full for the economy to grow; a limitation of property sizes will only halt job creation.

“This statement is irrational and not carefully considered,” said Dan Kriek, President of Agri SA. “A one-size-fits-all approach goes against established agriculture principle as commodities and farming practices differ in land use. Different crops or animals require different size farms to be financially feasible. A 12 000-hectare farm in the Karoo would barely be sustainable.”

“Agri SA’s agrarian reform plan is in line with the National Development Plan and will expedite transformation in the sector.”

Broad proposals aimed toward expropriating property without compensation will have a negative impact on food security and increase food inflation. Farmers need property rights to secure production credit, and that uncertainty over these rights will stifle food production.

“A land ceiling will cut property values,” said Omri van Zyl, Executive Director of Agri SA. “When land prices drop significantly, production credit will become prohibitively expensive. Banks will have to write off billions of Rands; agriculture has an estimated R160 billion loan book.”

Land ceilings has been in discussion since 2011 when the Green Paper on Land Reform was published.

“Various experts produced reports on the negative implications of land ceilings,” said Annelize Crosby, Agri SA Head of Centre of Excellence: Land. “It will not alleviate poverty.”

Agri SA will contest any form of undue infringement on property rights for all farmers and South Africans.

Enquiries:

Dan Kriek

Agri SA, President

C: 082 944 0566

 

Omri van Zyl

Agri SA, Executive Director

T: 012 643 3400

S: 082 417 5724

 

Annelize Crosby

Agri SA, Head of Centre of Excellence: Land

C: 082 388 0017


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