Modern, Growing, Successful Province

2019 AGRIC Budget Speech

Madame Speaker and Deputy Speaker
Honourable Premier, Dr Zamani Saul
Members of the Executive Council
Honourable Members of the Legislature
Leaders of Local Government
Traditional Leaders
Agricultural sector Partners present;
Veterans of our struggle organized under the ANC Veterans League;
Former members of our Glorious Army Umkhonto we Sizwe organized under (MKMVA);
Distinguished Guests and People of the Northern Cape;
Members of the Media
Comrades and Friends

Honourable Speaker, we opening this budget policy statement with a quote from the Psalmist, titled; Praise to God for His Everlasting Mercy.

As a devoted Christian, indeed today it is special day in my life,  a coincidence which is too big to ignore, because I will be presenting my two maiden budget votes for both the Departments of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and for Environment and Nature Conservation and it is my Birthday.

Indeed, this morning, the Mercy of God has been declared upon me by the Psalmist in the Holy Bible when he said: (I quote)

“The stone which the builders rejected, has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; It is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Close quote)

Let me take this opportunity and thank everyone, who took their time to send me Birthday messages, ke ya leboga Bagaetsho, Modimo a le tlhonolofatse.

I will also like to take this opportunity and thank the ruling-party, African National Congress, for having afforded me the opportunity to lead this two merged departments. It is indeed a great honour.

Madam Speaker, since I assumed office, I had the opportunity to criss-cross the Province, meeting our staff members with the key objective of interfacing with them from the two components that constitute the one merged department.

I also had an opportunity to meet with our stakeholders such as the National African Farmers Union (NAFU) and African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA). In my interaction with farmers unions, the Land Issue has kept on coming up.

Honourable Members, the National Assembly resolved to allow for expropriation of land without compensation to give meaningful effect to land reform.

The 2019 Expropriation Bill has been gazetted and the President has encouraged Parliament to fast track the process which will see the bill been signed in to law, upon approval.
The bill is so far the clearest articulation of just how "expropriation without compensation" will work. Once signed into law, it will provide the legal basis for the application of any amendment to section 25 of the constitution, that is the property clause.  

As it stands, the property clause reflects a delicate balance between protecting property rights from state interference, and ensuring equitable access to South Africa’s natural resources.

But the slow pace of land reform has led many to argue that the state has failed to achieve this balance, and that the property clause remains skewed towards property rights over equity.

The willing buyer, willing seller approach that the Government has pursued until recently is also thought to have made land reform unaffordable, forcing a rethink and reorientation.

It is in this context that the bill came into being — as the key legislative tool to correct historically racially twisted land-holding patterns and expedite the land reform process.

The 2019 bill is central to how the land reform process will unfold in our Country, given that it will provide the legal basis for a revised constitutional property clause.

At the moment, Parliament has two important tasks:

  1. finalising the constitutional amendments to Section 25 to clearly indicate how to expropriate land without compensation will be put into effect and
  2. Passing the Expropriation Bill, which deals with the modalities and the circumstances in which expropriation will take place.

As President Cyril Ramaphosa has indicated during his reply in the State of the Nation Address debate that: (I quote)

"Expropriation is as an important land acquisition strategy. It is important because it enables us to conduct land reform in a pro-active and planned manner. This frees us from a wait-and-see approach dependent on market sales. Expropriation without compensation, in defined circumstances, allows us to do so at a cost that is reasonable for the South Africa people.”

Madam Speaker, Indeed, our land reform and transformation agenda include recognising individual, family and community rights to land in accordance with lived experience.

The Provincial Government is determined that land should be distributed to those who work and those who need it as it is espoused by the Freedom Charter, which was adopted 64 years ago. During the State of the Province Address the Honourable Premier, Dr Zamani Saul indicated: (I quote)

“Supported by national government, we plan to acquire fifteen thousand seven hundred and sixty hectares of land for 2019/20 with an allocated budget of eighty-three comma five million rand to accelerate land redistribution in the Province, prioritising smallholder farmers, farm-dwellers and labour tenants, military veterans, Agricultural Graduates and the Youth in the Province.” (Close Quote)

Madam Speaker, the Honourable Premier Dr Zamani Saul has clearly defined a provincial vision which seeks to see a Modern, Growing and Successful Province. This therefore directs that as a Department, the Member of the Executive Council must provide the nuts and bolts for such a vision to be realised. We will do so cognisant of the various limitations facing us as a province such as the driest spell we are currently experiencing, the contraction in the agricultural economy, pests and diseases that have economic implications.

THE AGRICULTURAL ECONOMIC SITUATION

The latest GDP figures released by STATS SA indicate that the contribution from the agricultural sector on a national basis decreased considerably to R71.2 billion rand in the first quarter of 2019 compared to R73.8 billion in the last quarter of 2018, a decrease of 3.5% from the previous quarter.  If the contribution of the agricultural sector is measured against the first quarter of 2018, the contribution is significantly lower compared to the R80.4 billion, a decrease of 11.5%.  This indicates the tough conditions the agricultural sector is facing on the economic front.

The Labour Force Survey has confirmed that the agricultural sector in our province is a critical sector for employment. 

The impact of the drought is reflected in the employment figures, indicating a decrease in the contribution of the agricultural sector employment when compared to the total employment of the Province and against total employment of the agricultural sector on a national basis.

Madam Speaker the Northern Cape Province as a whole is experiencing one of the driest years in human memory. While the drought in the eastern part of the Province is seasonal in nature, the drought in the western and southern parts of the Province has reached disaster levels with a large portion of farms being in the process of total shut down.  Animal numbers in the Hantam and Namakwa areas as well as the Southern part of Pixley Ka Seme district have been reduced to under 50% and as low as 25% of its long term stocking density. Currently almost 10 000 farms with a carrying capacity of 166 000 large stock units, covering more than 5.8 million hectares have experienced prolonged drought.

As the Hon Premier indicated in the State of the Province address, this drought and limited water for livestock, has implications for the growth of the livestock sector and our premium brands such as the Karoo Lamb and the production of mohair and wool.

It is therefore non-negotiable that the key focus of the newly configured department will promote climate smart solutions in the sector. These solutions also mean forming partnerships with relevant institutions. The department has extended its research agreement with the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) until 2021. Paramount to this agreement is the cooperative research in sustainable (climate-smart) livestock production.

Climate change is real, and the evidence of that can be seen in the distribution of pests and diseases affecting our vineyards and pecan nuts.

The Department, working with other institutions, will continue to monitor the presence and spread of the Oriental Fruit Fly in the Lower Orange so that appropriate phytosanitary measures can be implemented.

The Department is also currently assisting the South African Pecan Nut Producers’ Association (SAPPA) and the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria with the application of remote sensing technologies to map infested trees and orchards, to do spatial-temporal modelling of spread of the beetle, Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB), in the Jan Kempdorp area, as well as monitoring tree health. We can further report that, as a department, we have acquired a second agricultural drone to assist the scientists in mapping affected areas.

Madam Speaker, these are but a few examples of how the department intends to remove or manage barriers to growth in order to achieve the provincial vision.  Working with other institutions such as the National and Provincial Disaster Management Centres, we have completed the process to have the province of the Northern Cape declared a State of Provincial Drought Disaster and part of the discussions, is a coordinated strategy to deal with the Prosopis tree infestation that uses a lot of underground water,
affecting the rapid recharging of various boreholes and denying livestock the much-needed water for survival.  We will explore modern mechanical ways of dealing with these invader species under the LandCare programme without affecting the employment opportunities in this sector.

Water in the Northern Cape agriculture is everything.

It is what gives hope to a livestock farmer and what fuels industrialization of crop production along the Orange and the Vaal rivers.  Our approach to water and water rights needs a high-level focus and a formalised relationship with the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation.  This means creating a forum that regularly meets to review water allocations, support authorities that police the use of water and ensure development of fallow lands allocated water within the prescribed 5-year window.

Madam Speaker, and Honourable Members, crop and horticultural production in the Province is minimally affected by the drought due to the consistent access to irrigation water from the Vaal, Orange, Riet and Harts Rivers.  During the past season the Northern Cape Province contributed approximately 10% to the national maize and wheat production of South Africa at 680 000 tons of maize and 300 000 tons of wheat.  Cotton production was 11 000 tons and groundnuts 14 000 tons.  Table grape production was 19.1 million cartons, wine grape production approximately 124 000 tons and raisin production 65 000 tons.  There is a significant shift towards pecan nut production and a reduction in olive production in the Province.

The Department has identified 5 mega-investment projects which are at different stages of implementation.  One of these projects, which is where the current focus is, the Namakwa Irrigation Development, has been submitted to the sister Department of Economic Development and Tourism for inclusion in the Provincial Investment Book.

The documentation for the 4 remaining projects is being finalised and will be submitted before the end of this year for inclusion in the revised Investment Book. Madam Speaker, these projects are massive and require multiple players in order to secure the appropriate funding and support, it is therefore prudent to do it right and have bankable business cases.

The Department is in collaboration with IDC and Raisin SA to compile proper and appropriate documentation so that any investor will have no doubt about the attractiveness of our projects.

Budget Allocation for 2019/2020 Financial Year

The 2019/20 budget was prepared within a very tight fiscal framework. It was contextualised on the back of a technical recession, rising unemployment and competing pressures and demands from the social sector.  For the 2019/20 financial year, the department has been allocated an amount of R538,9 million of which R194,2 million is sourced from four conditional grants.

The budget allocations of the department do however grow consistently over the MTEF period at around 6 percent per annum.

Madam Speaker and Honourable Members, the allocations for the different programmes in the Department are as follows:

PROGRAMME 1:  ADMINISTRATION

The Programme has been allocated an amount of R126,8 million for the 2019/20 financial year. This is an increase of 5 percent when compared to the previous financial year.

Regrettably during the last 2 years the Department received qualified audit opinions, subsequent to 2 years of unqualified audit reports. Although a negative reflection, the Department remains committed to ensure improvement of the audit outcome in future. Steps to ensuring prudent financial management of scarce and valuable resources remain to be priority within the Department.

Steps to address the audit qualification of the past 2 years includes the enhancement of the asset register with more detail to facilitate future audits on infrastructure capital expenditure. Although constraints on budget allocations over the MTEF period remains to be in effect over the past few years, this Department successfully avoided  any unauthorised expenditure since 2011/2012.

Significant strides have been made in reducing irregular expenditure. No instances of irregular expenditure that are indicative of fraud or negligence have been identified and the message is clearly communicated that consequences are to follow any official attempting to circumvent SCM processes.  Preventative rather than detective measures has become the order of the day, through a zero tolerance for any form of deliberate avoidance of normal supply chain management processes, without compromising service delivery. Cases of fruitless expenditure although quantitatively low, are not considered immaterial.

All cases are investigated and remedial measures taken to prevent any form of recurrence of fruitless expenditure.

Spending patterns on conditional grants is monitored closely to avoid significant underspending. The senior management echelon has been capacitated by the appointment of 6 senior managers to ensure the successful implementation of Annual Performance Indicators in achieving the electoral mandate and vision of the Premier. The merger of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development with Department of Environment and Nature Conservation is at an advanced stage. Regular meetings are being held to ensure smooth transition into a merged Department. These meetings serve to monitor the timely implementation of the action plan as prescribed.

PROGRAMME 2:  SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
The Programme has been allocated an amount of R35,5 million for the 2019/2020 financial year. 

The allocation includes an amount of R8,1 million for the LandCare Conditional Grant.  The grant promotes sustainable use and management of natural resources through community-based initiatives. 

The programme will focus on the following key deliverables:

  • Infrastructure development for the Namakwa and other irrigation development programme; stock water supply and construction of fencing for sustainable veld management.
  • Finalize the development of Disaster Contingency plans for Floods.
  • Continue with the implementation of the Vaalharts Revitalization Programme focusing on the construction of overnight reservoirs and the installation of sub-surface drainage to rehabilitate the salinization of irrigated land.  Furthermore, the sub-surface drainage systems will be installed for the revitalization of Ganspan.
  • Focus will be on the installation of sub-surface drainage systems for the revitalization of Ganspan.
  • Implement 3 LandCare projects to rehabilitate 3 000 hectares of agricultural land and create 100 green job opportunities.

PROGRAMME 3:  FARMER SUPPORT AND DEVELOPMENT

Honourable Speaker, the Programme has been allocated a total budget of R234,4 million in 2019/20 financial year.  This allocation includes an amount of R119,4 million for the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) and R64,1 million for the ilima/Letsema Grants.  An amount of R28,9 million for the Extension Recovery Plan (ERP) is included in the CASP allocation.

The implementation and use of the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme and ilima/ Letsema respond to post settlement support to smallholder farmers for increased production, support food security initiatives, create jobs and transform the agricultural sector.

The CASP allocation will be used mainly for on and off farm infrastructure such as the provision of water for livestock, livestock handling facilities and fencing. 

The allocations under this Programme are as follows:  R16,5 million for John Taolo Gaetsewe; R6,7 million for Frances Baard; R10,5 million for Pixley Ka Seme; R13 million for ZF Mgcawu and R12 million for Namakwa.  R7 million will be used for the provision of production inputs, a storage facility and mechanization to Rooibos farmers in Nieuwoudtville.

The ilima/Letsema grant will be used to support 14 projects.  These include the Vaalharts Revitalization Programme which has been allocated an amount of R15 million; Namakwa Irrigation Development Programme (Onseepkans Irrigation Development, Pella and Coboop) has been allocated R16 million; mechanization and input support for the Vineyard Development in the ZF Mgcawu R13,5 million and the Fetsa Tlala Food Production Programme is allocated R15,8 million. The aim of the Fetsa Tlala Food Production programme is to put 1million hectares of fallow land under production nationally. This financial year, for the winter planting season, a total of 487 hectares were planted to wheat in Frances Baard with 277 hectares,

Pixley Ka Seme with 87 hectares and 127 hectares in Namakwa. The planned summer planting season for the three districts are as follows; Frances Baard 544 hectares; Pixley KaSeme 83 hectares and Namakwa 158 hectares.

The R28,9 million allocated to the Extension Recovery Plan address five pillars which are visibility and accountability; image and professionalism; recruitment; reskilling and reorientation and provision of ICT equipment.

Food Security

The Department will continue to promote the establishment of household food gardens and backyard poultry farming for own food production. This initiative intends to improve household nutrition and generate income. 

This Financial year, a total of 2 908 food insecure households, identified through the Balelapa Household Survey will be supported with garden and poultry starter packs.

In Frances Baard 649 households are targeted, 659 in John Taolo Gaetsewe, 491 in Namakwa, 506 in Pixley Ka Seme and 603 in ZF Mgcawu. 

The Department is collaborating with the Departments of Social Development, Education and Health and the National Development Agency (NDA) in implementing food security initiatives through the Integrated Food Security and Nutrition Programme (IFSNP).

Training and Capacity Building

Training and capacity building is aimed at empowering smallholder farmers including women and youth. An amount of R3 million is budgeted for 1 400 farmers to be trained in various agricultural production programmes. Departmental officials, Griekwaland-Wes Koöperasie (GWK), the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) as well as Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute (GADI) will be implementing the training programme.

Employment Opportunities for Young Unemployed Agricultural Graduates

The Programme targets the youth for increased economic participation through employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. One of the objectives of the programme is to bridge the gap of aging producers and reduce unemployment and poverty among the Youth. Eighty unemployed graduates are targeted and to date 65 have been employed at commercial agricultural enterprises in the 5 districts of the Province. There are 13 in Namakwa, 8 in ZF Mgcawu, 11 in Pixley Ka Seme, 20 in Frances Baard and 13 in John Taolo Gaetsewe. The programme is funded through the Extension Recovery Plan where R7 million has been allocated. 

Women in Agriculture and Rural Development

The Department continues to support women in agriculture and rural development to address the issues of poverty and food security through the Female Entrepreneur Awards. The programme seeks to acknowledge the role women play in the agricultural sector.
A hundred and thirty female farmers will be supported through the grant funding during this financial year.

PROGRAMME 4:  VETERINARY SERVICES

The Programme has been allocated an amount of R55,5 million for the 2019/2020 financial year to provide veterinary services to clients in order to ensure healthy animals, safe animal products and welfare of the people of South Africa.  This programme has a 6 percent increase in the budget allocation when compared to the previous financial year and has a consistent growing allocation in the MTEF period.
The programme will focus on the following key deliverables:

  • Provincial focus on zoonotic disease prevention through primary animal health care, awareness and vaccination campaigns culminating in events on World Rabies Day which will be held in September 2019.
  • Mitigate the risk of introduction of trade sensitive diseases through surveillance programmes.
  • Combat illegal slaughtering through active investigation and raising awareness of the dangers involved in consuming illegally produced meat.
  • The maintenance of the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) (ISO 17025) status and respond to stakeholder demand.
  • Oversee the implementation of the independent meat inspection services specifically in poultry abattoirs.
  • Continue to increase the footprint of veterinary services in previously disadvantaged communities through the Compulsory Community Service (CCS) Veterinary Programme. 

The primary animal health care services that the Department render through the Compulsory Community Service (CCS) Veterinary Program, includes clinical services, education, regulatory services and disease control.  The Province has 7 Compulsory Community Service (CCS) Veterinarians who have been deployed as follows:

  • Kimberley CCS Clinic – 2 Veterinarians
  • Seodin CCS Clinic – 2 Veterinarians
  • Pries CCS Clinic – 1 Veterinarian
  • State Vet Upington – 1 Veterinarian
  • State Vet De Aar / Moreson Abattoir - 1 Veterinarian

PROGRAMME 5:  RESEARCH AND TECHNOGY DEVELOPMENT SERVICES

The Programme has been allocated an amount of R57,8 million.  The allocation has increased by 6.6 percent compared to the allocation for the 2018/19 financial year. The objective of the programme is to render expert and needs based research, development and technology transfer services.

Fodder bank

The Department, after analysing all the available information, dedicated 120ha of land within research stations for the production of fodder, in particular, maize and lucerne.

The 120 hectares is made up of 20 hectares in Eiland, 40 hectares in Vaalharts and 60 hectares in Rietrivier.  The infrastructure for the 120 hectares has been put in place but not the entire 120 hectares is currently planted. If the fodder bank is in full production this will amount to approximately 100 hectares of lucerne and 20 hectares of maize per annum which translates to 2 200 tons of lucerne per annum and 240 tons of maize per annum.  At current prices, the farm gate value of this fodder amounts to approximately R9 million.

In June this year, 85 tonnes of fodder were delivered to farmers in the following areas:  Williston, Carnavon, Kenhardt, Brandvlei and Kleinbegin.

Given the rapidity at which fodder must be provided, an agreement was reached with organized agriculture to provide the transport for the fodder.  This has greatly assisted in the rapid response required to get the fodder to the farmers.

Madame Speaker the best fodder bank is on a properly run farm with proper sub-divided camps and strategically placed water points. Farmers with such infrastructure can practice rotational grazing and correct stocking densities as well as separate bulls from cows during non-mating seasons and also separate animals according to ages or market readiness. Such a system creates a chance for the camps to rest and fodder to be available during dry periods.  However, given the persistent drought, this is not always possible and other means of intervention need to be sought.

Honourable Speaker Animal Production research is a key role player in rural development in extensive farming areas of the NC.

The evaluation of beef cattle genotypes at Vaalharts Research Station continues and is recognised internationally for its research outputs.  The results of this research indicated that cow efficiency can be improved substantially by crossbreeding local landrace breeds which are better adapted to hotter climates, with breeds with more desirable economically important traits.  Furthermore, the results have yielded a number of scientific outputs including peer reviewed scientific publications, popular articles, oral and poster presentations. 

The successes of the Department in the conservation of farm animal genetic resource will continue with the implementation of the conservation framework for the Tankwa feral goats.  This will include a census of the Tankwa goats remaining in the Tankwa Karoo National Park, collection/banking of biological material, cryopreservation of semen and embryos and the monitoring of goat body temperatures to determine climatic adaptation.

The development of the Goat Industry

Madame Speaker Kalahari Kid Corporation (KKC), is a wholly owned Entity of the Northern Cape Provincial Government.  The entity is listed as a Public Entity 3 (C) and is the Special Purpose Vehicle to commercialise the goat industry in the Province and to assist subsistence farmers through training, support and access to markets.

Over the years, the entity’s viability has been questioned as it was wholly dependent on the department for its funding, a new approach had to be found and with the advice of the previous portfolio committee, a viability plan was put into place given the entity’s potential in rural development and job creation throughout the value chain. In order to achieve this, the entity refocused its plans and these hinge on the following strategies: 1) a reliable supply of slaughter goats from emerging farmers by making sure that known cooperatives are fully functional and that some receive seed stock to grow their goat numbers, 2) stock the production farms with good quality genetic material as a source for breeding stock for cooperatives and as source of slaughter stock, 3) exploit existing country to country and intra-Africa trade agreements for the procurement of good quality genetic material for breeding or as a source for slaughter material and finally 4) pursue lucrative markets internally in South Africa and abroad.

Madam Speaker, to fully realise these strategies, we had to stabilise the board under the leadership of Ms Connie Seoposengwe, reduce the losses / mortalities of goats at the production farms and increase our visibility in the regions. I am happy to report that there is progress and that viability of the entity is achievable. Our stock in production farms has increased from a mere 84 goats to just over 1700. The plan going forward is to increase the stock to 5000 breeding goats to have the critical mass required for viability. Various infrastructure improvements are planned on the production farms so that Kalahari Kid can import goats under its own name as this will unlock the intra-Africa or SADC trade agreements where there are no restrictions.

The entity is relooking at the business to business relationships created under the Twinning agreement with the Karas Region of Namibia. We are hopeful that once these relationships are clearly defined and reduced to mutually beneficial contracts, an increase in trade under this twinning agreement will substantially increase.

The Entity (KKC) has become a recognised brand, both locally and abroad and has been approached by United Arab Emirates, Ghana, Malaysia, Brunei, Qatar and Kuwait to expand its operations in order to supply large amounts of live and slaughter stock to these markets and locally to the KwaZulu Natal market.  We have received enquiries from Provinces in South Africa such as Limpopo and the Eastern Cape and countries in Africa, like Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, and Swaziland for assistance in their goat breeding.

Kalahari Kid Corporation will receive an amount of R3,3 million in the 2019/20 financial year.   

PROGRAMME 6:  AGRICULTURAL ECONOMIC SERVICES

The programme has been allocated and amount of R12,6 million which is a 4 percent increase year-on-year. It has the mandates of facilitation of market access for smallholder farmers and agribusinesses, support to existing cooperatives and establishment of new ones, conducting feasibility and viability studies for proposed projects, provision of agricultural information and statistics along with the overall economic assessment and analysis of the sector and reporting on the findings. 

Furthermore, the Programme will ensure that smallholder farmers and agribusinesses adhere to the required market standards locally and internationally. Audits for South African Good Agricultural Practices compliance are undertaken, so far fourteen Rooibos farmers have been audited.  For the current financial year audits are planned for the drying facilities at Eksteenskuil Cooperative and Silvermoon Investments in the ZF Mgcawu District as well as the primary production in Seasons Find in Ritchie in Frances Baard District. 

The continuous updating of the database on Macro-economic indicators like the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Producer Price Index (PPI) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with the analyses on their movements and impact on the sector and the Northern Cape agriculture in particular will be done. The Programme will conduct training of smallholder farmers on financial management and record keeping.

PROGRAMME 7:  RURAL DEVELOPMENT

The Programme has been allocated an amount of R16 million and it includes the EPWP conditional grant of R2,4 million.  
The Programme will continue to coordinate Outcome 7, provide support to Landholding Institutions, Farmers on Commonages, Women and Farmers on Agricultural State Land.

The farm worker / farm dweller advocacy structure which is called the Provincial Delivery Forum holds quarterly meetings where issues affecting farm workers and dwellers are discussed. 

Twenty advocacy sessions on farms have been planned for the financial year and a target of six hundred (600) farm workers is to be assisted to access government services.

Expanded Public Work Program (EPWP)

The Department will continue with the implementation of Schmidtsdrift Bush Control project funded through the incentive grant.  The aim and objective of the programme is to create temporary work opportunities that provide income to the poor and unemployed. The project will control 4000 hectares of Black Thorn in Schmidtsdrift to create 40 job opportunities for local people for a period of 12 months. The total budget of the project is R2,4 million.

LAND REFORM

Honourable Premier Dr Zamani Saul said during the State of the Province Address that “Land reform to advance landownership as part of restoration of the dignity of our people remains a key priority of this government. This Administration will therefore develop a Provincial Land Reform Strategy, which will dovetail with the national strategy”.

Madam Speaker the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development will be developing a protocol which will clearly define how we must work with the Northern Cape Provincial Office of the National Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.
Madame Speaker and Honourable Members, in addition to the budget allocated to the Provincial Department, the newly configured National Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development will spend the following amounts in the Northern Cape Province, as part of the Land Reform Programme:

LAND ACQUISITION

The Province has planned to acquire fifteen thousand seven hundred and sixty hectares of land for 2019/20 with an allocated budget of eighty-three comma five million rand (R83 500 000.00) to accelerate land redistribution in the Province, prioritising smallholder farmers, farm-dwellers and labour tenants, women, youth, persons with disabilities and Agricultural Graduates in the Province.

LAND DEVELOPMENT AND POST-SETTLEMENT SUPPORT
An amount of two hundred and forty million rand (R240 000 000.00) has been set aside for Land Development and Post Settlement support during the 2019/20 financial year.

Twenty two (22) projects have been approved and the funding will be used to upgrade infrastructure on the farms, acquisition of machinery, breeding stock and production inputs.

LAND RESTITUTION

The Restitution of Land Rights Act Number 22 of 1994 was passed to great applause in 1994. Its goal is to offer a solution to people who had lost their land as a result of racially discriminatory practices such as forced removals.

A total of fifty-three million and seven hundred and twenty rand (R53 000 728.00) has been set aside for the 2019/20 financial year to the focus on the outstanding land claims and as well as new claims.

So far the outstanding backlog claims already committed are as follows: Mokgosi Family Claim, Richtersveld Land Claim, Stinkfontein Phases 1 and 2, and Rooipoort Phase 2. These outstanding claims total an amount of thirteen million twenty three thousand and four hundred rand
(R13 023 400.00).

In terms of the new claims, an amount of thirty nine million nine hundred and seventy seven and three hundred and twenty eight rand (R39 977 328.00) is earmarked for the new claims which are: Faanshoop number 585, Soverby, Dyasonsklip, Eimansholte, Onderplaats, Gamopedi Phase 2, Tsineng Phase 2, Kuiepan Phase 2 and Viooldrift Phase 5.

COMMUNAL LAND TENURE
In trying to bring stability to some of the Communal Property Associations (CPAs) in the Province, support will be provided to all of them. The main focus will be on the following CPAs which have been identified as hotspots: Richtersveld, Pniel, Bucklands, Maremane, Schmidtsdrift, Sydney-on-Vaal, Wedberg, Holpan, Droogfontein, Masselfontein/Katlani and Babatas.

LAND RIGHTS

Kakamas, Keimoes, Upington and Douglas continue to be the main areas where land rights infringements are reported. Currently through the Land Rights Management Facility (LRMF), farm dwellers receive free access to attorneys to represent them in an event of evictions. This will also be addressed through the Extension of Security of Tenure Act Amendment Act (ESTA).

Both provincial and national departments will also within this current financial year focus on the forensic audit on former Farm Equity Schemes in the Province.

TRANSFORMATION OF CERTAIN RURAL AREAS ACT

The Northern Cape has eight (8) areas which are affected by the Transformation of Certain Rural Areas Act (TRANCRAA). These are former so-called coloured areas and are: Kommagas, Concordia and Steinkopf in the Nama Khoi Local Municipality; Richtersveld in the Richtersveld Local Municipality; Lieliefontein in Kamiesberg Local Municipality; Pella in Khai-Ma Local Municipality, Mier in Dawid Kruiper Local Municipality and Eksteenskuil in Kai !Garib Local municipality.

The five local municipalities where the former Rural Areas are situated will continue to receive financial support to ensure that transfer based on the decisions of the communities takes place. The plan is to ensure that the transfer of the land is to the legal entities by the communities.

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

The National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) was established in September 2010. The main objective of this programme is to recruit, develop and up-skill the rural youth.

An amount of thirty-four million four hundred and ninety nine thousand Rand (R34 499 000.00) has been set aside for youth skills development during this current financial year.

The youth are trained through Technical Vocational Educational and Training (TVET) Colleges in areas linked to skills gaps and economic opportunities in their respective areas.

Currently there are two hundred and thirty three (233) young people who have been enrolled and the Department is in the process of recruiting another hundred (100) across all the five districts of the Province.

AGRI-PARKS

In terms of the commitment made by Minister Thoko Didiza, twenty seven (27) Farmer Production Support Units (FPSUs) must be operational across the country by the end of March 2020.  In the Northern Cape Province, we have prioritised Heuningvlei FPSU in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District and Eksteenskuil FPSU in ZF Mgcawu District.

To operationalize both FPSUs and make them functional by end of March 2020, a total amount of forty seven million nine hundred and eighty five thousand (R47 827 985.40) will be made available, jointly by the Provincial and the National Departments.


Heuningvlei FPSU is characterised by communal farming operations and there are more than 400 communal farmers within the catchment of the FPSU grazing their livestock (cattle, sheep and goats) over 167 185 hectares. There are 4 state land farms measuring 13 785 hectares and occupied by 8 farmers. Therefore, the Heuningvlei FPSU is intended to assist the farmers in and around Heuningvlei to increase production and improve their livestock.

The second prioritised FPSU is the Eksteenskuil and is currently undeveloped and would require environmental impact assessments before any developments can take place.

Based on consultations between the Province and the national Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development’s Office in the Northern Cape, we have agreed that the FPSU site be moved to the Eiland due to the readiness for implementation before end of March 2020.  Farmers will be in a position to access the site as it is within the acceptable radius.

Currently production is taking place on 6 650 hectares of irrigation land. There are one hundred and fifty (150) individual farmers who fall under registered legal business entities. These farmers own individual plots, acquired privately through the Transformation of Certain Rural Areas Act (TRANCRAA).

Conclusion

Madam Speaker, as we are about to close the Women’s Month, we continue to appreciate the role played by the Women of 1956.

Tonight, in Cape Town, our Northern Cape Female Entrepreneur Awards Finalists will be representing our Province at the National finals.

This financial year 29 female farmers participated provincially in the competition in various categories where they won prizes. The Provincial winner in the best subsistence category, female worker as well as the top entrepreneur commercial categories will be representing the Province at the National Event which will take place today, in the Western Cape Province.

They will be led by our Provincial Overall Winner, a 23-year old Matshidiso Parage who hails from a small Northern Cape town of Warrenton.
Matshidiso’s life story is an indication that indeed South Africa is alive with possibilities.

She started farming at the age of 18 in 2014 after receiving a loan from her Parents, to start as a smallholding farmer. Having received training in cattle management, animal husbandry and crop production, Matshidiso started off with one bull and later acquired three cows and they reproduced.
She then bought three goats which later multiplied. She feeds and vaccinate her livestock. She indicated that with the Prize Money she won, she will improve the kraal, buy more cattle, goats and start sheep breeding.

Madam Speaker, Matshidiso’s story, is a clear indication that since the dawn of democracy, women have started to break through glass ceilings in the corporate world, especially in previously male dominated fields such as farming, manufacturing, finance, science, engineering, technology, ICT related fields, mining and construction.

We wish our Women Finalists all of the best in Cape Town.

Lastly, let me take this opportunity to thank my family for their understanding and support because they know that this cause is for the betterment of the people and the organization that I served and continue to serve selflessly.

Allow me to express appreciation to the Head of Department, Mr. Viljoen Mothibi and the team he leads for their dedication and effort.

Let me also thank my dedicated team in the Ministry, led by Head of Ministry Mr. Kabelo Mohibidu, for their hard work and commitment.
Madam Speaker, I hereby table the 2019/20 budget of the Department Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development for the consideration of this house.

I thank you.

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Office of the Premier 
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Kimberley 
8301

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