ANC does not care about black farmers

It is the job of the media to allow the free flow of information, to remain impartial and to not allow information to affect us in any way that may lead to bias. But journalists are human too and every now and then I read something that just makes my blood boil.

ANC does not care about black farmers
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I struggle to remain unaffected when I hear or read about how those in power distort the facts in an attempt to hold onto power, and when elected officials start acting as if the people are there to serve them, instead of the other way round.

Land reform is an emotional topic for many South Africans and politicians exploit this to score cheap political points. But no two things can be further removed from each other than what the ANC says about land reform and what our ANC-led government is actually doing to promote the swift implementation of restitution and support for land reform beneficiaries.

ANC leaders say that land reform is a priority and that greater speed is needed to provide the disenfranchised with access to land to “address historic injustices”. But what we see on the ground is modern-day injustices – black farmers waiting in vain to be given secure tenure over land that the state has decided to transfer to its own asset register instead of extending ownership to the beneficiaries of land reform.

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And then government has the audacity to employ debt collectors to intimidate those so-called beneficiaries who are failing to pay rent for state-owned land. If the ANC really cared about the poor and landless, this land would have been the legal property of the people who now find themselves indebted to the state.

Add to this the blatant arrogance of Minister Gugile Nkwinti whose only response to these grave matters is that he will not be drawn into public mud-slinging.
Honourable minister, this is your constituents holding you to account – remember those people who elected you to power?

The people who placed their trust in you and your party to provide them with an opportunity to escape dire poverty?

They are asking you why you have failed them. And, if they are now slinging mud at you it is only because mud is all they have left, thanks to the absolute mess your department has made of the land reform process in South Africa.

Now would be a good time, Minister, to show some humility and remember that you have been appointed to serve and not to rule!

Digital editor for South Africa's oldest and most read farming magazine.