Government policies explored at Nation in Conversation

Government policies, failed policies and issues surrounding policies were explored at this year’s Nation in Conversation dialogue at Nampo.

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On such discussion point was the almost 90% failure rate of government’s land reform projects.

“The framework for policies such as land reform is acceptable, and it is needed, but financing is an issue,” said Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA. Farmers farming on government-owned land struggled to procure financing to run their operations successfully, according to him.

John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz said that although South Africa had good policies in general, these were not always translation and implemented. “We must engage government and build trust with the platforms that it creates,” he said.

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Hamish McBain, retired executive director for Tiger Brands, agreed with Purchase when he said that delaying the implementation of policies was problematic.

He said that government policies were good for South Africa, which has a population growth of 3% per annum.

CEO of Galileo Capital Theo Vorster said that land reform policies and their impact on social structures were not unique to South Africa, but that a situation had developed where government and farmers did not share a common vision, and an ‘us and them’ attitude had developed.

“Getting the private sector and the government together is a big issue,” McBain said.

“South Africa used to be a net exporter, but we are on the brink of becoming a net importer.”

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