But Dr Piet Croucamp of the department of political sciences at the University of Johannesburg said the farming sector must do more to show stronger support for the NDP and compel government to fully implement the plan.
Croucamp said that while there might be practical problems associated with some of the proposals contained in the NDP, the overarching philosophy of the plan was sound and the agriculture sector needed to unite in its support.
“The plan for South Africa cannot get better, it can only get worse” if government was left to continually come up with new plans that contradicted proposals in the NDP, said Croucamp.
He referred to a policy document that emerged from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform earlier this year, ‘Final Policy Proposals on Strengthening the Relative Rights of People Working the Land’.
It proposed that about 50% of commercial farms be transferred to farm workers without any direct compensation to land owners and with farm workers receiving a percentage of shares based on the number of years of service on a farm.
This, said Croucamp, did not in any way reflect the NDP’s suggestions in terms of land reform or agricultural development and reform.
He said that since the NDP was essentially the product of a process initiated and supported by the ANC-led government, it can be assumed that the ruling party supported the plan.
However, the proposals contained in the NDP would not necessarily be implemented if no pressure was placed on government to do so.