Land reform not successful – Afasa

The African Farmers Association of South Africa (Afasa) has queried the ‘success’ of the land reform programme, saying that President Zuma’s figures are inaccurate.

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Afasa general secretary Aggrey Mahanjana said Zuma’s claim during the recent state of the nation address that 5 000 farms had been redistributed through the land reform programme was ‘incomplete’.

“Zuma did not explain what the current production status on these farms was,” said Mahanjana. “The big question is, has land reform in South Africa resulted in the improvement of agricultural production and food security, increased employment in the sector or the establishment of new agro-processing industries and economic development in rural South Africa?”

Mahanjana added that the Fetsa Tlala programme had been a great disappointment to smallholder farmers. “We hope that this year the president proves us wrong by ensuring that this programme is properly budgeted for and co-ordinated.”

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He commended agriculture minister Tina Joematt-Pettersson for ensuring the preferential procurement of food aid to Lesotho from smallholder farmers. “We hope that our members will take advantage of this initiative in future,” said Mahanjana.