Mike Mlengana to take over as director-general of DAFF

Mike Mlengana to take over as director-general of DAFF
Agriculture minister Senzeni Zokwana announced that former president of AFASA, Mike Mlengana will be appointed the new DG of DAFF. Photo: Sindira Chetty
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Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, made the announcement in Parliament on 9 June.

AFASA congratulated Mlengana and expressed confidence in his ability to focus on transforming the sector while also directing the other, multifaceted functions of the department.

Aggrey Mahanjana, AFASA Secretary General, told Farmer’s Weekly that smallholder farmers in particular were encouraged by the appointment.

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“[They] are delighted with the fact that for the first time in the history of this department, their calls have been heard and taken to heart. The department has appointed a farmer and a leader with a proven track record,” he said.

Johan Pienaar, Agri SA’s Deputy Executive Director, commended Mlengana on his appointment.

“It’s a good decision because of his background in agriculture, [and] we know him quite well. Besides his knowledge, he is an approachable person, and we trust we will be able to further the relationship we already have,” he said.

Mlengana’s childhood was spent in the rural communal farming milieu. He completed his undergraduate degrees at the University of Fort Hare and Rhodes University, before graduating with an MA in Financial Economics and Economic Development from the Graduate School of Economic and International Studies in Denver, Colorado in the US.

He has also operated a commercial farm, and has worked with both smallholder and commercial farmers.

According to Mahanjana, Mlengana was due to take office on 1 July.

Speaking to Farmer’s Weekly, Mlengana said he could not comment on the announcement because he has not yet received a letter of appointment from Minister Zokwana.

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