Setting the record straight

In a letter to Farmer’s Weekly, the secretary general of the African Farmers Association of South Africa (Afasa), Aggrey Mahanjana, has objected to comments that were attributed to him in a news article published in the Farmer’s Weekly of 23 October 2015, titled ‘ANC officially now wants farm workers to own shares in farms’.

- Advertisement -

The article quoted Mahanjana as saying “It (50/50 land reform policy) is completely disconnected with the needs and economic realities we are facing today”. It was further stated in the article that he said he wanted the ANC to allow farmers room to be creative and empower their workers, but without decimating their farming operations.

In response to this article, Mahanjana has written that his comments were misconstrued. To clarify what he wrote:

“Firstly, people misinterpret the 50/50 policy, hence we prefer to use the term ‘strengthening relative rights of people working on farms’. This term emphasises on the bringing of human dignity to farm workers. This has led to people believing that the 50/50 policy meant that 50% of all commercial farms should be handed over to farm workers, something we believe is not what this policy means.”

- Advertisement -

“The ANC is trying to implement the Freedom Charter which was agreed upon by our forefathers 60 years ago. In his State of the Nation Address, the President (Jacob Zuma), said he wanted this 50/50 proposal to be piloted on 50 farming projects, which in my opinion, the President was giving us an opportunity to come up with creative ways or models of addressing what this 50/50 wanted to address, which is to ensure that the rights and dignity of those working on farms were protected.”

Farmer’s Weekly has a high regard for factual accuracy and apologises for inadvertently misrepresenting Mr Mahanjana and Afasa’s position on this important matter.