‘Talk to us or lose out’ – ANC to farmers

Farmers have been told to engage with the ANC on making a contribution to policies affecting them.

- Advertisement -

Speaking at the Agri SA congress in Johannesburg, Gwede Mantashe, secretary-general of the ANC, said, “We are appealing to Agri SA to talk to us on behalf of farmers. If you don’t do that farmers will lose out.” He said that it was not enough to write to Farmer’s Weekly about their complaints. “You must talk to us directly and if you find that the doors of politicians are closed, then you must kick down those doors.

“Agri SA does not have the option to walk away and ignore the ANC. You are giving yourself a luxury you do not have.” Mantashe said that since June the mining sector met with the ANC four times. “Agri SA should have met with us five times already to influence the direction taken on agriculture and land reform.” But SK Makinana, vice-chairperson of the National Wool Growers’ Association, said that there was “a serious lack of accountability, interest and passion for agriculture within government”.

“Top officials are not concerned about agriculture. At national level there are good policies, but at local level, where policies must be implemented, no one has the skills.” Makinana said there was only interest in agriculture when a new project was launched.
“Government spends millions on these projects but after the launch there are no follow-ups.” Meanwhile, agriculture minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson thanked Agri SA for engaging her during her term and for helping her sway from a radical approach to agriculture to a more moderate one. She asked Agri SA to contribute to a proper plan for agriculture before Mangaung. 

- Advertisement -