Agri SA finds mutual ground with ANC

first-of-its-kind meeting recently took place between a high level ANC delegation and Agri SA at Luthuli House in Johannesburg, Gauteng.
Issue date: 26 September 2008

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first-of-its-kind meeting recently took place between a high level ANC delegation and Agri SA at Luthuli House in Johannesburg, Gauteng. This was the result of a drive by Gwede Mantashe, secretary general of the ANC, to initiate dialogue between minority groups and the and also by Agri SA, which for some time now has asked for such a meeting. So said Hans Van der Merwe, executive director of SA.

Annelize Crosby of Agri SA said, “This meeting was the first one where a specialist organisation could speak frankly with such a high-level contingent. The mood was positive and Mr Mantashe, who displayed great knowledge of the South African topography, took note of what we had to say.” She went on to say that Mantashe told them what the ANC’s vision for agriculture is and that farming has an important role to play in the development of rural economies.

He said that land reform has so far not delivered the hoped for improvements, especially in rural societies. Food security and productive usage of agricultural land now seems to occupy a more prominent place in the ANC’s understanding of the sector. gri SA affirmed its commitment to transformation and the strategic plan for agriculture that already exists. “We told the delegation that the strategies and legislation that are in place is good, but that implementing them is a problem, especially on provincial and municipal level,” Van der Merwe said. “Mantashe acknowledged that government could do more in this regard.” Agriculture minister Lulama Xingwana was not present at this meeting. – Wouter Kriel

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