Proudly, or not-so-proudly South African?

Firstly, I must congratulate you on another informative edition (11 May 2012). I am, unfortunately, not directly involved in agriculture in a farming capacity.

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However, being the grandson of a previously well-known farmer in the Venterstad district of the Eastern Cape, my roots and enthusiasm for farming and agriculture have been laid at an early age. Should all go well, I’ll hopefully have an opportunity to work the soil of South Africa in the near future. But due to the instability of the current business and political climate my common sense has kept me focused on my ‘day job’ within the Cape wine industry.

With every issue of Farmer’s Weekly I read I am overcome by a sense of pride to be a South African, possibly because my roots and passion for this country come from an agricultural background, which includes knowing that our rich, productive history was based on agricultural basics practised by our forefathers.

Addressing the problem
However, as is the case of following the daily news broadcasts on TV and radio, I also find myself cringing with anger at how our government is allowing our country to waste away. In my opinion, if I could pinpoint a sole reason for our ongoing strife, I would use the words quoted in the article, “Government fails farmers in bureaucratic bungle” (11 May, pg 48), summarising that government’s inability to add any value to the agricultural sector is basic top mismanagement which is filtering down through the ranks.

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To back these ‘facts’ of government’s inability to govern, I see that Andy Tladi also states in the article written about him, “From business exec to farmer” (11 May, pg 52), that government should stay out of agriculture. I think the point is being clearly made; using or relying on the current government to help any situation, specifically within the agricultural sector, should not be an option going forward, finish en klaar.

Making a plan
How do we go about realising our dream of a rich, sustainable future for our children through the basis of agriculture? By starting a ‘revolution’ of sorts which excludes governmental influence by working independently with like-minded individuals and investors to start growing the country from inside out. Government would look forward to making life hell for the project since it will be excluded from input and a position of control.

However, as is the case with any problem child – for want of a better example – there is only so much you can give, before giving the child (government) a good hiding and moving on. We have a rich land from which to work. Instead of fending for ourselves and getting nowhere with our current government, why don’t we begin working together. Thanks for allowing another inspired reader to mumble a few thoughts in the hope that they will be heard. I look forward to the next issue of Farmer’s Weekly, and many more to come.