While concern is mounting over the implementation of the Municipal Property Rates Act among farmers around Tzaneen Agri SA members have negotiated with their local municipality to put their tax to good use and benefit the entire rural community. Agri SA’s Theo de Jager says the municipality has in principle agreed to an arrangement where a third of all low-cost housing developed by the local authority will be made available to farmworkers and farm dwellers. “This could potentially take a lot of pressure off farmers who are currently expected to provide services and housing to the people living on their land out of their own pockets,” De Jager says. The municipality also agreed to become involved with invasive plant control. “While we realise that municipalities are generally understaffed, we at least expect them to subsidise the chemicals needed to combat invasive species,” he says. many parts of Limpopo farmers report that areas that used to be able to support one head of large stock on every 10ha, now struggle to do the same on as much as 15ha due to encroachment of invasive species. he Tzaneen municipality has also agreed to throw its weight behind the local fire protection association, once again the details of this arrangement have not been thrashed out, but any help in this regard would be welcomed by the rural comminity as farmers are often at the front line of fighting wild fires and mostly have to do so with their own resources. “We feel that the municipality’s involvement and support in these aspects would help to alleviate the financial burden on farmers who now have to pay yet another tax at a time when margins are already strained. If the local council sticks to its side of the bargain on the above three aspects, farmers would at least be getting some benefit out of their tax,” De Jager says. – Jasper Raats
While concern is mounting over the implementation of the Municipal Property Rates Act among farmers around Tzaneen Agri SA members have negotiated with their local municipality to put their tax to good use and benefit the entire rural community.
Issue Date: 30 November 2007