Disdain and contempt

Jong Boet, some or other clever guy in history once said the people in a democracy deserve the government they get because they voted for it. What balderdash!! Let me tell you – nobody deserves a government that treats them with disdain and contempt.

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That is precisely what the Free State government is guilty of, in my opinion: disdain and contempt. How else can you explain the fact that it continues to deny drought-stricken farmers in the province any official disaster relief whatsoever?

Oh, it hasn’t said as much, hasn’t said it’s not going offer farmers aid. But there’s been so much dilly-dallying for so long one can’t help but suspect delaying tactics. Not to mention disdain.

And contempt.

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And it’s not as if the Free State government has to fork out the money itself. All it has to do is to officially declare the province a disaster area. The money would have been supplied by national government.

By the way, I have it on very good authority that Premier Ace Magashule told a group of farmers in Bethlehem not too long ago that they can talk to him about any topic under the sun, except drought relief! Why not? It simply does not make sense.

Jy weet Boet, the Free State government’s own agriculture department tabled a very comprehensive drought relief application in November last year. Guess what? The very same application was referred back to the agriculture department last week by the premier’s office.

I’ve previously tried to find out from the very same premier’s office what the heck is going on, but to no avail. Not only was I treated poorly by one Mondli, to whom I was referred, he did not bother to supply answers to the questions I posed. Not nice Mondli, not nice!!

What is the rationale behind this, dear Ace? These are the food providers of your province. These are people who should be helped to stay on their land and to hang on to their animals for as long as possible.

The lack of assistance from your side has forced them to drastically cut their herds, which will in all probability lead to a shortage of red meat in the very near future.

Do you even have an inkling of the damage your government has caused? Somehow, I don’t think so.

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Annelie Coleman represents Farmer’s Weekly in the Free State, North West and Northern Cape. Agriculture is in her blood. She grew up on a maize farm in the Wesselsbron district where her brother is still continuing with the family business. Annelie is passionate about the area she works in and calls it ‘God’s own country’. She’s particularly interested in beef cattle farming, especially with the indigenous African breeds. She’s an avid reader and owns a comprehensive collection of Africana covering hunting in colonial Africa, missionary history of same period, as well as Rhodesian literature.