Janho Engelbrecht MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Agriculture:
The DA in Gauteng welcomes Premier David Makhura’s announcement last week that the provincial government would embark on a land audit to assist the growth of emerging farmers in the province.
Premier Makhura announced his intended move at the Agro-processing Industry Summit held in Kliptown.
The DA proposed a land audit for the province in November 2014, which laid out what the Premier announced at the summit.
It is significant that the governing party has acknowledged that it is on the wrong track and has taken the DA’s proposal to heart, by putting to good use fallow government-owned land.
While it is critical to redress the imbalances of the past, simply handing over land will not automatically put emerging farmers on the path to prosperity. Government needs to provide the necessary technical, financial and commercial advice and mentorship – if necessary in partnership with organized agriculture – to ensure that beneficiaries develop their enterprises into commercially viable operations their own right
The success of emerging farmers is not only vital in ensuring food security, but also for correcting the stark disparities in land ownership.
A strong emerging farming sector would be a step towards breaking down the enduring racial inequalities and social exclusions experienced by the majority of our people.