By Jacques Smalle MPL, DA Provincial Spokesperson for Agriculture:
The Fetsa Tlala programme in Limpopo is nothing more than a plan to buy votes for the ANC using government money. Seven tractors to the total value of R8.4 million have been mysteriously removed from Leboeng in Tubatse where they served the community for a year.
The department pays between R10 and R12 000 per hectare to be ploughed and provides 25 kilograms of seeds for two hectares. The DA is deeply concerned about the shoddy work provided by the department to the farmers of Lebueng in Tubatse.
The programme aimed to benefit more than 200 000 families and creating more than 300 000 jobs in Limpopo, but this never happened due to mismanagement of funds and irregularities.
The DA condemns this abuse of state resources, and poor management of the programme leaving our people further from achieving economic success and freedom from poverty.
The national government has allocated a whopping R1.6 billion for this programme, but with the ploughing examples at Leubeng community , it illustrates that the ANC led government does not have an interest of subsistence farming at heart. The Fetsa Tlala funds are a bottomless pit for plundering government funds without accountability.
The DA believes that this inefficiency by the department has posed a serious threat to the food security of the poorest of the poor in Limpopo.
To make matters worse, Fetsa Tlala has caused a massive public outcry by farmers across the province over the significant waste that has been incurred as agricultural officers distributed seed and fertilizer late during the last planting seasons and never sent tractors and other necessary machinery to plough.
The DA will seek an urgent meeting with the MEC for Agriculture, Joy Matshoge, to discuss her plans to get Fetsa Tlala working, so that the people of Limpopo can benefit, rather than the programme being nothing more than a tool for the ruling party to garner votes.