Collaboration needed to drive land reform

This morning (27 October 2015), Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, addressed the West Coast Agricultural Summit, where he stressed the need for partnerships to drive land reform successes. It is estimated that over R2 billion would be needed annually to fund the land reform targets set by the National Development Plan.

Please see Minister Winde’s address below:

Accelerating the pace of transformation in the agricultural sector is one of my foremost priorities.

Since 2009, the Western Cape Government has spent close to a half a billion rand on land reform and empowerment projects.

An independent assessment found that over 60% of these projects were successful.

Over the next five years we will work to ensure a 70 per cent success rate of all land reform projects in our province.

The Farmer Support and Development Programme will receive R256.9 million in this financial year to help new farmers build successful agri-businesses.

This funding will be used to deliver a full suite of post-settlement support services to land reform beneficiaries, equipping them with the skills they need to run successful operations.

We also aim to support 4 600 farmers with advice to take their enterprises to the next level.

Government, in collaboration with the private sector, must ensure we give beneficiaries the best chance of success.

Successful land reform can only happen through collaboration, and meaningful partnerships will be critical in delivering the targets we have set.

To this end, we are participating in all of the National Department of Rural Development and Land Reform’s District Land Committees.

The National Development Plan has set a target of 20% transfer of agricultural land to previously disadvantaged South Africans by 2030, a goal which we are determined to contribute towards.

Research conducted by the Department of Agriculture revealed that in the Western Cape alone, a minimum amount of R2.16 billion per year over the next 15 years would be needed to achieve the NDP’s land transfer targets.

We also know that government is facing increasing fiscal pressure and this is why we need innovative approaches to drive land reform projects.

The only way we will achieve the NDP targets is through a collaborative approach.

I want to urge all of our partners to work together to escalate the number of land reform projects in our province, as well as improve their rate of success.

We are determined to see that young and black farmers receive the boost they need to be a part of the growth story of this sector.