Annual Report for 2014 – English
RECORD OF THE KWANALU CONGRESS
HELD ON THURSDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER 2013
AT THE ROYAL SHOW, PIETERMARITZBURG
“Focusing on the Future”
Congress outlines the challenges and opportunities of
current day activities and the role of the agricultural sector in
The Chairman, Brian Aitken, called the meeting to order and welcomed the guests,
amongst others, John Black, an Honorary Life Vice-President of Kwanalu, Robin Barnsley
and his wife Sharon, Cyril Xaba, Per Bjorvig, Andries Geyser, Edgar Dhlomo, Students
from Weston and Cedara Colleges, SAPS members, various Department officials, sponsors
and the press.
Apologies had been recorded on the attendance register.
He explained that after a review by the Board and Manco, the day’s proceedings would run
a little differently as in the past. There would be a longer tea break followed by the Guest
Speakers and lunch would move to after the conclusion of Congress.
3. Scripture reading and prayer
Andy Buchan opened Congress with a scripture reading and a prayer.
He read from Romans 5, 3-5. He said we all went through trials and tribulations but we hold
onto hope. We can put our hope in the Lord who never changes. He opened the Congress
with a prayer.
The Chairman requested Congress to stand for a moment’s silence in remembrance of the
three members of Kwanalu, Jannie Boshoff, Jannie Kemp and Theuns van Rensburg who
had tragically perished in a light aeroplane crash returning home after last year’s Congress
and all those who had lost loved ones as well as those who had been victims of crime since
the 2012 Congress.
5. Constitution of Congress
The CEO, Sandy La Marque, confirmed that notice of Congress had been circulated and
with the representative delegates present, a quorum had been met and Congress was
properly constituted. There would be a panel discussion after the guest speakers’
addresses. Voting for Officer Bearers would take place at tea time.
6. President’s Address
The Chairman presented his President’s Address to Congress. A copy of his address is
attached to this report.
In changing from tradition, instead of presenting his address from the Annual Report, he
said he would report on noteworthy matters. If he could leave a message, it would be to
encourage young farmers and the not so young.
He said that removing the uncertainties around land should be important. Zimbabwean
farmers had said that farmers should never become politically involved and that they should
In encouraging farmers to be positive, he said that land was an emotional issue and trying
to solve the problem would require rational and concise thinking and that the farmers were
an important role player in the country. The image of agriculture must change but the
economics of farming must remain in tact. He said that Government viewed agriculture as
a corner stone of the country’s economy.
With regards the land audit, it was vital to get this right.
He said that the prospects of robust growth in the agricultural sector had not looked this
good for a long time, but constraints such as natural resources, water and land impacted on
the struggle to expand the agricultural sector.
Increased spending power of urban consumers was creating opportunities for local
agricultural business and this could only bode well for the farmer. Some poor farming
practices had taken place across the country and he implored that this not happen in
He said that Kwanalu held firm to the various policies which formed the basis of how
business was conducted.
Mr Aitken thanked the Kwanalu CEO and the staff for all their efforts on behalf of the
farmers, the members who supported the organisation, Government and other stakeholders
and said that it had been an honour and privilege to have worked with the farmers of
Mr Gumede, the Vice-President, thanked the President for his address. He proposed the
adoption of the President’s address.
7. Review 2012/2013
By means of the data projector, the CEO presented a Review of the 2012/2013 year. A
copy of the presentation is attached to this report.
She referred to last year’s resolution:-
“Congress appeals to Government to recognise the agricultural sector as one of KwaZuluNatal’s
The ongoing challenges of, amongst others, land reform, unemployment, lawlessness, a
perceived lack of respect for property, rising input costs (including administered prices such
as those associated with water and electricity), a degenerating infrastructure, all lead to a
lack of investment in agricultural and the perpetuation of a generally negative outlook.
Congress calls on Government to create an environment which is conducive to the creation
of employment opportunities, growth, development and the improvement of confidence in
and within the agricultural sector.”
She gave feedback on some of the areas handled over the last year, which were
categorised into the following:-
– Issue Management
o Natural Resources
o Labour and Social Investment
o Commercial Policy
o Transformation and Rural Development
o Rural Safety and Security
o Communication and Image Building
She reported that a number of meetings had been held with Eskom to try to find solutions.
Water validation, verification and use was a serious problem and a challenge.
Labour had taken up a lot of time. KwaZulu-Natal was not immune to labour unrest. It had
been a challenge but had been handled well. A survey was held to look at the way forward
relative to increased wages and it was concerning to see the increase in job losses. Input
from members was received and legal opinion was obtained to establish what was in the
best interests of members.
She said that commodities handle their commodity specific issues, Kwanalu supports them
in this and likewise Kwanalu seeks support from commodities in general affairs which is
With regard Municipal Property Rates, she said that Farmers’ Associations battle with
technical irregularities but said that Farmers’ Associations must be involved in negotiations
She said that the Mineral Petroleum Rights Development Act which was the legislation that
governed fracking we would possibly see an escalation of activities in the province with
mining companies being awarded exploration rights Kwanalu would remain involved.
She made mention of the Templeton Foundation Project run in collaboration with the
University of Missouri which was a research project to understand the social and economic
aspects of food security in KwaZulu-Natal.
With regard to Transformation and Rural Development, she announced that the MEC had
signed an agreement which would allow for a Development Desk to assist emerging
A fairly detailed report was made on the various land policies, bills and draft strategies
currently being anticipated by the government. She reported that a great deal of time and
effort was spent on continually lobbying and representing the interests of Kwanalu’s
members on these serious matters.
Referring to the Kwanalu Safety and Security Desk, she thanked the security forces for
their assistance. She encouraged the farmers associations to work closely with the relevant
security forces at local level as it was quite evident where good relationships existed at a
local level crime prevention and follow up was far more efficient.
8. Financial Statements year ending 30 June 2013
The CEO said that the year ended in June 2013 and the audit had been completed and
copies of the financials had been posted to delegates. She presented the audited financial
statements to Congress.
9. Annual membership subscription & Budget proposal
The CEO presented the proposed Income and Expenditure for year ending 2014. The CEO
informed Congress that according to the Kwanalu Constitution, the Board of Governors had
proposed subscriptions for the 2014/2015 year. These would be:
• Commercial farmers (including Vat)
– R1 969.10 if received by 30 September 2014 or R2 083.50 if received thereafter
• Part time / smallholder farmers (including Vat)
– R985.70 if received by 30 September 2014 or R1 041.60 if received thereafter
• Previously disadvantaged farmers (including Vat)
The budget proposed by the Kwanalu Board of Governors for 2014/2015 was presented to
The Chairman opened the floor to any questions of which there were none.
Mr Black proposed the acceptance of the financials, the budget and the subscriptions.
These were seconded and unanimously ACCEPTED.
12. Presentation of Awards
The CEO advised Congress that she was pleased to announce that:-
• A long service award was presented to Mrs Lyn Vincent for 30 years service to
• An Honorary Life Presidency award made to Mr Robin Barnsley, a past President of
Mr Barnsley said that it had been a great privilege to serve Kwanalu and said that
leadership was about service. He thanked Congress for the honour bestowed on him and
said that even though he was now an Honorary Life Member, he would continue to pay his
Kwanalu subscriptions and challenged all Life Members to pay Kwanalu subscriptions.
13. Acknowledgment of Sponsors
The Chairman thanked the sponsors for their generous contributions and continued
donations and support of Congress.
Congress adjourned for tea.
15. Office Bearers
During the tea break, the Board of Governors met to elect the President and two VicePresidents.
These were: President : Mike Black
Vice-President : Phenias Gumede
Vice-President : Angus Buchan
16. Address by Dr Theo de Jager, Vice-President Agri SA Transformation Committee,
additional member of Agri SA Africa Policy Committee, President: SACAU
The Chairman introduced Dr de Jager to the meeting. A copy of the presentation is
attached to this report.
“Creating wealth through agriculture in Southern Africa”
Dr de Jager said that people should encourage one another and stay positive until after the
elections next year. There was going to be pressure but he said that people should stand a
few yards back and look at the whole picture, from where a plan might emerge. Our
environment was very much like an oil painting, it did not make sense close up but when
you took a few steps back it became art. He did not think that there had ever been this type
He said the biggest challenge of our life time was the war against poverty and inequality.
He said he wished he could show what kind of development was happening in Africa. The
biggest need in Africa was for agricultural development.
The truth that had come through was that primary production should be the start. He said
that only Angola did not have a National Farmers’ Organisation. Africa sat with 46% of the
world’s unutilised land. Development can happen in South Africa as agriculture has the
soil, water, the climate and the people but lack the value chains, financing, technology and
expertise. The objectives of the South African Confederation of Agricultural Unions
(SACAU) were to increase productivity, enhance profitability, secure sustainability and
maximize available rain water. Corporate governance would need to be improved. SACAU
and its structures were accountable, reliable and responsible. He said that Europe and the
USA had invested a trillion dollars to agriculture.
He briefly outlined the envisaged mechanisation ring project and how it would operate
basically farmers needed to get together in every district and pool mechanisation
resources. Managers would be appointed for each pool for administration, maintenance
and advice. Financing could be obtained from various sources. Packages would consist of
large scale and small scale farming. Principles for founding would be that it was run on a
business base with an African and not just a South African theme which needed to
penetrate to grass roots level. It was important to go hi-tech and climate smart but remain
farmer owned. Mechanisation must be standardised and run on a professional basis, on a
cashless and mobile technology basis. This must be organised on a local level.
He said that what happened to farmers today in agriculture was a matter of choice. They
could decide if they were going to focus on all the threats or focus on the opportunities and
bring them into being.
Life was not about waiting for the storms to pass, it was about learning how to dance in the
The Chairman thanked him for his address.
17. Address by Mr Andrew Makenete – Executive Director at Manama Hole Holdings and
The Chairman introduced Mr Makenete to the meeting.
“Land Ceiling Policy and Legislation: Implications for the Agricultural Economy”
Mr Makenete said that the question most people asked was where land reform was going.
Whilst there was always noise, people liked throwing things in.
He said that he had been asked to work with a special academic, Prof van Schalkwyk to
come up with outcomes and economic impacts on land ceilings.
They had come up with the following conclusions:-
They had established that there were now fewer farms which were getting bigger and
bigger. In South Africa, there were 39 000 commercial and 240 000 emerging farmers
(these numbers are however under discussion as it is believed this number may be higher).
The 240 000 contribute less than 5% to Agricultural GDP. 51% of all farmers earn less than
R300k per annum and it is a struggle to sustain livelihoods. There was a large level of food
insecurity at household levels due to poverty and unemployment.
There had been a significant growth in productivity. At the same time, farmers faced cost
price squeeze and low profitability. Using net agricultural trade of goods as a proxy for land,
South Africa did not have sufficient or adequate crop land at all times to meet its own
domestic demand. Destabilising the land market would underutilise and/or lack of
investment would aggravate a sensitive balance.
They looked at what the expected outcomes would be from Land Ceiling Legislation. These
were that tenants who worked on the land may benefit, improved productivity, reaggregation
of land concentration, improved land distribution, enhanced equity and
efficiency, equitable income distribution and poverty alleviation.
They also looked at what the factors would be affecting changes in farm size.
They estimated that the potential impact to the Government would be, amongst others:-
• A decline in employment
• There would be negative effect on farmers
• Smaller farmers would not be able to compete in the current economic situation
• It would discourage the economic development of land for other productive uses
• Farmers would find the new legislation a disincentive to invest and look for other
• It could result in the collapse of land rental markets
• Farmers would not be able to expand operations which would negatively impact on
economies of scale
• The process of assessing the feasibility of a land unit was likely to be practically
impossible to execute and fraught with all manner of legal challenges and
• Losses in production and deterioration of the natural resource would lead to food
Their conclusions were that, as in other parts of the world, the outcome of land ceilings as
well as the potential impact locally argued against any optimistic expectation. The public
were quicker than the Government in passing off the land.
They looked at the economic impact on legislative process which were all were stuck in
legal review. To come up with a solution, they decided that if the net impact was a greater
distribution to emerging farmers, could there not be other instruments that could be used.
Should they not look at equity sharing models, etc?
He said that the report did not advance the political objects that were sought. The
Government were fully aware of what was happening but being aware does not mean that
they were prepared to do something.
The key was to move away from a debate on land ceilings but rather to debate appropriate
land allocations/holdings with a focus on equitable distribution.
With regard the ceilings debate, the Government had to be seen to be delivering. The
subtle changes that were happening were emanating from the NDP Chapter 6 with specific
• There was the politics of the land ceilings
• There was the reality of the National Development Plan
Some of these subtle changes were making tribal, communal and land given to land reform
beneficiaries productive and investing in infrastructure as an instrument to unlocking the
The Integrated Food Security and Nutrition Initiative was one of the largest programmes
that the Government was involved in. Agriculture was very important in the eyes of
Government. There was a massive drive to shift resources to rural land. The mindset
change was what the IFSNI represented which is to make use of the resources and land
already in the hands of emerging farmers and black rural households and focus on getting
the land bought in the past 15 years to work by the people themselves and they must be
empowered to do so. .
The potential implications of this shift are a mind set change that the Government is saying
it wants to see black farmers, contractors, input suppliers and agribusinesses emerge and
make the land work. He said that we must look beyond what we are hearing but a fair
portion of money will go to production investment in the future.
The NAMC has been mandated to manage the process to develop the plans for SIP 11 –
Agro logistics and Agricultural infrastructure. Government was reviewing over 10 000
infrastructure projects, most of which were not working.
Commercial agriculture should look at the real structural changes that were happening. The
projected budget for cross border trade and bulk infrastructure was in excess of R11bn and
agriculture needed to get into the debate.
He said we should think about a couple of things. It appeared that Government were
opening up the land claims issue to pacify the political will. He said we should expect to be
agitated but we should focus on the structural shifts that were happening and come up with
plans on how they could be done more effectively. He proposed that a greater and more
direct engagement of commercial agriculture be made to help the sector going forward
A copy of Mr Makenete’s power point presentation is attached to the file copy of this
Report. The Chairman thanked him for his address.
18. Address by Mr Max du Preez – Political commentator, journalist and a Fellow in
Applied Leadership Values at the University of Fort Hare
The Chairman introduced Mr du Preez to the meeting.
Mr du Preez said that most South Africans had a sense that something had shifted. He
enquired how rock solid was our stability. The political temperature had increased quite a
He said we should not over react to the negative forces and forget the positives but should
base our analysis on a proper understanding of what makes our Government tick. We
should understand what could go wrong and what is unlikely to go wrong. He said so many
of us feared the same things as when the National Party negotiated with the ANC in 1990.
He gave his advice on how to prosper in South Africa. He said we should understand the
nuances of Government, understand history and how it had influenced attitudes, accept
that this is not Europe or America, that things work differently in South Africa, be more
strategic and less emotional, remember what we do and say is not as important as how it is
perceived, accept that the Government is ineffectual and stop expecting them to sort out
problems. The key was stability, more than just the absence of violence. Knowing the state
of law and that the legal system would be applied and that we have a fair, credible and
operational legal system. He said we have possibly the most resilient agriculture in the
world. He said stability was rooted in the growing black middle class. Talking about strikes
and service delivery protests, he said this did not undermine our fundamental stability. One
thing we could learn from other democracies, the President and Government of the day did
not define who we were. Our country and people were still as strong as they were in 1994
when a peaceful settlement was agreed to.
He said BRICS was a very important coalition to have. South Africa was still one of the
most open societies in the world. It had become fashionable to refer to Marikana and we
should move away from this Arab Spring. South Africa had its Arab Spring in the mid and
late 1980s when we faced a bloody revolution, but we had leaders who defused the conflict
and agreed on a settlement that resulted in a democracy. Marikana was a very significant
event as it was seen as the ANC was not living up to its promises. The Government are
fighting an election and are very nervous about it. There has been a ground swell at the
continued inequality, unemployment and poverty and we should not underestimate this.
The other catalyst was Robert Mugabe’s election victory.
Instead of owning up and taking responsibility for bad policies, wrong decisions, self
enrichment, corruption and weak governance, the ANC are doing their best to channel this
anger against their political opponents. The world economic climate has deteriorated over
the past years and slowed progress. After the ANC was unbanned they had to suddenly
start working the economy. He said that we needed to reassure the world money that we
were going to be okay. It would have been better if the Government had not got rid of
skilled people so quickly. He said that the worst mistake the ANC had made was to allow
the education system to crumble. Black education was a disaster and it needed to be fixed.
Mr du Preez said that Polokwane was a low point in the ANC’s history. That, plus the
criminal charges against the President and revelations about the President’s private life
made him beholden to others. Julius Malema came with quick and easy solutions which
appealed to many who had little hope for the future. He is hoping he would become as
popular as Mugabe.
The positives are that the Government have made 2.4 million homes available, millions
have access to fresh water and flush toilets and millions survive on grants from the State.
With social grants, alleviating poverty has contributed to our stability. A bigger problem than
poverty in South Africa is inequality. The ANC has lost much support. He said we have
seen the rise of Helen Zille and the Democratic Alliance. You have to respect a middleaged
housewife going into politics. It certainly takes guts. The DA was redefining itself. He
said that the next election would be in May 2014 but the Government was scared because
if their popularity kept on dipping, they could dip to under 50% in 2019.
Minority groups would also look to see if there were not alternatives to vote for. At
Mangaung in December last year, the ANC proposed Cyril Ramaposa, a very influential
politician and a very astute businessman, as their Deputy President. Mr du Preez predicted
that Cyril Ramaposa would be the Deputy President in May 2014. He said that President
Zuma was not good for the ANC’s image and could not see him lasting the full 5 year term.
On paper Cyril Ramaposa could be the next President but if the KZN ANC had any say,
Cyril Ramaposa would not be President as they supported either Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
or Zweli Mkhize. Whichever way it was going to go, it was going to get better.
At Manguang one did not see demonstrations but the ANC Youth League was finally
disbanded and a formal announcement was made that nationalisation of banks and mines
was not ANC policy and never would be. It was also agreed to bring the National
Development Plan into being. There was a relaxing of labour legislation and Government’s
involvement in the economy. He said Cyril Ramaposa did not come back to be trampled
on. He is an egotist and what matters to him is his legacy. He chose to go back into politics
because he was concerned about his legacy.
With regard to the election next year, he said we should put on our safety belts – the next
few months were going to be rough. We needed to calm down and not take things too
literally. The DA had the best oiled election machine in this country. It is very important that
Mamphela Ramphele gets into Parliament. It is essential that really good leaders get into
Parliament. Mrs Ramphele would see to it that politics would be re-arranged. As far as
Julius Malema was concerned, the land was fertile for him to plant his seeds. He is arrogant
and thinks he can get the people to vote for him. Mr du Preez hoped that Julius Malema
gets fewer votes than Mrs Ramphele. The ANC was beginning to realise that South
Africans had a lower tolerance for State corruption. Lindiwe Sisulu had to raise the
productivity in the civil service. He said that the problem was that too much energy was
being spent on trying to keep the President out of court, out of jail and away from scandals.
Nkandla was a scandal. He felt the chances were high that we would have a dignified exit
from the President. He said that the next election would be a watershed. He said we
needed leadership, not a divided party, someone to stand up and get the old respectability
On the positives, he said our economy is about 65% bigger now than in 1990 and the black
middle class has shyrocketed by a 240% growth and we should not get hysterical with the
radical statements made by some hotheads.
With reference to land reform, he said that both the need for genuine agrarian reform and
the emotional demand need to be managed. If Government had bought land on the open
market, this would have been way beyond 30%. Millions must have been lost through
bureaucratic bungling, bad management and corruption. In a survey to find out who
wanted land, most said they did not want land, they would rather live in the cities. Of those
who said they wanted land, the majority wanted 5% or less. Cyril Ramaposa said that we
should start looking at the plan according to local circumstances and say what land should
be given for sale.
Mr du Preez pleaded with Organised Agriculture to employ intellectual tactics and get
involved. He asked who we wanted representing Agriculture. Was it not sending the wrong
message if we had the wrong representative?
In conclusion, in terms of what was going on, there was an incorrect widely held view that
blacks were as badly off as they were in 2004. He said that there were too many sensible
people with too much to lose for things to go awry. We should keep our eyes on next year.
He said we were the architects of our own future – we should know it and make it happen.
South Africa was still the land of opportunity.
A copy of Mr du Preez’s speech is attached to the file copy of this Report.
The Chairman thanked Dr de Jager and Messrs Makenete and du Preez for their time and
9. Panel Discussion and input by Delegates
The Chairman opened the floor to debate.
Mr Fritz Botes, Hattingspruit Farmers’ Association asked after how many years of
democracy could Whites expect to be regarded as South African. Would we ever have that
Mr Craig Carter, Dundee Farmers’ Association said that he was positive about farming. But
asked when would we see more accountability and responsibility in land reform?
Mr Jan Smith, Ingogo Farmers’ Association said that his wife was a teacher in Newcastle
and most pupils wanted to become doctors or lawyers but not any wanted to become
teachers. Education was in turmoil and so was agriculture. He said we were not promoting
agriculture for youngsters to get educated in agriculture. We must try and focus and
educate people in so far as what they want for agriculture. He suggested that money from
the Development Desk be spent to promote agriculture in the youth.
Mr du Preez said that race and identity was one of the toughest because he felt that we
should be able to talk about post-race. Race was not important (non-racialism) but as long
as poverty and inequality existed, race would exist.
With regards accountability and responsibility, we should get leadership from Government.
The problem was State corruption but these things were changing and we needed to use
land more than just a slogan.
With reference to education, he said this was an emotional thing.
Mr Makanete said that we have to begin to correct inequalities. He asked what do we as
farmers do. If you do not have good examples, you are not going to have good teachers. If
a Government says you can have a free house, you must be stupid if you say no.
government should rather say – what kind of land do you want? How do you categorise and
classify the aspirations of black people. How do we help you to get to the solution? It is a
long and slow process. Clear out the ones who do not want and get those who want to use
the land for farming.
Dr de Jager said that many mistakes are currently being made by Government but many
mistakes were made before 1994 and many mistakes will be made again. The commercial
agenda is always carried into these meetings. We are not going to survive as commercial
farmers if we do not address the problems of emerging farmers. Do not expect any working
plans from the Departments you have to be part of the plans. He said farmers were not
giving agriculture much of a mandate for providing possible solutions. Agriculture needed to
come up with something tangible, something to help us survive as commercial farmers and
something that would assist Government to meet its obligations. After the election, there
would be a new team. We must make the plans now and solutions must be found now. We
need to get the emerging sector successful. If we are not successful with that now, 20 years
from now, there will be no such thing as a commercial sector.
The Chairman thanked the speakers for their contributions.
20. Defining our focus into the future – Mr Michael Black
Mr Black thanked Brian Aitken for his leadership over the past two years. He admired his
unique leadership style. He thanked the Board for electing him as President. He said that to
make an impact on a game, you had to be part of the game. He said that he was
passionate about agriculture, passionate about Africa and passionate about his role in
agriculture in Africa.
He said that there had been excellent input and sobering revelations made by the speakers.
Dialogue was the only way forward and solutions could be difficult and possible different
channels should be found. He said we have lost our ability to be assertive. We should voice
our concerns and object and should not just accept things. As far as the image of the
farmer was concerned, we should take positive and decisive action to change this image.
Leadership was from ground roots up. He implored agriculture to get the best young
leaders to positions where they could serve. He granted that it took time but he said that
you gain in personal growth by meeting other people and discussing matters. He said that
strategy was about doing things right.
He invited anyone to contact him if they had suggestions for change.
In conclusion, he said that great challenges lie ahead. He remains optimistic about the
future and said that we should stand together and support the organisation.
Mr Aitken thanked delegates for attending, the officials of the various Departments, the
Kwanalu staff for their work, the media, press and sponsors for their support. To the new
leaders of Kwanalu, he said they had his support. He congratulated Mike Black on his
election as President and Phineas Gumede and Andy Buchan on their election as VicePresidents.
Lastly he thanked the farming community for their support.
Mr Sisa Damoyi was called on to say grace.
The Chairman declared the meeting closed at 14:10.
After Congress, lunch was served.
P O Box 100123
Tel: 033-342 9393
Fax: 033-345 7141
12 September 2012
AFTER CONGRESS NOTE
The election of the Management Committee took place at the Board Meeting after Congress.
Together with the President and Vice-Presidents, the following were elected onto Manco:-
Mr Christopher Hadebe Mrs Lisa Robertson
Mr Sisa Damoyi Mr Scot Scott
Mr Andrew Mason Mr Ian de Jager
Mr Ken Robinson
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