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Werkskepping in landbou word verwelkom, maar beleidsonsekerheid oor grond en droogtekrisis steeds kommerwekkend | Job creation in agricultural sector welcomed, but policy uncertainty over land and drought crisis remains a concern

English to follow:

14 Februarie 2020

President Ramaphosa se staatsrede hou potensiaal in. Daadwerklike optrede word nou verlang. Daar is ook waardering vir die behoefte soos deur die President verwoord vir samewerking om positiewe verandering in ons land te bewerkstellig.

“Die President se verbintenis om die land se verswakkende ekonomiese groei om te keer, is positief en sal ook tot voordeel van landbou in geheel wees”, sê Christo van der Rheede, Agri SA se adjunk-uitvoerende direkteur. “Agri SA hoop van harte dat die president en sy onderskeie ministeries en departemente in die komende jaar daad by die word sal voeg. “Dié staatsrede moet gesien word teen die agtergrond van grootskaalse korrupsie, ‘n verswakkende ekonomie, die aftakeling van instellings en die haglike toestand van staatsbeheerde maatskappye soos Eskom en die SAL.”

“Ons stem saam met President Ramaphosa dat die landboubedryf groot potensiaal vir groei toon. Dit is egter jammer dat die President nie méér aandag aan die landbousektor in sy staatsrede gegee het nie. Hy het verskeie planne uitgelig, maar nie genoeg besonderhede verskaf wat die praktiese uitvoerbaarheid daarvan betref nie”, sê Omri van Zyl, Agri SA se uitvoerende direkteur.

“Dit is kommerwekkend dat President Ramaphosa ook nie verdere besonderhede vir droogtehulp en praktiese oplossings vir die voortslepende droogte, wat steeds verskeie provinsies tot hul knieë dwing, bekend gemaak het nie. Hy het ook geen melding van die toenemende geweldsmisdaad in landelike gebiede en oorgrens misdade gemaak nie,” sê van Zyl. “Boere is onder druk weens beleidsonsekerheid en die effek van onder meer onteiening sonder vergoeding, misdaad en-droogte. Die President moet genoegsame ondersteuning aan die landbousektor bied om volhoubaarheid en voedselsekerheid te verseker.”

Agri SA is ook baie bekommerd oor die negatiewe impak wat beurtkrag op die primêre landbousektor, die voedselwaardeketting en die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie kan hê. Beurtkrag het ’n impak op besproeiingsafhanklike-en energie-intensiewe bedrywe soos tuinbou, suiwel, pluimvee en agro-prosessering. Besproeiing, skedulering van besproeiing, die aanwending van kunsmis, verwerking en verskeping word alles nadelig deur onbeplande kragonderbrekings beïnvloed.

Dis is wél bemoedigend dat die President die toekenningsproses van waterlisensies gaan versnel en dat hy hom ook verbind het om werkskepping binne die landbousektor aan te moedig.

“Die opbou en herstel van die ekonomie moet nóú op die voorgrond geplaas word. Ons moet beleidsekerheid hê om sodoende beleggers na ons sektor en Suid-Afrika in geheel te lok”, benadruk van der Rheede.

Agri SA is verbind tot landbouontwikkeling en-hervorming en sal voortgaan om hulself vir ‘n volhoubare landbousektor te beywer. Agri SA versoek opnuut die President om beleidsekerheid te gee oor onder meer onteiening sonder vergoeding en droogtehulp.

Navrae:

Omri van Zyl

Agri SA Uitvoerende Direkteur

(S) 082 417 5724

Christo van der Rheede

Agri SA Adjunk-Uitvoerende Direkteur

(S) 083 380 3492

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14 February 2020

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address does indeed have potential. Now the president must live up to the promises he made and step up to the plate. There is also great appreciation for the need expressed by the President to bring about cooperation in bringing about positive change in our country.

 “The President’s commitment to reverse the country’s slow economic growth is positive and will also benefit agriculture as a whole,” says Christo van der Rheede, Agri SA’s deputy executive director. “Agri SA sincerely hopes that the president and his various ministries and departments will join the act in the coming year. “This state of affairs must be seen against the backdrop of large-scale corruption, slow economic growth, the dismantling of institutions and the dire state of state-owned companies such as Eskom and SAA.”

We agree with President Ramaphosa that the agricultural industry has great potential for growth. It is a pity, however, that the President did not pay more attention to the agricultural sector in his State of the Nation Address. He highlighted several plans but did not provide enough details regarding its practical feasibility”, says Omri van Zyl, Agri SA’s executive director.

It is unsettling that President Ramaphosa has also not disclosed further details of drought relief and practical solutions for the ongoing drought, which is still forcing farmers on their knees. He also made no mention of the increasing violent crime in rural areas and cross-border crime”, says van Zyl. “Farmers are under pressure due to policy uncertainty and the effect of expropriation without compensation, crime and the drought. The President must provide sufficient support to the agricultural sector to ensure sustainability and food security.”

Agri SA is also very concerned about the negative impact that load shedding has on the primary agricultural sector, the food value chain and the South African economy. Load shedding has an impact on irrigation-dependent and energy-intensive industries such as horticulture, dairy, poultry and agro-processing. Irrigation, scheduling of irrigation, fertilizer application as well as the processing and shipping thereof, are all adversely affected by unplanned power cuts.

It is encouraging, however, that the President is going to accelerate the process of granting water licenses and that he also committed himself to creating employment within the agricultural sector.

 “The rebuilding and recovery of the economy must now be on the forefront. We must have policy certainty in order to attract investors to the agricultural sector and South Africa as a whole”, van der Rheede concludes.

Agri SA is committed to agricultural development and reform and will continue to strive for a sustainable agricultural sector. Agri SA once again calls on the President to provide policy certainty on troubling issues, including expropriation without compensation and drought assistance.

Enquiries:

Omri van Zyl

Agri SA Executive Director

(C) 082 417 5724

Christo van der Rheede

Agri SA Deputy Executive Director

(C) 083 380 3492