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Financial|PROJECT|Projects|SECURITY|Sustainable|Equipment|Environmental
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Agri dept failing to support sustainable development in the NC

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Agri dept failing to support sustainable development in the NC

Agri dept failing to support sustainable development in the NC
Photo by Bloomberg

5th July 2022

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/ MEDIA STATEMENT / The content on this page is not written by Polity.org.za, but is supplied by third parties. This content does not constitute news reporting by Polity.org.za.

Seemingly endless funding of the Blocuso project has raised questions as to whether the Northern Cape Department of Agriculture has invested in the actual raisin farming initiative, or if it has instead benefited the contractors used to develop the vineyards.

This follows an oversight inspection to the Blucoso Raisin Production Farm, situated between Upington and Keimoes, by the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature last week.

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The Chairperson of Blucoso, Cedric Koopman, informed the DA that while Blucoso development received R68 million in funding from the department since 2003, there was still unsettled debt amounting to R3 million when he was appointed as chairman a year ago, with limited sustainable vineyard expansions.

After almost two decades worth of funding, one would by now have expected to see a self-sustaining agricultural project run by its trust, that could also provide substantial support to the beneficiaries of the trust. Instead, the project seems to remain dependent on yearly, financial injections from the department.

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The DA will submit questions to the department to request a breakdown of all the funding provided to the projects over the years, including what it was utilized for and who the various contractors were that were involved. We will further request the financial statements from the trust farm to gauge how the allocated funds were used, the profitability of this initiative, including how the proceeds of this venture are being disbursed.

The DA will also look at all other funding or equipment provided to municipalities, Communal Property Associations and other trusts to ensure accountability, sustainability and transformation in the agricultural sector.

The Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform has the responsibility of developing self-sustaining and productive projects, not serving as a glorified grants agency. One of its core mandates, after all, is food security.

 

Issued by Reinette Liebenberg, MPL - DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson on Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform

 

 

 

 

 

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