'Building vibrant, equitable, and sustainable rural communities’
His Excellency the President of the Republic
His Excellency the Deputy-President of the Republic
Honourable Ministers and Deputy-Ministers
Honourable Members Traditional Leaders
Ladies and gentlemen.
I would also like to acknowledge, and welcome the special guests who honour us with their presence in the gallery today: emerging and commercial farmers; community representatives from our CRDP sites; NARYSEC youth; rural woman and youth crafters, and members of our Reference Groups.
1. Introduction / Background:
Mr. Speaker, inspired by the Freedom Charter and the Reconstruction and Development Programme, the 52nd National Conference of the ANC in 2007, decided that rural development and land reform should rank amongst the top 5 national priorities. It recognised that the 1913 Natives Land Act had left lasting scars on rural communities; a painful legacy that as part of addressing the national question – must be reversed.
Consequently, the post-2009 Election Administration, led by his Excellency, President Zuma, established the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. Weeks later, the new Department unveiled its agrarian transformation strategy, supported by the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme – the CRDP.
Mr Speaker, I am pleased to report that the CRDP is gaining momentum and effectiveness; it is becoming a way of life. The CRDP is working.
The CRDP rolls out in three phases, which run both sequentially and simultaneously: Phase 1 is “meeting basic human needs”, including food security; Phase 2 focuses on rural enterprise development; and, Phase 3 focuses on rural industries supported by localised markets, credit facilities and infrastructure. The question we ultimately had to answer, after several pilots across the country, was ‘what worked, and what didn’t?’ Put differently, what were the success factors where things worked out; and, what factors contributed to failure where things didn’t work out?
2. Reflection on the government's investment on the CRDP:
2.1 Rural Development
Honourable Members, after 4 years of hard work and an investment of almost R2.2 billion, all indications are that a winning formula is evolving; this in terms of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme.
Mr Speaker, in Limpopo we have invested in infrastructure, in the form of housing, pack sheds, boreholes, and support to cooperatives. In Masia we are investing in a multi-purpose facility, including ICT, an administration block, cultural and sports facilities, in terms of an amphitheatre and library this in conjunction with the Department of Arts and Culture. The upgrading of sports facilities, this in conjunction with the Department of Sport. In Muyexe, we have constructed housing, and other infrastructure; 50 youth have been trained in road construction and will soon undertake road paving projects in Go’no’no, Dingamanze and Tomo. Plans for an amphitheatre in Tomo are complete, and construction will be undertaken soon.
In the Eastern Cape, we will soon hand over a 141m long bridge over the Mbhashe river, which is dedicated to the world’s greatest bridge-builder, The Nkosi Dalibhunga Mandela Legacy Bridge. This bridge leads to Nelson Mandela’s birthplace, Mvezo. Construction has been completed, together with a 10 kilometre block-paved road which links it with the N2. I believe even our great former President himself would be pleased. As a direct result of this project, youth in the two villages of Mvezo and Ludondolo have been trained in manufacturing bricks, and paving. They will now pave the inter and intra-village roads, thereby improving roads and communities’ access to services such as economic hubs, clinics and schools.
ICT facilities are being rolled-out to schools; for example, the Cofimvaba e-Textbook programme which involves the rollout of the required IT backbone infrastructure to a 26 school education circuit, and the provision of a tablet device to every pupil and teacher involved. This is done in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology.
The department has novel systems to address the challenge of water in rural areas. One of these is the water purification plant at Empindweni Village in Mhlontlo Local Municipality in the OR Tambo District, which uses ‘Unfiltration’ technology to purify river water. This Plant purifies 50 000L of water per day. The Department has invested R347 million in acquiring 6 000 hectares of land in Cradock, for sugar beet production. This is part of the bio fuels plant National Demonstration Plant soon to be built in the town.
Mr Speaker, in the Western Cape we have invested in infrastructure in Witzenburg, with the building of a walkway that not only improved the aesthetics, but also safety in the area. This project was undertaken by youth from the town. In Dysseldorp, we have constructed a crèche and improved infrastructure, including ICT at schools, thereby making learning easier and fun; community members have been trained in road maintenance and school garden projects. The Old age home has been refurbished using local labour, emergency housing, using sandbag technology.
In Gauteng, we have constructed solar lighting and high mast lights for 200 households in Devon, one of the CRDP sites. This contributes to efficiency and community safety. Bulk infrastructure plans are being rolled out in Mamello in support of sustainable human settlements. Schools have been renovated, and roads paved in and around the community facilities.
Mr Speaker, in the Northern-Cape, we laid a 37km water pipeline, which feeds water from the Orange River to the community of Riemvasmaak. This is the first time that the entire community received piped water, making daily access to water
possible. Agricultural activities have increased, and production has led, not only to a boost in food security for the community, but more importantly, but to a much needed boost to the local economy. Schools have been renovated, and a clinic built, and access roads tarred, this in support of a community once cut-off from services. A stadium and sport facilities have been constructed, enabling youth to participate in a range of sporting activities.
Mr Speaker, in KwaZulu-Natal, conservation agriculture technology has been introduced in Msinga Top with the support of the Agricultural Research Council. Implements like the 4-row ripper planter, boom sprayers, and other devices have been supplied to 19 cooperatives in 44 villages. Infrastructure is being rolled out in other Msinga areas with the construction of water reservoirs and the roll-out of electricity to more than 700 households, as well as the upgrading of a water canal for the revival of the Tugela Ferry Irrigation Scheme. Msinga recently hosted the countries first indigenous goat auction, generating an income of more than R500 000 for the community, through the sale of 575 goats.
In Sikame, Ward 7 in Vryheid, 904 houses have been built, creating a new sustainable human settlement - a far cry from the mud houses they once occupied. This was a joint effort between the Province and ourselves. In Uthungulu 1 550 households are gaining access to sanitation. Wards 5, 6 and 7 in Vryheid have benefited in terms of the installation of VIP toilets, renovation of schools, and the construction of houses in the area. In Mansomini, working with SA Sugar Association, we have facilitated agricultural production of sugarcane and other crops, thus contributing to growth in the local economy. Mansomini has become one of our flagship CRDP projects. So successful is this enterprise it has influenced ENGEN to re-open a filling station, which had been closed for a long time. Small traders have re-opened shops.
Mr Speaker, in the Free State, the first semi-green village has been constructed, using modern technologies in the form of solar lighting and solar geysers. Sports facilities have been constructed to encourage youth to participate in sport. A dairy parlour, equipped with new milking machines, pasteurisers and milk handling facilities has been constructed; cattle have been purchased to supply the dairy with milk, and an off-take agreement concluded with Nestle. The community also planted and recently harvested their first crop of wheat, which generated substantial income at both community and household level. The community has now leased 400 of their 2000 hectares of land, at a rate of R400 per hectare per annum. This is a novel enterprise development initiative.
The Provincial government has also built boarding facilities for the local school. 68 farms in the Free State have been recapitalised and are flourishing, serving as flagship projects in this regard; some are already moving into the red-meat value-chain. The Mokhachane family is soon going to open its own butchery in Virginia.
Mr Speaker, in the North-West Province, schools have been upgraded, solar and high mast lighting erected; and bulk water infrastructure construction is being planned. The Dabulamanzi farm, on the boundary of the North-West and Free State provinces, is yet another successful recapitalized farm, employing 300 persons and is about to enter the agricultural value-chain.
Mr Speaker, in Mpumalanga, an Early Childhood Development Centre and housing were constructed, solar lighting, water and sanitation infrastructure installed. Low-water bridges and roads are being constructed in Mayflower and Donkerhoek, facilitating better access to facilities by communities. In Donkerhoek, a new school with boarding facilities has been built, and housing renovated, projects undertaken jointly with the Province. Further demonstrating that, working together everything is possible.
The National Rural Youth Service Corps – NARYSEC - is our response to the Polokwane Conference’s directive on job and skills creation amongst the youth. There are currently some 13000 participants in the NARYSEC programme at various stages of their training as development agents. We have also partnered with the Agricultural Research Council to train 900 agri-paraprofessionals in smallholder livestock and dairy production, and 750 more in vegetable gardening and soil sampling. The Department has to date invested over R631 million in programmes to train and deploy rural youth. In all of this I must acknowledge our strong partnership with National Treasury, with the Department of Defence and Military Veterans, and over 40 FET Colleges under the Department of Higher Education and Training. A further 400 youth have received practical training in construction by Murray and Roberts. This is part of the collaboration with the private sector. Youth have also participated in construction projects in Worcester (housing construction), Beaufort-West (constructing a youth hub), and Limpopo (brick making and paving).
Rural Arts and Crafts
Mr Speaker, South Africa is blessed with a diversity of cultures, and is rich with artistic expression of these, which serve to express who we are. The Department, through its support and investment of R3.5 million in rural arts and craft for skills, jobs and cultural ware, has facilitated the training of 990 woman and youth across the country in various forms of arts, crafts, and curios, ranging from bead work to sewing, amongst others. Their wares have, with the support of the Department of Woman, Children and Persons with Disabilities, been displayed at the United Nations, and India; and, during September this year, a cultural, arts and crafts exchange will be facilitated with Venezuela.
This investment in arts, crafts, and culture, has provided our rural artists and crafters with both domestic and international markets, infrastructure and technical support.
Challenges for rural development:
- • The Construction SETA discredited a number of FET colleges, resulting in only 38 being accredited. This has created a challenge in that it frustrates efforts leading to youth receiving accredited training; and,
- • An integrated approach to service delivery, both at government and community level, is core to the success of the CRDP. Experience thus far indicates that this is not always possible. However, an improvement is being witnessed, this as the CRDP Management System is being institutionalised in both our Department and some Provinces.
2.2 Land Reform:
Mr Speaker, Land reform entails the following: redistribution, restitution, development and tenure reform.
The strategic objective of land reform is that:
- All land reform farms should be 100 % productive by the year 2015/16; and,
- To rekindle the class of black commercial farmers which was destroyed by the Natives Land Act of 1913.
Mr. Speaker, since the inception of the Restitution programme in 1995, 79 696 claims were lodged, 77 334 have been settled of which 59 758 were finalised. Land acquired by the state amounts to 4 000 land parcels, or 1, 443 million hectares. 137 000 beneficiaries are female headed households, and 672 are persons with disability. A total of R16 billion has been spent on the programme thus far, in settling 77 148 claims. R10 billion has been spent in land acquisition, and R6 billion for 71 292 financial compensation claims which would have acquired 1.9 million hectares, had we bought land.
This is a reflection of enduring poverty, unemployment, and income poverty in the historically disadvantage community.
Between 1994 and the end of March this year, 4860 farms have been transferred to black people and communities, through the Redistribution Programme - more than 4 million hectares. Almost a quarter of a million people have benefitted through land reform, of this over 50 000 women, 32000 youth, and 674 persons with disability benefitted.
Mr Speaker, in terms of the development aspect of land reform, 1269 farms were recapitalised between the third quarter of 2009 and March 2013. Over 7 400 jobs were created. The total investment by the State, since the inception of the RECAP program is R2.14 billion. The investment supported emerging farmers with infrastructure, and strategic technical support. Historically distressed farms became sustainable and productive. With the support of commercial and strategic partners, emerging farmers are achieving access to good markets, and integrating their produce in the value chain. As at December 2012 the nett income from these recapped farms was R126 million.
Challenges for land reform:
On May 24th I met with emerging farmers and strategic partners, who are part of the Recapitalisation and Development Programme. A number of challenges were identified, including the difficulty posed by the requirement for farmers, even in remote areas, to submit 3 quotations for goods, services or repairs. In many cases this is impractical and we intend negotiating a more flexible regime with National Treasury. The meeting agreed that there are many positives emanating from the programme, and that it has made a positive change in peoples’ lives, with fledgling enterprises now becoming fully operational and contributing to the agricultural sector, and the economy. Some of those who have made a success of this programme, are seated in the gallery today.
The programme is a good one, but requires an improved management, to deepen its success.
3. Institutional reforms and transformation in advancing the CRDP:
Mr Speaker, the Department has, in terms of institutional reforms and transformation in advancing the CRDP, undertaken an exercise of institutional, policy and legislative reforms, and I am pleased to report on progress in this regard.
Important enabling legislation is being processed, some to establish new institutions in support of rural development and land reform - others to sharpen the mechanisms used to give effect to our mandate.
The Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Bill; the Geomatics Profession Bill, the Deeds Registration Amendment Bill and the Sectional Titles Amendment Bill are currently before Parliament.
Cabinet recently approved the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill, and the Property Valuation Bill (which establishes the Office of the Valuer-General), for public comment.
The Land Management Commission Bill; the Communal Property Associations Bill, and the Extension of Security of Tenure Amendment Bill and the Communal Land Tenure Bill are being finalised and will enter the Cabinet and Parliamentary systems during June.
4. Investment during the current MTSF:
In order increase food production in the country, the Department will invest approximately R240 million to revitalise irrigation schemes on 5000 hectares of land in Valhaarts, Taung; and 5 schemes in uMkhanyakude, Uthungulu, Mzinyathi and Zululand districts in KwaZulu-natal; 3 schemes in the Eastern Cape including the Keiskama and Ncora irrigation schemes.
The Department will also be investing approximately R220m to improve Animal and Veldt Management across the country. This initiative will also contribute to improved environmental management.
Approximately R70 million will be invested in roads and bridges across the country, including bridges in Pniel, and in Wuperthal, Western Cape, as well as a bridge and road in Diyatalawa, Free State.
In the Agricultural value-chain, investments of R60 million in poultry, R32m in dairy, R100 million in the fruit and vegetable industry, and R300 million in grains, will be made.
R2.7 billion will be invested, this in recapitalising 552 farms, and acquiring 170 000 hectares.
The Commission will invest approximately R3bn, in settling 438 claims across the country.
Spatial Planning and Land Use Management:
R31 million will be invested in preparation for the implementation of the Spatial Planning and Use Management Bill, once enacted.
R68 million will be invested in the formulation of Spatial Plans in municipalities, which will focus on rural and poor municipalities, as well as the drafting of the National Spatial Framework which is a requirement of the NDP.
R25.2 illionm in formulating the Integrated Information Systems, which informs our planning decision making.
An amount of R448 million will be invested in the development of the e-Cadastre system, which will enable a holistic view of land ownership, and to answer the question of who owns South Africa.
5. The struggle to reverse the legacy of colonialism and apartheid continues:
Mr. Speaker, much of the work of the Department aims to reverse the negative legacy of colonialism and apartheid. There is, I believe, national consensus that the country must move on in order to promote real growth and anchor that growth in sustainability, which is why I am confident that the next phases of our programme will receive widespread backing.
There were numerous disastrous socio-economic consequences of the 1913 Natives’ Land Act, not least the destruction of a fledging class of African farmers; the destruction of the environment; and the deliberate impoverishment of black people. This is the legacy we must reverse.
Mr. Speaker, the President, during his State of the Nation Address, announced the re-opening of the lodgement of land claims, for those who did not claim during the first window of opportunity. There are two aspects to this announcement, the first being the reopening of the lodgement process itself; and the second, the creation of exceptions to the cut-off date for claims relating to the 1913 Natives Land Act, specifically for heritage sites, historic landmarks and opportunities for the descendants of the Khoi and San to claim.
In terms of the 1998 cut-off date, I am pleased to announce that Cabinet has approved the Restitution Amendment Bill for public comment. The gazette is available at all our offices, and on the Web site. As for the 1913 cut-off date for the descendants of the Khoi and San; and the heritage sites and historic landmarks, we have instituted consultative workshops, and work is underway to codify these exceptions.
Ladies and gentlemen, during this latest lodgement opportunity, people will be assisted with a Citizens Manual for Land Claims. This will be available in all official languages. We are resolved to compiling an accurate oral history during this process. Too often in the past our histories have been recorded by the oppressor or uninvolved witnesses. Now we intend to collect information directly from those descended from people who experienced at first hand the effects of the 1913 Natives Land Act. NARYSEC youth will actively participate in this project.
Mr Speaker, there is a tendency amongst casual observers to express impatience at the rate of progress on rural development and land reform. Be patient. 360 years of injustice cannot be put completely to rights in a mere 19 years of democracy. The damage is too deep. But we are doing the right thing – it is a work in progress and it is working.
We witness daily the development of infrastructure to reach and help the people in need; we are working hand in hand with more and more communities to enable them to take maximum advantage of that infrastructure and use it as an agent for changing their own lives and futures. We have a plan in place and it is a plan that is working.
To achieve our goals we have the cooperation of other departments, business, and civil society at all levels. They are working with us. So too are the President and the Deputy President, and I thank them for their wisdom, their guidance and support.
Next month, on June 19th, Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentlemen, it will be precisely 100 years since the introduction of the act which, more than any other, undermined the progress of this nation – the 1913 Natives Land Act. We intend to call, that day, for a widening and determined national effort to put that act and its implications behind us – to spread out our hands and grasp one another in a common bond by which we promise to move forward in harmony and unity, and pledge that never again will this country’s good name be soiled by such ruinous legislation. On that day, on June 19th, I urge the members of this house, and the citizens of this country, to make that pledge also.
Mr Speaker, on the 20th of June we are exhibiting a ‘Walking Tour’ of a special reflective moment, which has been mounted with cooperation from several sister departments, non-governmental organisations and personalities, which traces the history of our country and its people, and pays homage to those who suffered in order to give us what we now enjoy. We humbly invite the Honourable Members of this House, including Ministers and Deputy-Ministers, as well as political parties represented in this House, to this exhibition, which will be held on the 20th and 12th at the International Convention. You may wish to sign the pledge on that occasion.
Mr Speaker, Vision 2030 as set out in the National Development Plan, is the objective that will close the gap between the urban and rural segment of the economy; in pursuit of this vision, the following outputs were set:
- Improved land administration and spatial planning for integrated development,
- Improved and sustainable agrarian reform for security;
- Increased access to quality infrastructure and services;
- Sustainable rural enterprises and industries characterised by strong rural-urban linkages, access to local markets and financial services;
- Increase in employment opportunities (jobs) created in rural areas;
- Increase in employment rate in rural areas;
- Improved integration and coordination as a result of implementation of synchronised rural development strategies.
These are fully in line with the CRDP.
Mr Speaker, I hereby table this Budget Policy Speech for consideration by this House.
I thank you!