Free State records progress in land redistribution

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
By: 
More Matshediso

Pretoria - Progress has been made in redistributing land to residents in the Free State, says Premier Ace Magashule.

He said this on Tuesday in Vrede when he delivered the State of the Province Address (SOPA).

“We have made some progress in relation to the allocation of land to our people. We have acquired and allocated about 8 149 hectares of land.”

The Premier said about 7 017 hectares of land have been allocated to smallholder farmers, while about 987 hectares have been allocated to labour tenants, farm workers and farm dwellers.

“Although the land is still in the hands of the few, we call on all our people to use all constitutional means to access land.

“Land grabs and all manners of lawlessness will not be tolerated. Such acts must face the full might of the law.”

In revitalising primary agriculture and agro-processing, Premier Magashule said the provincial government will in April this year host the Free State Agro-Processing Summit to develop a strategy that will empower residents to process agricultural production within the province.

Breaking barriers in mining

Although the Free State is well-endowed with mineral resources, the people of that province have not been accommodated in the ownership of mines.

The Premier said government hopes that the passing of the Mineral and Petroleum Rights Development Amendment Bill into law, as well as the review of the Mining Charter will improve this situation. 

“The mining sector has been significantly affected by the shedding of jobs. We remain relatively optimistic of the improvement in commodity prices, which will most likely influence our mining sector, both in terms of production and preservation of current jobs.”

National Cabinet has committed to support the implementation of the Mabele Biofuel Refinery in Bothaville.

“We will work together with national departments to ensure that this project provides the necessary injection into the economy and creates jobs.

“We will also continue to provide support to the Xhariep Solar Park project. The adoption and adherence of the energy efficiency specification on all housing projects will result in the training and employment of local people for the installation of compliance elements,” said Premier Magashule. - SAnews.gov.za