Measures in place to transform rural economy

Friday, June 23, 2017

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma says government is currently rolling out several programmes aimed at transforming the rural economy. 

The President said this when fielding oral questions in the National Assembly on Thursday. 

Responding to a question by ANC MP Phumzile Ngwenya-Mabila, who had asked what government programmes are in place to strengthen engagement with sector stakeholders in delivering on the radical socio-economic programme in the rural economy, the President said: “Government has a number of programmes to transform the rural economy.  

“These include Agricultural Parks, the Strengthening of Relative Rights Programme and the One Household One Hectare and One Household Two Dairy Cows Programme.” 

The President said the Agricultural Parks Programme, for instance, seeks to improve production by smallholder farmers, access to markets, finance and research and engagement in the whole agriculture value chain. The programme was designed to promote collaboration between government, the private sector and rural communities. 

The Strengthening of Relative Rights Programme, on the other hand, seeks to secure the land rights and residential tenure of the farm dweller or farm worker, empower people working the land to acquire majority equity holdings in farming enterprises and bring about economic transformation of the agricultural sector. President Zuma said government is working closely with all the stakeholders involved. 

The One Household One Hectare Programme and One Household Two Dairy Cows Programme is intended to improve production and food security at household level in order to contribute to the increase in the number of small holder farmers. 

“The collaboration of stakeholders is also evident in programmes such as the electrification of rural communities through the Integrated National Electrification Programme, the provision of the Broadband Internet Services Programme which connects schools, clinics and other government buildings to broadband, and the provision of water and sanitation infrastructure in rural communities,” President Zuma said.  

The President said one of the most successful programmes include the Water Services Infrastructure Grant, which prioritises 27 poor district municipalities and the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant, which focuses on smaller municipalities. 

Conditional grants, such as the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, are aimed at ensuring that there is inclusive growth in the rural economy. President Zuma said this programme has benefited many rural communities through job creation. 

“Since inception, the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme has been allocated about R9.6 billion to deliver comprehensive support service to subsistence, smallholder and emerging black commercial farmers,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za

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