Over R2bn for Land Reform Programme

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pretoria - South Africa's Land Reform Programme is set to get more support from government, with the Rural Development and Land Reform Department having earmarked over R2 billion towards it for the 2012/13 financial year.

Delivering his budget vote speech on Wednesday, Minister Gugile Nkwinti said R2.7 billion had been set aside for this year to help increase South Africans' access to agricultural land. The department aims to create access to 320 000 hectares of agricultural land over this period.

Strategic support would be provided to 416 emerging farmers through the Recapitalisation and Development Programme (Recap) in addition to the existing 595 farms currently being supported at a cost of R1. 2billion.

Nkwinti said work would commence in revitalising eight irrigation schemes in the former homelands.
The irrigation schemes are Ncora and Keiskamma Hoek (Eastern Cape); Taung (North West); Vaalharts, (Northern Cape); Nkomazi (Mpumalanga), and Tugela Ferry, Nsuze and Bululwane (KwaZulu-Natal).

"We will, also, this financial year, revive the Butterworth Abattoir and Tannery. This will propel the local communal livestock farmers into the red meat value chain," he said.

With the introduction of Recap, the minister said his department targeted 1 807 projects, adding that they had so far succeeded in assisting 595 projects.

"I am happy to report that of these projects, 11 have been successfully ushered into the red meat industry and each has a real equity in the red meat value chain," he said.

However, Nkwinti said there were challenges facing both Land Acquisition and the Recapitalisation and Development Programme.

"In addressing these challenges, we are working closely with representatives of organised agriculture, agri-business chamber and land reform beneficiaries, who have been organised into a National Reference Group," he said.