Deputy President David Mabuza says government offers support programmes for beneficiaries of land reform to ensure that they use their newly acquired land productively.
The Deputy President said this when he responded to oral questions in the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday.
“Land must continue to contribute to the broader economic and developmental growth of our country.
“For this to happen, we must ensure that our post-settlement support programmes to beneficiaries of land reform are effective to ensure that restituted land is utilised optimally.
“The government land reform programme must be implemented in a way that land access is complemented by the necessary support for it to be suitable for use by the different beneficiaries, given the land use and planning that is consistent with their needs,” he said.
Mabuza said it is government’s moral duty to address the historical injustice of land dispossessions and this remains one of the critical imperatives to transform society and to forge a united and a cohesive country.
He said through government’s land reform programme, the State is taking a responsible and a measured path of restoration, redress and dignity for all who should share in the wealth of the land.
The Deputy President said addressing the challenges of skewed land ownership through equitable access to land is not only an act of justice, but a social imperative to broaden economic inclusion and participation.
“Land is a productive asset that supports development, social upliftment and sustainable livelihoods.
“When land is restored to its rightful owners, we have an obligation to ensure that every piece of restituted land remains productive and accrues economic value to those who own it and to the whole country.”
Support for local farmers
With respect to agriculture, Mabuza said support programmes are critical for any farmer development interventions.
He said these support interventions range from extension services, research and technology transfer mechanisation, production input, finance and market access.
Government, through its agricultural departments nationally and provincially, offers extension services, production inputs for subsistence and smallholder farmers, technology transfer assistance in finance, mechanisation and market access, the Deputy President said.
The provision of production infrastructure such as dams and irrigation infrastructure is essential to achieve high levels of production by smaller farmers.
“The Illima/Letsema [grant] is largely for support of vulnerable and subsistence farmers in order to address food security.
“Mechanisation support through the creation of service centres has been budgeted for so that farmers at local level can have access to tractors and other implements that will support them to be productive.
“In some provinces, service centres are already in operation. This will be streamlined with farmer production support units which are part of the broader integrated producer support system,” the Deputy President said. – SAnews.gov.za