Saai asks for amalgamation of departments

“Due to the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform’s inability, ideological attachment to socialistic models, extensive corruption and nepotism – as pointed out by both the Kgalema Motlanthe report and the special investigating unit – this Department can in its current composition and performance not possibly make a contribution towards creating a class of profitable black farmers,” says Dr Theo de Jager, Chairperson of Saai’s board of directors.

Saai is subsequently making a plea to Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa to amalgamate this Department with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and during the restructuring consequently getting rid of corrupt and underachieving officials.

Some of Saai’s members in Limpopo that have already in 2013 received farms on a leasehold basis thanks to the redivision programme have still not received any assistance from the state to get on their feet. This creates frustration, instability and conflict in the countryside.

Black farmers that received farms from the state via land reform are doomed to failure. They have no access to financing, receive either poor or no technical advice service and all the promises of the state regarding support still haven’t materialised.

The poor coordination between the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is contributing to the fact that black farmers farming on state land are not becoming profitable producers. Saai and its network partners would as soon as possible like to make a recommendation to the new minister in cooperation with representatives of these black farmers that involves black farmers also receiving title deeds of farms that are allocated to them.