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AGRI SA MEDIAVERKLARING / MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER POOG OM ONWERKBARE BELEID TE VESTIG

Tydens die Grondberaad wat van 4 – 6 September 2014 in Boksburg plaasgevind het, het die Minister van Landelike Ontwikkeling en Grondhervorming, mnr Gugile Nkwinti die kontroversiële beleid in terme waarvan beperkings geplaas kan word op die omvang van plaasgrond wat persone mag besit, probeer afdwing, het Johannes Möller president van Agri SA gesê.

“Die minister kon nie inkoop op hierdie Groenskrif-voorstel kry gedurende die konsultasie-proses oor die Groenskrif wat byna twee jaar lank geduur het nie, maar het dit gedurende die doodsnikke van die beraad in Boksburg as ‘n resolusie probeer vestig. Die minister het ter elfder ure, ‘n voorstel ter tafel gelê, wat nie bespreek is deur die kommissies wat hiertydens ook oor verskillende aspekte van besitreg-hervorming beraadslaag het nie. Dit behels dat klein boere nie meer as 4 000 hektaar sal mag besit nie, medium boere tussen 4000 ha en 8000 ha en grootskaalse boere ‘n maksimum van 12 000 hektaar. Hy het toe geëis dat die aanwesiges daar en dan ‘n standpunt oor die voorstel moes inneem. Daar was duidelik geen konsensus oor die syfers wat die minister op die tafel geplaas het nie”, het Möller gesê.

“Agri SA het deurgaans tydens die Groenskrif-proses die standpunt gehandhaaf dat grondplafonne onwerkbaar is. Dit word geïllustreer deur internasionale ervaring. Daar was ook verskeie kundiges geraadpleeg hieroor tydens die Groenskrif-proses en daar is telkens daarop gewys dat die implementering van sulke plafonne baie duur sal wees, moeilik administreerbaar sal wees, dat verskillende tipes boerderye heeltemal verskillende behoeftes het in terme van hoeveelheid grond benodig en dat dit voedselsekerheid in gedrang kan bring. Die minister het landbouers tydens die beraad daarvan beskuldig dat hy hulle meer as voldoende tyd gegee het om met ekonomiese modelle vir verskillende gebiede en bedrywe vorendag te kom waarop die plafonne gebaseer kan word, maar dat hulle versuim het om dit te doen. Agri SA is egter vir baie goeie redes in beginsel gekant teen sodanige plafonne en kon daarom nie deelneem aan sodanige oefening nie”, het Möller gesê.

“Dit is tyd dat die regering ophou om duur, onwerkbare planne uit te dink en miljoene te spandeer op berade waar geen ware konsultasie plaasvind nie”, het Möller gesê. Agri SA sal ook nie beskuldigings aanvaar dat daar nie betyds met ekonomiese argumente vorendag gekom word om die minister se politieke sienings te ondersteun nie. Die minister moet besef dat aspekte soos grondplafonne kwalik deur enige ekonomiese berekeninge ondersteun kan word.

Möller sê dat Agri SA wel intern aandag skenk aan grondhervormingsmodelle wat werkbaar kan wees en sal dit ook by die organisasie se kongres wat in Oktober plaasvind, hanteer. “Hier is egter ook in landsbelang veel meer ter sprake as gewoon politieke ongedurigheid en ons sal gevolglik die aangeleentheid die aandag gee wat dit verdien ook binne die tyd wat dit verdien”, sê Möller.

Uitgereik deur Agri SA, Direktoraat: Korporatiewe Skakeling

Navrae

Mnr Johannes Möller, President Agri SA, 082 647 8481 Me Annelize Crosby, Adviseur Regs- en Grondsake, Parlementêre Skakeling, Agri SA, 082 388 0017

MINISTER AIMS TO INSTITUTE UNWORKABLE POLICY

During the Land Summit held from 4 to 6 September 2014 in Boksburg, the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Mr Gugile Nkwinti tried to pass a controversial policy in terms of which a limitation could be placed on the size of farms that people may own, said Agri SA president Johannes Möller.

“The minister was unable to secure buy-in on this Green Paper proposal during the relevant consultation process, which lasted almost two years, yet tried to pass it as a resolution towards the end of the summit in Boksburg.

As the summit was coming to an end the minister tabled a proposal that had not been discussed by the commissions, which had at the time also considered various aspects of tenure reform, namely that small farmers may not own more than 4 000 hectares; medium-sized farmers may own between 4 000 and 8 000 hectares and large-scale farmers a maximum of 12 000 hectares. He then demanded that those present should there and then adopt a position on the proposal. There was clearly no consensus around the figures that the minister had placed on the table,” said Möller.

“Agri SA has throughout the Green Paper process maintained the position that land ceilings were unworkable, as illustrated by international experience.

Furthermore, various experts were consulted in this regard during the Green Paper process and the general view was that implementation of such ceilings would be very expensive, difficult to administer, that different types of farming have totally different requirements in terms of land size and that it could jeopardise food security. During the summit the minister said farmers had been given sufficient time to come up with economic models for different regions and commodities on which the ceilings could be based, but that they had failed to do so. Agri SA, for very good reasons, is opposed in principle to such ceilings and was, therefore, unable to participate in this exercise,” said Möller.

“It is time for the government to stop devising expensive, unworkable plans and spending millions of rands on summits where no real consultation takes place,” said Möller. Agri SA will also not accept allegations that they had failed to put forward economic arguments to support the minister’s political views in time. The minister should realise that aspects such as land ceilings can hardly be supported by any economic calculations.

Möller said Agri SA was in fact attending internally to land reform models that could work and would also deal with these at the organisation’s congress in October. “However, in the national interest there is far more at stake than merely political fickleness and we will, therefore, give the matter the attention it deserves, also within the time it deserves,” said Möller.

Issued by Agri SA, Directorate: Corporate Liaison

Enquiries

Mr Johannes Möller, President Agri SA, 082 647 8481 Ms Annelize Crosby, Advisor Legal and Land Affairs, Parliamentary Liaison, Agri SA, 082 388 0017

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