#StopTheWarOnOurFood: DA petitions the President to act on rural safety now!

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has launched an online petition calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to act on rural safety.

There has been an unprecedented number of attacks on people living on farms, rural areas and small holdings.

A total number of 184 farm attacks and 20 farm murders have occurred in the country since the start of the year.

Gauteng has recorded the highest number of attacks of 51 incidents.

The increased attacks on our farming communities is as a result of a lack of political leadership by SAPS.

Farming plays a major role in creating employment opportunities, food security and contribution to the GDP.

The government’s Rural Safety Strategy has been a dismal failure because police stations in the most hard-hit rural areas are understaffed and under-resourced. SAPS is increasingly unable to protect rural communities.

We urgently need the following interventions:

  • Rural Safety Units must be reintroduced and properly resourced;
  • Innovation in new technology such as surveillance drones, ShotSpotter and geofencing must be explored as a matter of urgency;
  • SAPS must keep accurate statistics so that the success or failure of interventions can be measured;
  • The Reservist Programme in farm areas must be properly implemented with a concerted effort to recruit and train farmers, farm workers and farm dwellers;

The DA-led Western Cape government is in a process of setting up an inter-ministerial rural safety committee to tackle issues of farm attacks and rural safety.  We believe that if the national government replicates what the DA Western Cape government is doing an immediate solution to curb these attacks can be found.

We call on all South Africans to help stop farm attacks by signing the below petition to be handed over to the President.

An attack on the farms is an attack on food security #StopTheWarOnOurFood.

Please follow this link to view and sign the petition:


Gauteng Service Delivery Dealt A Blow By Slow Release Of Funds

Gauteng Provincial Government – National Treasury

Five major Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) departments have yet to receive their allotted budget for the second quarter of this financial year due to the slow transfer of funds from National Treasury.

The departments of Roads and Transport, Community Safety, Agriculture and Rural Development, E-Government and Infrastructure Development, which should by now have received 50% or more of their equitable share from National Treasury are all low in the 40% region.

Of notable concern is the department of E-Governance, which to date has only received 40.8% of its allocated funding. This department is the nerve centre of government business in Gauteng. If it fails to fulfil its mandate due to financial constraints, it will have dire consequences for the other GPG departments.

Premier David Makhura’s Transformation, Modernisation and Re-Industrialisation Plan

In an effort to restructure the economy of Gauteng, Premier David Makhura’s Transformation, Modernisation and Re-Industrialisation (TMR) plan hinges on departments like Infrastructure and Agriculture for its success. However, without funding, it will be impossible for these departments to make in-roads to address economic growth and job creation.

As the country’s most populace province, it is imperative that these funds are made available to departments as soon as possible so that residents of Gauteng receive the service they deserve.

It is at this stage unclear as to why these funds have yet to be made available.

Premier David Makhura must engage his counterparts in national government to speed up the payment process as he has done with the issues surrounding monies owed to the Gauteng Department of Health.

Province’s Financial Obligations

If the process is delayed due to departments failing to comply with legislation, swift action must be taken against accounting officers in departments.

The DA will continue to ensure that the province’s financial obligations are met and that service delivery is not hampered.



Media Enquiries:

Adriana Randall MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC on Finance

060 556 4342

Didiza’s tenure at Agriculture a warning sign for Tshwane

If Zuma’s imposed Mayoral Candidate, Thoko Didiza’s tenure as Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs is anything to go by, then the people of Tshwane can look forward to another 5 years of dysfunctional government if the ANC were to win on 3 August.

With 517,000 unemployed during Mayor Ramokgopa’s tenure, this is not something that the people of Tshwane can afford.

At a time when the City of Tshwane needs decisive leadership to move it forward again, Didiza’s record at the Department of Agriculture and Land Affairs paints a picture of a politician woefully inexperienced to manage the Capital.

  • Upon her appointment she marginalised the former Minister’s staff, resulting in the resignations of the Director-General, 3 x Deputy Directors-General, 5 x Chief Directors, 4 x Directors, and 3 x land claims commissioners.
  • The purged staff members were replaced with yes-men, lacking skills, experience and competence. This led to a complete lack in institutional memory, which greatly weakened the Department.
  • Didiza was considered to be out of touch; a “political player” more at home in meetings than in rural communities.
  • In 2001 when the ANC used the Apartheid-era 1959 Trespass Act and the Red Ants to evict settlers from a piece of land in Bredell, Didiza proclaimed “these people must go back to where they came from.”
  • Many of her responsibilities, allegedly including preparing her speeches, were delegated to the Director General, Bongiwe Njobe, who was said to be running the show because Didiza lacked confidence.
  • As a result of uncertainty over key policy issues, and a moratorium on new redistribution projects instituted by Didiza, the land reform process ground to a halt.
  • Her flagship Land Reform and Agricultural Development Programme (LRAD) was a disaster that failed to meet targets and deadlines, running out of money within 2 years of its launch. In 2003 Didiza instructed the Land Bank to continue accepting LRAD applications but not to process them.
  • Didiza ignored warnings from former Finance Minister, Trevor Manuel, concerning the situation at the Land Bank and its reckless lending practices.

Didiza was out of her depth as Minister of Agriculture and out of touch with those she was meant to serve. Turning the City of Tshwane around will represent an even bigger challenge given the mammoth task.

Didiza comes to Tshwane as a lame-duck candidate who will spend much of her time dealing with the ANC’s factional battles in the City. Given her lack of experience, and divided focus, the needs of the people of Tshwane will come in a distant second.

The City of Tshwane needs real leadership if we are to make progress in creating jobs for the half a million unemployed residents of Tshwane, and improve service delivery to those who are without housing, water and sanitation.

Only the DA can bring the change Tshwane needs to move forward through an honest and responsive government that will stop corruption, deliver better services and create jobs.


Solly Msimanga

DA Mayoral Candidate for Tshwane


DA Debates Motion On Farm Workers

Note to editors: The following speeches were delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today by the DA’s John Moodey MPL, Ina Cilliers MPL, Janho Engelbrecht MPL, and Kingsol Chabalala MPL, during debates on the motion regarding farm workers.


Speech by
John Moodey MPL

“New partnerships will pave the way forward”

  • It is true that the farm worker was denied the protection of collective bargaining, was in too many instances exploited as a mere means of production, with scant consideration of working and living conditions and in some instances treated as indentured labour.
  • One thing I do believe, is that we cannot be concerned about the farm worker in isolation, for they form an integral part of the labour force.
  • We cannot change the past, for we have no control over it, however we can deal with the present, taking into consideration the future.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Speech by

Ina Cilliers MPL

“Agricultural reforms needed to unlock opportunities”

  • …farm workers and their families are some of the most marginalised members of our society, as a result of our unfair past, but also as a result of government policies and legislation of the past 21 years…
  • Our department of Agriculture should completely re-think the way they approach the sector. The first priority should be skills development – and not skills we needed 100 years ago…
  • We require a capable state that delivers quality basic services to ensure that our people receive a good education, are healthy, know their rights, and can pursue their dreams by taking up opportunities provided by a vibrant commercial sector.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Speech by

Janho Eneglbrecht MPL

“Cheap politicking adds no value to human plight”

  • …it is only right that farm labourers should also enjoy rights like maternity leave and pension.
  • …agriculture and farmer workers should not be used as a political tools to score short term political points. The risks are just too high.
  • We have the ability to defy the orthodoxies of foreign ideologues and devise a set of pragmatic, realistic proposals that would make a real difference to the people of South Africa.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Speech by

Kingsol Chabalala MPL

“Minimum wage would increase unemployment”

  • For generations farm workers across South Africa have probably suffered the worst kind of indignity that any human could endure.
  • Our opponents in the ANC and the EFF talk about widespread abuses of farm workers across South Africa – but somehow… we don’t seem to see or hear of farmers being prosecuted or jailed for breaking the law.
  • Honourable Speaker, if a minimum wage had to be imposed by government, commercial farming in South Africa would come to a complete standstill. Just imagine the devastating impact on the economy, and the millions of workers who would suddenly find themselves without jobs.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Media enquiries:

John Moodey MPL

082 960 3743


Ina Cilliers MPL

060 556 4344


Janho Engelbrecht MPL

060 556 4343


Kingsol Chabalala MPL

060 558 8299

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Budget Vote Speeches: Economic Development

Note to editors: The following speeches were delivered in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature today by the DA’s Shadow MEC for Economic Development, Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs, Janet Semple MPL, Spokesperson for Economic Development, Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs, Janho Engelbrecht MPL, and Spokesperson for Economic Development, Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs, Ina Cilliers MPL, during the 2015/16 Annual Budget Debate on the Department of Economic Development.


Focused Intervention and Less Fluff to Stimulate Gauteng Job Growth

Speech by: Janet Semple MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Economic Development, Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs 
  • Gauteng is home to the most unemployed and out-of education labour force in the country at a shocking rate of 49.9%.
  • A person with a job is a person with dignity, a person who can hold his or her up head high before their family, a person who can put bread on the table.
  • Businesses dependant on state contracts and tenders are not increasing competition.
  • There is no programme around red tape reduction or any assessment of business processes to see where the state is creating bottlenecks.

The full speech can be obtained here.



Ten True Pillars of Economic Transformation Required in Gauteng

Speech by: Janho Engelbrecht MPL – DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Economic Development, Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs

If one look at the priorities and strategic objectives of the Department and the 10 pillars of the province, it reads like a page out of a political catchphrase textbook.

  • Redress should be an all-inclusive process, not exclusively for the well connected. In doing so it will allow access to capital, allow participation in the economy, and increase ownership.
  • For the many millions of unemployed in Gauteng, this administration sets itself above its people.

The full speech can be obtained here.



Economic Budget Lacks Transformative Substance

Speech by: Ina Cilliers MPL – DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Economic Development, Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs


  • The department will not be looking at a red tape reduction unit then, this despite the National Department of Small Business’ decision to emulate the Western Cape’s unit earlier this year.
  • How will a township entrepreneur benefit from business infrastructure placed in his backyard if it still takes him months to register his business and cannot attract investors or expand his payroll without understanding how red tape will affect him?

The full speech can be obtained here.


Media enquiries:

 Janet Semple

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Economic Development, Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs

082 462 8239


Janho Engelbrecht

DA Gauteng Spokesperson: Economic Development, Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs

060 556 4343


Ina Cilliers

DA Gauteng Spokesperson: Economic Development, Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs

060 556 4344

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DA Welcomes Land Audit Pronouncement

The DA in Gauteng welcomes Premier David Makhura’s announcement last week that the provincial government would embark on a land audit to assist the growth of emerging farmers in the province.

Premier Makhura announced his intended move at the Agri-processing Industry Summit held in Kliptown.

The DA proposed a land audit for the province in November 2014, which laid out what the Premier announced at the summit.

It is significant that the governing party has acknowledged that it is on the wrong track and has taken the DA’s proposal to heart, by putting to good use fallow government-owned land.

While it is critical to redress the imbalances of the past, simply handing over land will not automatically put emerging farmers on the path to prosperity. Government needs to provide the necessary technical, financial and commercial advice and mentorship – if necessary in partnership with organized agriculture – to ensure that beneficiaries develop their enterprises into commercially viable operations their own right

The success of emerging farmers is not only vital in ensuring food security, but also for correcting the stark disparities in land ownership.

A strong emerging farming sector would be a step towards breaking down the enduring racial inequalities and social exclusions experienced by the majority of our people.


Media enquiries:
Janho Engelbrecht MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Agriculture
060 556 4343

[Image source]