DA Debates 2016/17 Gauteng Department Of Agriculture And Rural Development Budget

Speech by: Ina Cilliers MPL

“Modernisation of agricultural budget sorely required”

  • The major concern is that in spite of the strategic imperative of “agriarian reform” and all the “radical” imperatives, the bulk of the budget does not speak to the needs of farmers.
  • Agriculture’s total contribution to the GDP in Gauteng is only 0.5% even though half of all the agro-processing in SA takes place in Gauteng. The department does not have to be happy with this- it suggests that the GDARD is still positioning itself as a social development driver, and not an economic development driver.
  • Your budget should not be spent on food parcels, vegetable gardens and handing out seed packets and garden hoses. Leave that to the department of social development. You should be supporting the individual entrepreneurship of existing farmers, helping them to succeed commercially by tapping in to modern trends.

The full speech can be obtained here.

 

Speech by: Janho Engelbrecht MPL

“Government negligence laying waste to Gauteng’s environment”

  • Across the province developments are being approved in contravention of the National Environmental Management Act.
  • How is it possible that environmentally degrading developments can be approved after receiving the green light from GDARD in the form of EIA’s, when it is in direct contravention of National Legislation?
  • We are busy creating a situation where the legacy we leave our children would be a toxic wasteland all in the name of economic progress, something which, by the way, this administration is not very good at.

The full statement can be obtained here.

 

Media enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Agriculture

060 556 4344

 

Janho Engelbrecht MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Environmental Affairs

060 556 4343

[Image source]

Gauteng Drought Relief Funding Not Enough To Stop Food Shortages

National Disaster

The R20 million drought relief set aside by Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy, in her 2016/17 budget will offer small relief to the agricultural sector in the province when at least a R140 million is required to mitigate the impact the drought has had.

This drought, the worst in 104 years, has had a tremendous impact on the 720 smallholders and 500 commercial farmers in the province that there has been an increase in the number of unemployed farm workers, increased food prices, food insecurity among the poorest of the poor and will see many farmers going out of business.

The DA calls on Gauteng Premier David Makhura and his cabinet to push to have an agricultural drought declared in Gauteng, in support of the declaration of a National Disaster.

Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Premier Makhura must also ensure that the drought relief includes support in the commercial sector such as farm worker wage subsidies, providing soft production loans for farmers in severe distress, rigorously introducing conservation agriculture principles in all Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development activities, and providing interest rate subsidies to commercial farmers in distress for the winter planting season.

If these steps are not followed immediately, Gauteng will not only face an agricultural drought, but also a socio-economic drought where physical water shortages will directly affect the health and daily prospects of the people of Gauteng.

 

Media enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Agriculture

060 556 4344

[Image source]