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]

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

[Image source]