Debate on Agriculture: Vote 3

Apr 24, 2023 | Press Releases

By
Hon. NP Msimango, IFP MPL
KZN Legislature
20 April 2023

Hon. Chairperson,
Hon. Speaker,
Hon. Members,

Ngaphambi kokuthi ngingene enkulumeni yami yanamhlanje ngicela ukukwazisa Mhlonishwa uNxamalala ukuthi unyaka weshumi lo ngiyingxenye yeKomidi leZomnyango weZolimo nokuThuthukiswa kwezindawo zasemakhaya. Kwaba nemibiko yenkohlakalo ethinta izimbewu eyenzeka kusaphethe uDokotela uMeshack Radebe ngo-2012 umbiko wayo owaphothulwa ngo-2014. Kanye nomunye umbiko wokudliwa kwemali yesomiso okwakufanele isize abalimi. Ngabe usuke wayibona yini lemibiko ngamehlo na?

The incompetence of the ANC government in its bid to address loadshedding has wreaked havoc on the agricultural sector. Abalimi abaningi bafelwa izinkukhu zabo abanye baphoqeleka ukuthi bachithe ubisi njengoba kwenzile omunye wabalimi uMnu Alan Stratford ochithe ubisi olulinganiselwa ku-12 000 litres olonakele. Data compiled by SA Canegrowers revealed that the sugar industry is set to lose more than R700 million due to load shedding as it affects 1 135 irrigated growers, which employ more than 10 000 workers.

The IFP calls upon the KZN MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Super Zuma, and the KZN Premier, Hon. Nomusa Dube-Ncube – as the Leader of the Provincial Government – to present detailed plans with tangible solutions on how they intend to assist farmers, as load-shedding is decimating the agricultural sector. Sikusho lokhu nakuba uNdunankulu amemezela nge-SOPA ukusungulwa kwe-KZN Energy War-room kodwa alukho uhlelo olucacile oluqondene nabalimi.

We have heard calls from different Farmers’ Unions calling for farmers to be exempted from load shedding, which the IFP supports. Further, the Minister of Agriculture, Thoko Didiza, will allegedly be appointing a task team to monitor the impact of load-shedding on the agricultural sector.

Astonishingly, the KZN MEC for Agriculture, as well as the Premier, have since gone to ground and have made no mention about the plans that are in place – if any – to assist farmers affected by load shedding.
As the IFP, we expect the KZN MEC for Agriculture and the KZN Premier to assure farmers that they are dealing with load shedding issues. Although load shedding has nothing to do with the Department of Agriculture or the Office of the Premier, their silence is of grave concern. They need to provide solutions now.

KwaZulu-Natal farmers have not fully recovered from the 2022 floods, which had a devastating effect on many farms. Further to that, they were impacted by the 2021 July unrest that engulfed KwaZulu-Natal, with many hectares being burnt.

Agriculture is the backbone of our economy and essential to food security – therefore it is government’s duty to ensure that farmers receive the necessary assistance. Failure to act is a recipe for disaster, as many farmers will be forced to cease their operations, which will in turn result in hunger, as well as the retrenchment of workers. We cannot afford to see more people being retrenched, as the country already faces an unreasonably high unemployment rate.

2023/2024 FINANCIAL YEAR
The IFP supports the R2.5 billion Budget allocation for the 2023/24 Financial Year.

Agriculture is an important part of KwaZulu-Natal’s economy. Productivity is an important measure of the agricultural industry’s performance because in the long run, it measures the efficiency of production. Productivity growth is an important mechanism for boosting profitability and maintaining industry competitiveness.

A large number of people are involved in agriculture or related areas. Agriculture is therefore a source of employment to the majority of the people. The Provincial Growth and Development Plan highlights the importance of creating employment through realising agricultural potential. Iqembu leNkatha lilindele ukubona lesabelo-zimali siza abalimi kanye nabantu abanothando lokulima. Akusona isabelo-zimali sokuthi selekelele iqembu elibusayo ekutheni linxenxe amavoti ngezinhlelo zentuthuko ezizokwenziwa umnyango. Asilindele ukubona umlando uziphinda njengoba bekwenzeka koNgqongqoshe balomnyango bangaphambilini abebekhankasa ngogandaganda kanye nezimbewu abasuke bekuhambise emphakathini. Akusona isabelo-zimali sokucebisa abathile ngokuthengwa kwezimbewu nomanyolo njengoba lomnyango waziwa ngokuba isidleke senkohlakalo. Mhlonishwa Nxamalala sizobe sivule amehlo nezindlebe ukuthi uyiphethe kanjani imali yomnyango. Sizokwelusa ubusuku nemini. Abantu abangakhelelwa ngenkomishi izimbewu uma kufanele balime kodwa abanikwe amasaka ezimbewu futhi abalinyelwe ngesikhathi esifanele. Uhlelo lokulinywa kwamasimu alungakhethi iphela emasini kodwa wonke umuntu akalinyelwe. Kodwake siyayimukela imali ebekelwe ukwakha amadiphu kanye nenzinye izinhlelo ezindaweni zasemakhaya. Izinkampani ezinikwa imisebenzi akube ezinesipiliyoni futhi kuqinisekiswe ukuthi umsebenzi ziwenza ngendlela.

CASP GRANT
The CASP grant is aimed at enhancing the capacity of the agricultural sector by providing support to beneficiaries of land and agrarian reform programmes. We welcome the allocation of R230.6 million. However, the IFP is concerned about the culture of underspending of the CASP Grant, as the Department incurred under-expenditure of R49.663 million in 2017/18, and R68.304 million in 2018/19, due to slow progress in the implementation of infrastructure projects. Delivery of agricultural inputs further contributed to the low expenditure. Kuyicala ukungayisebenzisi imali eyabelwe umnyango ukuthi usize abantu. Asilindele ukuthi lemali ingasetshenziswa ekubeni abantu bedinga ukusizwa ukuze baxoshe ikati eziko.

YOUTH, WOMEN AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
The former MEC for Agriculture, now Deputy Speaker, Hon R. T. Mthembu, during his Budget Speech in 2018, stated that during the 2017/18 Budget Speech they would elevate the Sub-Directorate for Youth, Women and Persons with Disabilities into a Directorate. Bangaki abantu abasha asebehlomulile kulohlelo? Abantu abasha nabesifazane kanye nabantu abaphila nokukhubazeka kubalulekile ukuthi bangene ngomkhono nesiphanga emkhakheni wezokulima. Mhlonishwa Nxamalala iQembu leNkatha belimagange ukuzwa ukuthi bangaki abantu abaphila nokukhubazeka kanye netsha abaphethe amapulazi lapha KwaZulu-Natali? Intsha ayigqugquzelwe ukuthi ingene emkhakheni wezolimo.

TARGETS NOT MET
The Department of Agriculture is good at creating targets then failing to meet them. During 2022/23, under the livestock programme, 305 producers were supposed to be supported in the red mean value chain, against the annual target of 328. Further, during 2022/23, the Department stated that 3 609 grain producers were assisted to cultivate 19 000 hectares of grain value chain by the end of the third quarter, against the annual target of 22 310. Eleven agricultural infrastructure projects were implemented against the annual target of 46, and 21 kilometres of fencing were erected, against the annual target of 152.6 kilometres. Nakuwona lonyaka umnyango ukhuluma ngokuthi kuzosizwa abakhiqizi bokusanhlamvu abangu 5 162, abakhiqizi benyama ebomvu abangu 278 kanye nokubiywa kwamasimu okungamakhilomitha angu 79.2. Asitshelwa ngokuthi izinhlelo ezifanayo okwakufanele zenzeke ngonyaka zimali ka-2022/23 zizoqedelwa nini? Yini eyaba imbangela yokuthi zingenzeki? Manje kulonyaka sitshelwa ngezinhlelo ezifanayo akusakhulunywa lutho ngezangonyaka odlule nokuthi zizodla malini. Mhlonishwa Nxamalala sicela uqinisekise ukuthi izinhlelo zezolimo ezahlelwa uzakwenu ongene esikhundleni sakhe ashiya ezihlelile ukuthi aziqhubeke lezo zinhlelo.

MILLIONS SPENT BUT NO ACCOUNTABILITY
iQembu leNkatha liyakweseka ukuthi abantu abasizwe kwezolimo ukuze bezokwazi ukuxosha ikati eziko futhi kungumsebenzi womnyango wezolimo ukuthi ukhiphe imali ukuze basizwe. Inkinga esikhathazayo ongqongqoshe balomnyango bajwayele ukumemezela izigidi zemali okuthiwa izosiza umphakathi kodwa kugcine kungezwakalanga ukuthi leyomali iwenzile yini umsebenzi ebihlelelwe wona.
Isibonelo ilokhu okulandelayo:
During the 2021/22 Financial Year, R21 million was allocated for the establishment of 15 horticultural projects.
The Cabinet Lekgotla held in February 2018 resolved to assess all land reform farms in KZN, with a projected financial investment of R5.5 billion to resuscitate those farms.
During the 2019/20 Financial Year, R150 million was set aside for the cultivation of maize and beans, and R41.799 million was made available for beef, poultry and piggeries in eight district municipalities.
Thirteen piggery projects, to the value of R21.862 million, targeting seven districts, were announced.
During 2016/2017, former MEC for Agriculture, Mr Cyril Xaba, announced that R50 million was allocated for drought in winter months.
Kuyashaqisa ukuthi nanamhlanje kusenabantu ababulawa indlala ekubeni kuhlale njalo kumenyezelwa izigidi zemali. Ishona kuphi lemali uma abantu bengalinyelwa abanye abasizwa nangokuthi bafuye. Mhlonishwa Nxamalala nginxusa ukuba ubuyele emumva uyocubungula kahle amabhuku ukuthi ngabe izimali lezi zagcina zisebenzile yini futhi ngabe lama-project asekhona yini emphakathini noma asafa aphela. Kufanele sike sikuphelezele Mhlonishwa uNxamalala siyobheka wonke amaproject asenziwe ukuthi akhona yini.

FARM ATTACKS AND STOCK THEFT
Iqembu leNkatha likhathazekile ngokuntshontshwa kwemfuyo. Uma kuzoshaya ukhisimusi abanikazi bemfuyo bakhala bezithulisa amasela egawula izinkomo ngehhonela. Izinsolo zokuthi amaphoyisa amanye ayingxenye yokwebiwa kwemfuyo azisukunyelwe phezulu. Ukubulawa kwabalimi kanye nabahlali basemapulazini olunye udaba oludinga ukubhekisiswa kabanzi.

Sengiphetha umnotho usenhlabathini sonke asizimbandakanye nomkhakha wezolimo ukuze sixoshe indlala nobubha.

Ngiyathokoza.

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