Avoid Zim land plan — Buthelezi

2007-12-07 00:00

Leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, has warned the government not to adopt the Zimbabwean approach when dealing with issues of land redistribution, saying the issue needs to be approached carefully.

“We should not do anything that may land us into the Zimbabwean-type of situation where we destroy the bread-basket of our country in the name of land restitution,” he warned.

Buthelezi was delivering an address on the role of traditional leaders in land reform during the Zululand Land and Agrarian Indaba, which began at Vryheid yesterday. Other speakers at the two-day summit included KZN Agriculture Minister Mtholephi Mthimkhulu, Agriculture and Land Affairs Minister Lulu Xingwana and representatives of various farmer unions and lobby groups for farm dwellers.

Buthelezi said he, however, supported the way in which the government had so far been handling land restitution. He raised concern at the seemingly increasing rate of poverty in rural areas, saying government should intervene.

“I think that the state should assist our people to go back to producing food for their own use first, before we are also able to develop to the class of emerging farmers. It is well and good enough to produce mushrooms and rice, but I still think the production of maize by us as our staple diet should be the first responsibility,” he said.

Xingwana said she hopes the summit will contribute to assisting farm dwellers in the province.

bmbanjwa@witness.co.za

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