EC workers could soon be land owners By Sapa Friday 23 March 2012

By Drum Digital
23 March 2012

Farm workers in the Eastern Cape could soon claim ownership of land through an empowerment fund that the provincial government intends exploring.

"In order to ensure that farm workers have access to land, an empowerment fund will be investigated whereby farmers can offer shares for their employees," said the province's MEC for rural development and agrarian reform Zoleka Capa, in a policy budget speech prepared for delivery on Thursday.

"The department strongly supports farm workers to be farm owners."

Should farm workers retire or resign, they must continue to the part of the ownership of the farm. Capa said this would empower them on a sustainable basis.

Her department would do things differently in the 2012/13 financial year.

A technical support team to ensure efficient service delivery had already been established specifically for resource mobilisation, business plan development and the running of special programmes.

Capa said procurement processes would be re-engineered without infringing regulations, and fast-tracked to ensure speedy service delivery.

Moreover, 3800 farmers from various districts would be trained at institutions to develop "well rounded skills" such as organic farming, wool processing and agricultural business.

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