Land reform: 'Give Jordaan the job'

2010-10-07 22:59

Muldersdrift - Ask Danny Jordaan, who organised a successful soccer World Cup, to help get the country's failed land reform programme up and running again.

This suggestion came from Fanie van Zyl, an experienced farmer from Makwassie in the North-West and a well-known figure in the agriculture industry, at Agri SA's council in Muldersdrift on Thursday.

Just after a speech by Gugile Nkwinti, minister of rural development and land affairs, Van Zyl stood up and said he had something to say.

Questions were not allowed at that stage, but Van Zyl wanted to have his say, since "it is such an important matter".

"I don't want to screw up the council, but I do want to have my say," Van Zyl said vehemently while looking at Johannes Möller, president of Agri SA.

Möller allowed him to address the council.

Van Zyl said the government's land reform programme has failed for the past 16 years. "Why would government now start being successful?" he said.

"I'm tired of the fact that we farmers are constantly being bombarded with messages that everything is our fault.

"The truth is the entire country should be held accountable for the trouble it's in.

"Don't point a finger at the farmers every time the land reform programme fails."

Independent body

He had a suggestion: If South Africa wants to make a success of land reform, it needs an independent body to manage the process, as was the case with the World Cup.

"And if need be, Danny Jordaan can be its chairperson.

"This year's World Cup was a success because there was a partnership between the government and other role players. The government didn't present the tournament, it was only a partner.

"It also succeeded because government provided the money for the project."

Van Zyl said clarity is needed on whether land reform is about continued production, or merely the transfer of land ownership.

"The whole thing (land reform) can work if there's an independent board of directors leading the process," Van Zyl said.

"Then (with such an independent body at the helm) you can get rid of every bugger who doesn't do his part."

Nkwinti had a big smile on his face as he listened to Van Zyl.