Agri SA prepared to support land reform
Johannesburg - Agri SA was fully prepared to support a meaningful land reform programme, the organisation's president, Johannes Mller, said on Monday.
The time had come for the government, organised agriculture and individual farmers to move closer together with a view to promoting general land reform, he said in a statement.
"It is common knowledge that the billions of rand spent on restitution of land rights has almost without exception resulted in dismal failures, thus seriously undermining food security - the latter matter which President Zuma also commented on during this occasion."
Mller was responding to President Zuma's statements on land reform during the ANC's 99th anniversary celebrations in Polokwane over the weekend.
Zuma said during an interview on SABC 1 on Sunday that land redistribution was an area which still had a lot of challenges.
He said the department of rural and land affairs was working on plans on how to adjust the law to address the matter.
Mller said that with the view of investor confidence in agriculture, urgent progress should be made with land restitution and that the matter should be finalised, preferably within the next two years.Positive progress
"Give the private sector the necessary space and financial support to demonstrate what can be done in this regard. I am personally aware of farmers who through shareholding schemes, for example, can effectively assist the government with land reform."
He said organised agriculture was prepared to provide the president with a positive progress report after a reasonable agreed-upon period.
"We will, of course, also have to co-operate with local authorities to register effective progress in this regard and we therefore support President Zuma in striving for an effective third-tier government," said Mller.
The AgriBEE charter, which could make an important contribution in this regard, was approved almost two years ago by Agri SA and the organisation certainly did not accept responsibility for the delay in implementing it.
"Maybe it is also necessary for President Zuma and the minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries to lend momentum to this matter in the interest of land reform," said Mller.