Joemat-Pettersson: Zuma a man of depth

2012-10-23 07:39
President Jacob Zuma with Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson. (Emile Hendricks, Volksblad)

President Jacob Zuma with Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson. (Emile Hendricks, Volksblad)

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Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma is a man of depth and the father of the nation, said Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat-Pettersson on Monday evening.

Joemat-Pettersson was speaking at the first annual general meeting of the African Farmers’ Association of South Africa (Afasa).

"We support you and we will support you," she said.

She said no weapon formed against Zuma would succeed as he had looked after each and every farmer.

Earlier that night, Zuma proposed a new land reform plan.

"It is important to make people go back to the land, and not to view social grants, wage employment, and non-agricultural informal activities as the only source of income for rural households than agricultural employment."

While looking at the need to increase food production, the government was also prioritising transformation in the agricultural sector.

"The current state of affairs within the agricultural sector in South Africa is one where commercial and smallholder agriculture co-exist, the one sector being predominantly white and the other sector being predominantly black."

‘God loves the farmer’

Commercial agriculture is currently producing 90% of the agricultural output. It is estimated that it consists of about 37 000 members.

On the other hand 25 million people living in rural areas produce the remaining 10% through subsistence farming.

"More support for emerging farmers will enable us to improve the participation of black people, in particular Africans, in commercial agriculture."

Also at the event were Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and pastor Ray McCauley.

Mokonyane called on farmers to work together to feed the country and the continent.

"Let us not only farm for us to go to bed with a meal."

McCauley congratulated Afasa on its successful conference.

"Let me just say this in case you did not know this: God loves the farmer," he said to the crowd's appreciation.

"Eve was the first farmer. She tended to the apples."

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