Who is funding Masibambisane?

2012-08-11 18:10

Mystery still surrounds the funding of the controversial Masibambisane Rural Development Initiative, with the department of agriculture denying spending money on the project. The project is chaired by President Jacob Zuma.

“We have not spent any money on Masibambisane”, said Palesa Mokomele, spokesperson for Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, after reports that R800 million had been moved from the department to the project.

Deebo Mzobe, deputy chair of Masibambisane, also denied receiving money from agriculture. “If we had that kind of money we would not be using our own money to pay the Masibambisane volunteer workers.”

But in September last year former agriculture official Steve Galane admitted: “The department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries had made a pledge of R10 million towards the cattle, goat and irrigation cooperatives of the (Masibambisane) project.”

Agriculture spokesperson Selby Bokaba then said that by September 2011 the department had contributed seeds (maize and beans) and fertiliser worth R3 million to Masibambisane.

Joemat-Pettersson embraced the concept and Masibambisane became the flavour of the year in the department. Mzobe became a frequent visitor to the agriculture department, often engaging with the minister, officials say.

“In the beginning Masibambisane attracted donors such as Patrice Motsepe, but the uncertainty around Mzobe made donors uneasy.”

According to departmental sources, private donors got edgy when Masibambisane’s figures didn’t make sense.

“There was no concept document for Masibambisane in the department,” says an agriculture official.

“It was (project) Zero Hunger and then it became Masibambisane. The whole project was hijacked.

“It is complete fluff, absolute wool. It states that Masibambisane is a new way of delivering on Zero Hunger (another agriculture project).

“It’s not new at all.”

Officials in the agriculture department told City Press the programme was a “politicking” method. “It is a Zuma roadshow and all of us in the department know it’s done for Mangaung.

“Tractors and livestock are handed out, and the show moves on again. But we don’t question this, there is a culture of fear in the department.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.