‘Failure to use land not acceptable’

2014-11-24 00:00

THE government must be able to take legal action against people who are not using land efficiently.

That was the view expressed by Kwa­Zulu-Natal MEC for Agriculture and ­Rural Development, Cyril Xaba, ­speaking at a service delivery event in Muden, near Greytown, on Saturday.

Xaba called on the government to take drastic steps against those who received productive farms through the land ­reform programme but have since ­allowed them to become neglected.

“If you are given land through land ­reform you must be well aware that you have to start a business,” said Xaba. “One cannot tolerate this form of failure by the land beneficiaries.

“They must be able to stand on their own and make something of the land that has been given to them by the ­government. Failure to do so must lead to dire consequences.”

Xaba urged all those who had received land to view agriculture as a business rather than a status symbol as the sector remained a catalyst for widespread employment opportunities in rural areas.

The MEC also believes that agriculture must be revived in the Mpofana ­Local Municipality and that the irrigation scheme needs to be revamped to ­assist the agrarian community. He also wants a programme designed to focus on planting one crop at a time, to be ­adopted in the area.

Xaba said South African Breweries had approached the Department of Agriculture to say that they required five tons of yellow maize; and that FutureLife needed African farmers to produce about 3 000 tons of white maize. These ­demands, he added, opened up lucrative opportunities for emerging farmers to fully utilise their land. — WR.

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