MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Katlego Ngwane
Comments: 0
Article views: 1902

Government's back door tendencies in agriculture

05 November 2018, 14:15

The National Water Act, lauded as the most progressive and visionary piece of legislation in the world, is ahead of its time, at least in South African time.

The preamble of the Act states the purpose of the Act, which inter alia includes, that water is a scarce and unevenly distributed resource in our country, that the discriminatory practices of the past prevented equal access to water and water resources, and, that the government has a responsibility (and authority) over the country’s resources including the equitable allocation of water, for beneficial use.

Assuming these are the elements for securing water use licences, it would seem to me that this could be a poisoned chalice for those who drink from it.

In applying for water use licences, the considerations the Department of Water and Sanitation takes into account include (but not limited to), the need to redress the results of past racial and gender discrimination and the socio economic impact of the water use if authorised or not.

This has the effect that some applicants might not be able to secure water rights, by virtue of the fact that, they fall short of these two factors. It is obvious that the most affected parties to these considerations would be farmers, we also know that the agricultural sector has been slower on transformation then other sectors in the country.

So, is The National Water Act about water or is it, in fact, land reform via the back door?

South Africa has 35 000 commercial farmers who are responsible for the food security of over 56 million people, contributing 2% GDP to the country – it is evident that this is an important sector, that needs to be supported and enabled to flourish for the survival of all the people of this country. However, putting caveats in place, for one to obtain water usage, would create unsustainability and it would mean that farmers are put in jeopardy of not being able to perform their critical function of feeding the nation.

Being a professional that advises on the application for water use licences, I would propose a compromise in the requirements.

That the motivation for approval of a water use licence, allow for an undertaking by the farmers, that access to the use of water would mean that, in ongoing and future projects on  said farm, there is a concerted effort and implementation of transformation from the farmers in their hiring practices, procurement strategies and improvement of working conditions for employees in general.

This should form part of the application itself, with metrics and projections in place to give realistic timelines to the department.

Having this in place would fulfil the department’s mandate of redressing the past as they would have an opportunity to keep farmers accountable for the pledge made in the application and in turn keep farms viable and the country, food secure.

If this does not happen, then the National Water Act is another “wonderful” piece of legislation for a future country, tone deaf to the realities of present day South Africa.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.


Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Johan Erasmus803
The real story of life in Matatie...

Instead of trying to push a pre-determined agenda, why not tell the real story of this school in Matatiele? Unless there is no real interest in real life progress? Read more...

0 comments 2053 views
Submitted by
David Maya
Mugabe the best and worst thing t...

As Zimbabweans, we want our freedom now, from people who used to be good to us, good to our country, but later changed into bad leaders. Read more...

0 comments 1145 views
Submitted by
Tiaan Davel
We are ill, SA

I am not blinded by the history and terrible injustices of the past, which however can’t give you a blank cheque to say what you want and basically tell all white people that they are racist. Read more...

0 comments 3669 views
Submitted by
Phillip Giwu
ANC has no masterplan for land in...

The ANC in its collective wisdom supported by the Freedom Charter, which was meant to be their guiding compass when they took power in 1994, have failed to move in the right direction as far as land is concerned. Read more...

0 comments 917 views
Submitted by
Jorge Henrique Martins
Traffic infringements: My contrib...

When a driver is arrested for speeding or reckless driving, they should not be given the fine (or threatened with imprisonment), rather allocate the offender to a specific community service of protection services for paramedics. Read more...

0 comments 1387 views
Submitted by
Appointments on merit the only wa...

So now the Black Management Forum is trying to take action against Denel for appointing a white CEO? Read more...

0 comments 1522 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

QA Technical Tester

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Hi-Tech Recruitment - Johannesburg

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]



Press Code We subscribe to the Press Code.

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

Terms and Conditions Terms and Conditions - Updated April 2012

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2019 All rights reserved.
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 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.