Commercial farmers are not the enemies of the ruling African National Congress and are considered necessary for the future prosperity of the country, agriculture minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has said.
Addressing delegates at the annual Agri SA Congress in Johannesburg, she said that at the recent ANC national general council in Durban it was accepted that commercial agriculture had an important role to play.
“It was the first time that commercial farming was not a swear word. The ANC does not consider commercial farmers to be the enemy,” she said.
She told the delegates that “expressions made by individuals” were not necessarily echoing the policies of the ANC.
“My role is to represent all farmers, not just the small farmers,” she said.
While she would on occasion have differences with farmers, Joemat-Pettersson promised to speak to farmers before going public with her differences.