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LREAD PERSPECTIVE

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Making sense of land reform in 2017 after the State of the Nation Address and Budget Speech.

During February 2017, we were offered 3 important perspectives from 3 prominent political leaders in South Africa on what the future might hold for our land reform project:

  1. The State of the Nation Address by President Zuma on the 9th of February.
  2. Subsequent statements from Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti.
  3. The Budget Address by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on the 22nd of February.
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Posted on in LREAD PERSPECTIVE

Land reform crystal ball for the year ahead

A new year with new challenges and opportunities awaits us as 2017 got underway this past January. Land reform issues already surfaced. President Zuma used his final official message of 2016 to speak about land reform. President Zuma called for “decisive action” and “meaningful progress” on land reform and restitution in 2017. President Zuma also mentioned the possibility of using expropriation as a tool in fast tracking land reform, with the prerequisite that it must comply with the letter and spirit of our Constitution. And again during the recent ANC lekgotla held in January, the party’s National Executive Committee highlighted land reform as a priority.

Commentators have pointed out that in a year where the ruling party will hold an elective conference, populist messaging on the sensitive matter of land ownership is to be expected.

This year has also already reminded us of the power of Mother Nature through several run away fires in the Province. We are also in the midst of a crippling drought which affects the agricultural sector directly. Mother Nature is however not influenced by our societal and economic dreams and contestations.

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_lread-logo.pngI recently attended the ten year anniversary of the Agri Dwala project outside of Napier in the Southern Cape. For those of us working full time in land reform and the developmental agricultural sector, it is always a welcome relief and energising experience to interact with a project that keeps on delivering positive results.

Agri Dwala is the brain child of Kosie van Zyl, a local farmer, and Piet Blom, an agricultural technical advisor, who saw the opportunity and the potential of a group of farm workers and small scale cattle farmers on the Napier commonage ten years ago. Kosie wanted to help them, because he also once received a helping hand to realise his dream of owning a farm.

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