On Thursday, the farming community welcomed the address for expropriation on the country of Vice President David Mabuza at the Land Summit in Limpopo as a step in the right direction.
The address of the deputy president came after the American president Donald Trump with his tweet had caused enormous unrest about land expropriation without compensation.
Mabuza spoke to several white elephants in the room, since the announcement of expropriation of the country by the ANC at his election conference in December last year, when he spoke at the summit, organized by Landbouweekblad and Agri SA in Bela-Bela.
"As the leadership of the ANC and the government, we are clear that the implementation of land reform measures may not result in social fractures and racial polarization," Mabuza said.
"The land reform processes that we undertake do not pose a direct threat to the agricultural sector and the economy as a whole," he added.
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The second commander of South Africa called on farmers to keep working hard, to invest in their farms and to increase production, while working together with the government to ensure that more and more South Africans enter the sector through organized and systematic access to the sector. land for productive use.
"Everything we do will be done within the limits of our constitutional framework. As the ANC we will not support" land grab "processes that are meant to undermine the economy and work of the agricultural sector."
Mabuza promised that no farms would be invaded or caught and that farmers would not have to fear their well-being.
Agri SA president Dan Kriek welcomed the speech and said it had closed a gap of uncertainty since the announcement of expropriation without compensation.
"We welcome the fact that they have now taken leadership and are really telling the farming sector what their plans are, because since December and beyond, we have said that the president must trust us and tell us when the agricultural sector is where they are," Kriek said. .
"I'm happy with his speech this morning, there was a lot of detail, there was a lot of certainty to the farmers and he also pointed out that it's a delicate process, it's an emotional process and in fact every South African of all walks of life is involved. & # 39;
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Kriek said that the land issue has been transformed to a point where rational people spoke to other rational people, and added that the government has trusted farmers about the issue.
"It is crucial that we now have varying points in this debate and I think the Vice-President's speech is such a turning point."
Shasha Moleko, who works with the Isizwe Sonke Agricultural Group to help emerging farmers, said through Mabuza's speech that the government had finally given a detailed description of their intentions and how land reform by expropriation would be accelerated.
"If you do not reveal and announce your intentions, there will be fear," said Moleko.
He added that it was a relief to learn that the government and the agricultural sector were on the same page because many farmers were scared when expropriation was announced without any detailed explanation or plans on how it would be speeded up.
"I am enthusiastic about the future of emerging black farmers, this is a win-win for everyone."
Mabuza said the government was resolute in protecting the agricultural sector in order to avoid any contraction and threat to food security and added that farmers should not fear land reform because it would not destroy production.
"Instead, it's about expanding new horizons and opportunities to double our production capacity, especially when land has already been reallocated and redistributed, it's about expanding access to land and ensuring that every piece of land is productive including common land. "
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The deputy president added that government land ownership would be the immediate focus.
He made it clear that land reform would start with land owned by the government and destined for agricultural production, industrial use, human establishment and economic and industrial development.
"The government gives priority to land owned by the state, including unused and underused state and ensures that this land is redistributed and used for productive use," said Mabuza.
"We also have agricultural land with absent farmers who are fallow, and that country will be handed over to the people who will use it productively."
For a long time Free State farmer Nick Serfontein said that Mabuza's speech was a huge step in the right direction.
"The government is coming to the table now," said Serfontein.
"Something is going to happen now, nothing has happened for 24 years, the system was completely broken and we absolutely have to revive agriculture in South Africa. We have to sink this Titanic, the current system and then start again."
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Serfontein added that thousands of farmers are eagerly waiting to lend a hand to supporting emerging farmers and making a difference in the reconstruction of a united agricultural sector.
Although the vast majority of the News24 spoke at the country summit, hopeful, there was at least one cautious voice.
Henk Van der Graaf, the Limpopo chairman of the Transvaal Agricultural Union, said while he was optimistic after the speech of Mabuza, what would happen in reality, was still to be seen.
"We will see what will result from that (Mabuza & # 39; s speech)," Van der Graaf said.