Mabuza commends the efforts of the agricultural presidents for the land reform plan

In an action that Deputy President David Mabuza called Monday as a turning point, four Presidents of Organized Agriculture have signed a letter of intent to develop a national strategy that focuses on the transformation of the sector.

The four organizations said that they had a number of high-level interactions and had done "a serious introspection".

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The organizations are: The African Farmers & Association of South Africa, National African Farmers & # 39; Union of SA, AgriSA and the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa.

"We have taken note of the parliamentary process of expropriation without compensation and are all part of the process," they said in their letter of intent.

"We are going to host an indaba for our sector with the aim of developing a national development strategy for an inclusive and sustainable sector."

Problems with land reform policy

Their comments followed the announcement of the expropriation of land announcement by the ANC at its election conference in December last year and the closure of 34 public hearings in nine provinces by Parliament's Joint Constitutional Review Committee.

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The commission was instructed to examine whether it was necessary to amend the Constitution to allow the state to expropriate expropriations in the public interest without compensation.

The groups said Monday that the problems with the land reform policy and the programs were so extensive and complicated that it was unlikely that they could be resolved.

"The system must be completely redesigned … Post-settlement support for new few farmers is crucial." Land can not be transferred without support. "

They said that export-led growth for black farmers was crucial and that financial mechanisms to support black farmers were urgently needed.

They also felt that more opportunities should be created for women and young people in the sector.

"There is a lack of responsibility for transformation and no one is held responsible for mistakes made during land reform", the organizations stated.

"The negative impact of opportunism in some cases, on the prices of land and the quality of the land offered to the state for land reform, is recognized and must be addressed."

It is the conviction of the organizations that an agricultural development plan must be economically sustainable.

"Private ownership and the principle of the free market are accepted as the basis for economic growth."

Mabuza, who attended the event, said that Ramaphosa had asked him to convey his words of support.

Last week, he promised farmers at a country summit in Limpopo that no farms would be invaded or caught and that farmers would not have to worry about their well-being.

"I am very grateful that I am part of this moment, it is a turning point, a very important moment in the life of our country," he said on Monday.

Mabuza thanked the organizations for their cooperation and to be courageous.

"The government will keep you at hand, march side by side until we reach our destination, and be assured of our support every step of the way."

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