Minister Didiza praises Illovo South Africa for life-changing development project

The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza has praised the sugar giant Illovo South Africa for the successful culmination of its R127-million life-changing Small-Scale Grower Cane Development Project that has created over 860 sustainable jobs in KwaZulu-Natal while empowering women to participate in the rural economy.

The Minister was visibly pleased after being taken on a site visit on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast to witness first-hand the development of 3 000 hectares of cane on communal land by small-scale growers using a sustainable model of development aligned to the national transformation agenda. With a R63-million grant from the National Treasury’s Job Fund matched by R63-million funding by Illovo Sugar South Africa, 119 local contractors have increased the supply of sugarcane for Illovo’s undersupplied Sezela factory by doubling the original 150 000 tonnes per annum forecast.

“The contribution of black commercial farmers in the country’s agricultural economy was still low and these low levels of inclusion call for serious intervention from both the Government and other stakeholders in driving inclusive growth” said Minister Didiza.

“We need more public-spirited players like Illovo Sugar who are willing to work with government in order to leverage our resources in the commercialisation of black farmers, while we ensure that we give meaningful support to those who are beneficiaries of land reform.”

The Minister added that after recognising different challenges constraining the growth and development of commercial and emerging farmers in the country, the Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan (AAMP) had recommended the adoption of a “Theory of Change” to train farmers and grow the agricultural sector in an inclusive manner.

The theory advocates for a co-existence of commercial and emerging farmers to promote the agricultural and food sectors on a new growth trajectory that can ultimately contribute to taking South Africa’s economy out of the “Middle Income” trap.  The conceptual framework for this Master Plan has been concluded, and the sector partners are to meet for consultation in June 2021. This Master Plan is complementary to the Poultry and Sugar Master Plans.

Illovo Sugar MD Mamongae Mahlare said the Small-Scale Grower Cane Development Project is clear validation of the great potential that exists for partnerships between businesses and their host communities on the one hand, and government on the other, to reduce poverty and stimulate economic activity. “We could not have achieved this level of success alone. The confidence of the Jobs Funds which met us halfway with concessional funding, and the support of other stakeholders including the SA Canegrowers Association and the South African Farmers Development Association, have been integral to this revolutionary project.

“The collaborative multi-stakeholder approach to bring a local system of innovation to life in just three years has resulted in 1 704 growers being given the opportunity to develop cane on their land.”

Mahlare said the small-scale grower development project created direct jobs in rural communities while implementing socioeconomic and enterprise development initiatives and the transfer of valuable farming and business skills. By leveraging on the built capabilities and securing a spot in the Illovo Sugar value chain, communities will earn upwards of R80-million in income annually.

“Since the capacity to work the land resides within the communities in the form of the upskilled local contractors, there is a multiplier effect as this new money is spent within the community and is catalytic to broader economic activity,” she added.

Najwa Allie-Edries, head of the Jobs Fund who also attended the celebratory event, said building the capability of smallholder farmers must move beyond the debate about land ownership. The imperative now is to find creative solutions to long-term access to land, while providing appropriate support to build sustainable new-era farmer capability, she said.

“In spite of significant growth potential in the agricultural sector, opportunities and benefits are not widespread. The sector is characterised by a huge capacity gap between commercial and smallholder or emerging farmers, placing the latter in a disadvantageous position in terms of accessing opportunities, markets and value chains.

“Robust and localised agriculture and agro-processing systems are crucial for food security, economic diversification and creating jobs. Hence, more than 30% of the Jobs Fund’s portfolio of projects are implemented within the agricultural sector.

“Developing a sustainable sector means growing both the farm and the farmer and expanding the opportunities available to them. It can’t be one or the other; the same level of effort put into crop development must also be put into the farmer and his or her business.

“Illovo Sugar must be commended for reducing barriers to entry for emerging farmers and addressing challenges that hamper their ability to grow sustainably,” she said.

Nomanesi Ngcobo, a small-scale grower who was developed through the Illovo project told Minister Didiza that she took over her late husband’s role and sugarcane that had been planted years before was no longer growing.

She said: “The project came at a crucial time for us because the eMalangeni area had run out of sugarcane and many growers were struggling. Sugarcane farming is our bread and butter – it allows us to pay for our children’s education.

“This has been a life-changing experience and we are so grateful to Illovo Sugar for empowering us and enriching our lives.

“To be part of the cane grower’s community as a black woman makes me happy, especially having come from an impoverished background,” said Ngcobo.

What is the background of the project?

An under-supply of sugar cane into the South Coast mills necessitated action to be taken to re-establish sugar cane in the Small-Scale Grower areas that were lying fallow and within a close proximity to the affected mills. A sustainable development model was sought to ensure the future cane supply in the SSG areas.

What was the overall aim of the project?

To ensure equitable, inclusive and sustainable growth, leveraging sugarcane as a catalyst for rural development, while ensuring a secure supply to the Illovo mills. To this end, Illovo Sugar SA committed to:

  • Develop contiguous areas of tribal land to sugar cane
  • Develop and empower previously disadvantaged cane growers and contractors
  •  Create employment and contribute to development in the rural areas
  •  Create SMME service providers; and
  • Increase cane supply to the Illovo Sugar mills

What was initiated to address this problem?

In partnership with National Treasury through the Jobs Fund, Illovo Sugar SA initiated a project to develop up to 3 000 hectares of small-scale grower cane land around all the areas within which it operates on the KZN South Coast resulting in the creation of 1 188 new jobs and the training of 1 630 people.

What were some of the challenges to be overcome?

  • How to introduce economic activity on communal land
  • The high cost of entry and lack of suitable, continuous funding
  • Lack of grower and service provider capability

How was funding sourced?

Operating under the Department of Trade & Industry, the Jobs Fund was launched in June 2011 and an amount of R9 billion was set aside. The objective of the Jobs Fund is to co-finance projects by public, private and non-governmental organisations that will significantly contribute to job creation. This involves the use of public money to catalyse innovation and investment on behalf of a range of economic stakeholders in activities that contribute directly to enhanced employment creation in South Africa.

In partnership with the Jobs Fund which provided 50% of the R127-million capital, Illovo launched the project to develop 3,000ha of small-scale grower cane land whilst contributing to stimulating activities in deep rural areas, create sustainable employment for black growers and their families, and provide training opportunities for rural households. Illovo put up 15 % of the capital. The remaining 35% was taken as loans by the growers from MAFISA, with Illovo underwriting the debt. The project has created a thriving small-scale growers project on Ngonyama rust land.

Was the project a success?

Illovo’s Small-Scale Grower Cane Development Project is clear validation of the great potential that exists for partnerships between businesses and their host communities on the one hand, and government on the other, to reduce poverty and stimulate economic activity. The collaborative multi-stakeholder approach to bring a local system of innovation to life in just three years has resulted in 1 704 growers being given the opportunity to develop cane on their land.”

What are the outcomes of the project?

The Small-Scale Grower Cane Development Project has created direct jobs in rural communities while implementing socioeconomic and enterprise development initiatives and the transfer of valuable farming and business skills. By leveraging on the built capabilities and securing a spot in the Illovo Sugar value chain, communities will earn upwards of R80-million in income annually. Since the capacity to work the land resides within the communities in the form of the upskilled local contractors, there is a multiplier effect as this new money is spent within the community and is catalytic to broader economic activity.

Purpose of lllovo’s celebratory event

The event is planned to relate Illovo SA’s successes in contributing towards creating thriving rural communities through revealing how the joint programme has and can further act as a blue print for small-scale cane grower development in KZN as well as help other regions and sectors build thriving communities through similarly structured public and private partnerships.

What progress has Illovo made on land redistribution?

To date, Illovo’s own land redistribution initiative has resulted in the sale of 28 086 ha, comprising 55% of its own land portfolio, to black people and resulting in the establishment of more than 50 black commercial farmers.

Cite an example of a successful small-cane grower

Nomanesi Ngcobo took over her late husband’s role and sugarcane that had been planted years before was no longer growing. She said: “The project came at a crucial time for us because the eMalangeni area had run out of sugarcane and many growers were struggling. Sugarcane farming is our bread and butter – it allows us to pay for our children’s education. This has been a life-changing experience and we are so grateful to Illovo Sugar for empowering us and enriching our lives.”

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Deputy Minister S’dumo Dlamini: Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform Dept Budget Vote 2021/22

13 May 2021

Today as we present this budget, we want to pay tribute to all the families who have lost their loved ones as a result of  Covid-19 and we also want to salute health workers and people living in rural communities who had to  face and fight  the Coronavirus under conditions in which there were fewer health resources.

It has been inspiring to observe how despite these challenges, some rural communities have worked in partnership with government, private sector, non-governmental organisations and traditional leaders to spread the correct healthcare-related messages in relation to this pandemic.

This is what rural development should be about. Rural Development is a sustained multi-sectoral participatory process aimed at empowering those residing in the former homeland areas, in farming areas, in defined rural spaces within urban areas and metros, in peri-urban areas, in small rural towns and in villages.

It is about government intervening at all levels to ensure a people-driven and people-centered process of building sustainable communities through agricultural and non-agricultural interventions to achieve productive, healthy, economically vibrant, socially cohesive, equitable and sustainable spaces and livelihoods based on the unique conditions and attributes of the people’s material conditions and self-articulated needs. This is what this budget is about today!

National Integrated Rural Development Strategy

According to Statsa, the provinces with the highest headcount of adult poverty are Limpopo (67,5%), Eastern Cape (67,3%), KwaZulu-Natal (60,7%) and North West (59,6%). For these four provinces, significantly more than half of their population was living in poverty. It also says that almost two-thirds of agricultural households are in KZN (24,4%), EC (20,7%) and Limpopo P (16,3%) combined.  It is, for this reason, the implementation of our National Integrated Rural Development Strategy will pay special attention to these provinces without downplaying the required intervention for rural development in other provinces.

This year we will be visiting our provinces not to ask what our people want because they have told us what they want since 1994. We are going there to work with them towards ensuring rural development on their own terms.

As the department, we are currently adopting an intergovernmental approach and we are re-strategising on how to optimally utilise existing government programmes and other funding to unlock economic opportunities in the various rural districts.

We have recently tested this approach when we had an interdepartmental collaborative intervention program in Eastern at Steynsburg and in a few months from now we will be working with young people on the Narysec programme, in ICT projects, work to support cooperatives in various projects which include poultry, piggery,  the bakery project, water harvesting and we will be providing sewing machines and agricultural tools and implements including other different forms of support.

The revised National Integrated Rural Development Strategy considers the central thrusts proposed in Chapter 6 of the National Development Plan, which includes the following:

  1. Capitalising on agriculture as one of the main economic drivers of the rural economy through the Agriculture and Agro-Processing Master Plan (AAMP);
  2. Making land reform work through improved rural governance systems, improved land administration; land access for further economic opportunities, proper beneficiary selection processes utilising existing rural and farming networks and improvement in the living conditions and rights of farm dwellers and other rural citizens;
  3. Developing non-agricultural activities with key sectors including technology, mining and tourism;
  4. Building human capital, social security, food security and basic services;
  5. Revitalising rural towns; and Improved rural governance.

Part of the practical work we will undertake as part of our Rural Development strategy will include :

  1. Linking emerging rural producers (especially women and youth) of farm and non-farm products to markets and appropriate value chains through the  Agriculture and Agro-Processing Master Plan (AAMP) and the implementation of Farmer Production Support Units;
  2. Facilitating business development services for rural enterprises through programmes such as the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP); and
  3. Assisting rural women, people with disabilities and youth through targeted capacity building and enterprise development support and actively promoting a procurement policy that favours women and youth.

In the last financial  year, several consultations have taken place within government, through the South African Local Government Association network and via a multi-stakeholder policy platform coordinated by civil society on how to effectively implement these objectives over the MTSF period and beyond in support of Vision 2030.

We have conducted our studies , consulted our people both from inside and outside of government , it is now time for testing our policies and strategies in the court of real life.

Work undertaken in the 2020/2021 Financial year.

1. Farmer Production Support and Rural Infrastructure

Honourable Speaker, in the last financial year we committed to support 15 farmer production support centres with the necessary infrastructure to make them functional. We are pleased to announce that we have supported:

  1. One project in the Eastern Cape in Zanyokhwe;  
  2. Three in the Free State namely in Odendaalrus, Springfontein and Kroonstad;
  3. Four in KZN in Pomoroy, Malenge, Mkhuphula and Hluhluwe;
  4. Two in Limpopo Vleischboom and Masalal, three in Mpumalanga at Sybrandskraal, Mkhuhlu and Kameelrivier;
  5. one in Taung in the North West and with irrigation infrastructure at Ebenheser in the Western Cape.
  6. A total of 64 infrastructure projects to support production and other socio-economic infrastructure we implemented.

2. NARYSEC work

The department created 800 rural jobs and provided skills development opportunities to 1 926 NARYSEC Youth through the District Development Model.

3. Flagship socio-economic projects

  1. One of our flagship socio-economic projects is Die Poort Primary School Development. The programme was aimed at constructing a proper learning facility in the Hekpoort area, Gauteng and was hatched to merge the two primary schools within the area. The learners from the FJ Kloppers Primary School moved to Die Poort Primary Farm School. The Department in collaboration with the Gauteng Department of Education was able to provide 16 classrooms, an administration block, Grade R facility, male and female ablution blocks, a caretaker house and a combination court.
  2. Another socio-economic project was the construction of houses and basic services using alternative building technology for the relocation of evicted farm dwellers in Donkerhoek, Mpumalanga. This led to the utilisation of off-grid energy solutions and solar geysers, an off-grid sanitation solution, water supply and reticulation as well as a 4km gravel access road.
  3. The Department in partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) implemented the Mt Fletcher Spring Water Harvesting, Protection, Development, and Reticulation project between March 2017 and July 2020 in the Fairview villages of the Joe Gqabi District Municipality in the Eastern Cape. Local labourers were also contracted from the three targeted villages in the district and skilled by the service provider. Due to standpipes that are now closer to their homes, women and children do not have to walk far to collect water, which saves time for other activities.
  4. The department is also contributing towards the implementation of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Initiative (PESI) in which 1434 former NARYSEC youth and agricultural graduates were employed on a three-month contract to assist farmers with applications for the PESI funding as part of the Covid-19 interventions by the department.

Programme for the 2021 /2022 Financial Year

For the 2021/2022 financial year we plan to undertake the following programs :

1. Farmer Production Support Units
  1. We plan to further support 25 projects that would lead to functional FPSUs. From these functional FPSUs rural households and villages in general will be able to obtain a wide variety of support to improve their productivity including mechanization (tractors), implements, inputs (seeds and fertilizers) and storage facilities etc.
  2. This includes the renovation of livestock auction facilities at Kwafene in the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality at Nkangala, Mpumalanga province.
2. Rural infrastructure
  1. We will implement a further 50 infrastructure projects to support production and six socio-economic infrastructure projects continuing from the Die Poort Primary School Development project mentioned above.  A total of 500 jobs are projected to be created in such rural development initiatives and this speaks to our revised strategy of optimising intergovernmental resources.
3. Access to reliable and good quality water
  1. We will continue from where we ended in the Mt Fletcher Spring Water Harvesting, Protection, Development, and Reticulation project and in this financial year there will be an additional 5 innovative technology research projects which will be implemented.   
  • In the 2021/22 financial year, the National Rural Youth Services Corps (NARYSEC) programme will shift gear to place a greater emphasis on recruiting and skilling youth for workplace opportunities within and outside government, entrepreneurship and further education and skills opportunities as part of a basket of services offered to the youth exiting the programme. This change will position NARYSEC Programme to better contribute in dealing with the challenge of high youth unemployment.
  • To this end, the programme has now committed to training 1409 youth across all 9 provinces and budget of R62.4 million has been allocated in this financial year. This youth was recruited during the 2019 and 2020 financial years, but due to Covid-19 the training programmes have been delayed. In addition, the following initiatives are underway:
  • 188 NARYSEC youth will be trained as traffic ffficers in Mpumalanga and the Free State respectively. The intention is for the youth to be absorbed by their local municipalities and these municipalities have already signed commitment letters for employment of these youth upon the successful completion of the training;
  • 93 NARYSEC youth from EC, GP, NC and WC are currently undergoing training with Clicks Pharmacy Group. These youth have been absorbed by the company which is a successful private-public partnership initiative;
  • 98 (73 EC and 25 KZN) youth recruited as part of piloting the District Development Model (DDM) will be trained in Environmental Waste Management Qualification. The King Sabata Dalindyebo District Municipality has provided business opportunities for these youth and they will be absorbed in their waste management unit. The KZN youth will also provide similar services to the eThekwini Municipality. This means that 98 young people from the rural areas will have an opportunity to pursue their small enterprises leading to further socio-economic spin-offs.
5. Presidential stimulus initiative

In contributing to the second phase of the Presidential Stimulus Initiative project the department has extended the contracts of 1209 PESI verifiers for another 12 months (1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022) with a budget of R64 293 072,48 which will go towards paying stipends and allowances.

6. Improving spatial planning in rural areas

Honourable Speaker and members, rural development without ensuring spatial transformation will be equal to maintaining Bantustans and our approach to rural development is linked to ensuring spatial justice.  

You are acutely aware that the Department as the custodian of the Spatial Planning and Land Use management Act 16 of 2013 (SPLUMA) has embarked on various programmes, initiatives and activities towards its implementation.  Significant progress has been made and the Department continues to support municipalities in undertaking their responsibilities in terms of the Act.

The NSDF is currently being finalised and will be presented to Cabinet for consideration in the first half of the year. The current Medium-Term Strategic Framework emphasises the need for spatial integration through Priority 5 focussing on Spatial Integration. 

To address the Spatial inefficiencies and to promote Spatial Transformation, the Department, in partnership with the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, had developed the Draft National Spatial Development Framework (NSDF) which has gone through the extensive consultation as per the requirements of the National Development Plan and the SPLUMA. 

The Draft National Spatial Development Framework National Spatial Development Framework ( NSDF)  has provided a national spatial schema to inform, direct, prioritize and guide all future infrastructure investment and development spending decisions by government, civil society and the private sector; to optimise place-based potentials and spatial interdependencies, and to realize the 2050-National Spatial Development Framework Vision.

Spatial planning remains key in guiding Departmental programmes and to further ensure that these are integrated into municipal Integrated Development Plans and the One Plan process as an outcome of the District Development Model approach being implemented by government.

Initiatives of spatial planning support for land reform include amongst others the implementation of a Strategically Located Land tool which encompasses a myriad of existing spatial planning tools and systems that assist the Department in identifying where Land Reform initiatives should be targeted.  

The Department is also on a clear path to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of communities living in rural areas.

Employing a broad array of geospatial data provided for through the implementation of the Spatial Data Infrastructure Act, the department is performing innovative geospatial analysis, simulation and modelling to formulate spatially balanced and efficient rural development plans that contribute towards accomplishing a low carbon and climate-resilient rural economy.

In consultation with Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, the department is also compiling Climate Change Response Plans for the Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development sector.


We want to take this opportunity to announce to our people in the rural areas that this department cares for you. We want to see and hear every village and every rural community including everyone in South Africa talking about rural development. The real test will be in what we do to transform the rural economy and build sustainable rural communities.


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Deputy Minister Mcebisi Skwatsha: Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Dept Budget Vote 2021/22

13 May 2021

The month of May is recognised as Worker’s month globally. In our country, it’s also significant for another reason, on 10 May 1994 it was the inauguration of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela as the first President of the democratic government of South Africa.

On 08 May 1996 the Constitution was adopted by the Constitutional Assembly. Who can ever forget that occasion when former Deputy President then, Thabo Mbeki, delivered that seminal speech – “I am an African”?

Chairperson, whenever we discuss land reform or embark on activities that restore the rights to land, to previously dispossessed persons, we move from a point of departure which recognises that an injustice was committed against the indigenous majority and that our decisions and action should be deliberately and unapologetically designed to undo that situation.

We should not allow anyone, or any organisation to try twist the truth by attempting to make us feel bad for demanding what rightfully belongs to us.

During the Title Deed Handover ceremony to the community of Covie, Plettenberg Bay, I reminded the gathering about how, what His Excellency President Ramaphosa characterised as the “original sin” was committed, how land and livestock were brutally and forcefully taken away from the rightful owners as I narrated how Paul Kruger captures one battle in his Memoirs.

What we are doing is called justice,

What we are doing is restoring the dignity of the majority of South Africans, when such dignity is restored, we are sure we can find peace.

As former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela reflected;

“returning land, which translates to wealth, back to the dispossessed majority, is an important task because it is one way of addressing the injustices of apartheid.”

All communities whose rights to their land have been restored through the Title Deeds Handover events recently we say to them, that is your land, enjoy the benefits that come with being landowners.

You now enjoy what is called security of tenure and keep it that way for generations to come.

Land Redistribution

Cabinet in December 2020 approved the Beneficiary Selection and Land Allocation Policy which is aimed at expediting the land allocation process which prioritizes women, youth, and persons with disabilities. The participation and protection of these vulnerable groups across the value GAaifl of our economy is critical. This Policy is already in the implementation phase within the various programmes of the Department.

In the 2020/21 financial year, the Department acquired 22 366 hectares of land for agricultural purposes. These included land for livestock, fruits, crops, forestry and game.

We have already allocated 16 198 hectares to deserving women and youth with most of these hectares, 11 866 hectares allocated to the youth. This allocation, supported by post settlement interventions will ensure transformation and sustainability of the sector, and importantly address the challenge of aging commercial farmers in our sector.

We are emboldened by the new developments and we will continue on this  trajectory, as we empower our communities albeit with reduced resources as there have been budget cuts to address the pandemic as we move towards economic reconstruction and recovery of our economy.

This financial year, the budget for Land Acquisition is R175-million and our plan is to acquire 33 720 hectares of land with this budget and through reprioritisation within the Pro-active Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS).

Tenure Reform

The Land Tenure reform programme is key in achieving the Constitutional promise entrenched in section 25(6) of the Constitution of the Republic.

“A person or community whose tenure to land is legally insecure as a result of past racially discriminatory  laws or practices is entitled, to the extent provided by an Act of Parliament, either to tenure which is legally secure or to comparable redress”

Farm workers, farm dwellers and labour tenants

The Land Reform (Land Tenants) Act No. 3 of 1996 (LTA) seeks to secure the tenure rights of labour tenants and former labour tenants, including by regulating their tenure and prohibiting illegal evictions.

Wherever, farm dwellers, farm workers, labour tenants and women have limited and vulnerable land rights, it is our responsibility as this department in conjunction with other departments such as Employment and Labour to take steps to correct such instances.

Although the provisions of The Extension of Security of Tenure Act (ESTA) have been strengthened we continue to receive reports of attempts to undermine this legislation.

The need for land in these areas varies and includes land for residence, land for cultivation, rituals, burial, and grazing of livestock. When these rights are not protected it may give rise to conflicts.

In giving effect to the provisions of the constitutional and the legislative mandate, the Department has prioritized the settlement of outstanding labour tenant claims. The Land Claims Court appointed the Special Master on Labour Tenants to work with the Department on expediting the settlement of these labour tenants’ claims.

The Department received 20 325 applications in seven (7) Provinces with the majority of claims emanating from KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. To date, a total of 10 992 claims have been finalized, with 9 333 claims still outstanding. Working with the office of the Special Master, a Labour tenant implementation plan has been developed and approved by the Land Claims Court to address this injustice of the past.

During the past of 2020/21 financial year, a total of 200 labour tenants’ applications were finalized and the Department managed to acquire 7 128 hectares for labour tenants and farm dwellers to provide long term security of tenure to these groups of persons.

For the 2021/2022 financial year, the Department has set aside a budget R244 million for the acquisition  of land for Labour Tenants and farm dwellers, as well as to honour cases settled through court orders. This budget will be used to acquire 6150 hectares. The Department in conjunction with Office of the Special Master on Labour Tenants have targeted to finalise 1500 labour tenants claims in current financial year.

In recognising the multiplicity of challenges faced by farm workers, farm dwellers and labour tenants, the Department, working with Department of Justice and Legal Aid SA will continue to provide legal support and mediation services to persons facing unlawful evictions on farms.

Transformation of Certain Rural Areas Act (TRANCRAA)

Chairperson, the expeditious transfer of the 23 rural  areas as administered by the Transformation of Certain Rural Areas Act of 1998, is continuing apace. These areas previously classified as coloured reserves are in four provinces in South Africa. The land in these areas is held in trust for the respective communities.

The process of transferring this land in consultation with the affected communities and municipalities is advancing at a faster pace. In the past financial year, we have transferred Haarlem, Mamre and the biggest portion of Ebenhaeser. We are currently busy with transfer documents for Kranshoek, Zoar and Slangrivier as part of the 11 areas to be finalised in this financial year. The other remaining areas are at an advanced stage of implementation and all transfers will be completed in the 2022/23 financial year.

Communal  Land Tenure

Communal land tenure remains a key component of Land Tenure Reform. Communal areas are home to approximately 17 million people. The people living in communal areas mostly hold informal land tenure rights that are not recorded due to the collapse of land administration in the former homelands and other rural spaces.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Agriculture and Land Reform is guiding on processes in this most important and sensitive area. Our Department, working with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional  Affairs, the Department of Justice  is embarking on a consultation process with all stakeholders, including Traditional Leadership organisations and communities. The consultations will culminate in a National Land Summit, to be convened in September 2021.

Rural Safety

One of the significant threats to food security and livelihoods of our people in rural and farming areas is rural safety. Our country has recently experienced various challenges including high levels of criminality and human rights violations. Incidents reported to law enforcement authorities include murder, public violence and damage to property, racism, land invasion, unlawful eviction and stock theft.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Agriculture and Land Reform lead by the Honourable Deputy President, has established a Task Team consisting of Department of Agriculture, Land reform and Rural Development, South African Police Service, Department of Human Settlement, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and SALGA to develop an integrated rapid response strategy. This plan with intervention measures has since been approved by the IMC. These interventions will open dialogue amongst various role players and stakeholders, including farmer’s associations and farm dwellers to curb these conflicts, evictions, farm murders and bring peace and stability in these areas.

We also continue to support the Rural Safety Plan led by the Ministry of Police.

Community Property Associations (CPAs)

The Department is grappling with the challenges facing Communal Property institutions. We will continue to ensure the CPAs are capacitated and supported to be compliant with the Act, within the means available to us. The Department will also embark on an Audit of all CPAs over a period of two years starting in this financial year, with a view to review the models of land holding for Land reform.

Currently, more than 1 500 CPAs have been established and registered nationally. In the past financial year, I mentioned that we are going to support 477 CPAs however due to difficult circumstances due to COVID-19, we were able to support 436 CPAs. In this financial year we intend to support 577 CPAs to be compliant with the Act and to strengthen oversight.

National Spatial Development Framework

Chapter 8 of the National Development Plan calls for preparation of a ‘National Spatial Development Framework (NDSF)’ which is to be reviewed every 5 years. The IMC on Land and Agriculture is currently reviewing the NSDF, with a target of framing and coordinating provincial, regional and municipal Spatial Development Frameworks. This approach will ensure that there is guidance in planning, budgeting and implementation across spheres and between sectors of government.

Land Reform Bills

We are pleased that the ULTRA Amendment Bill has been approved by the NCOP and on the other hand, the Communal Land Tenure Bill has also reached the stage of  Public Consultations. Furthermore, we are processing the Deeds Registries Amendment Bill, through the clusters of government with the aim of improving and enhancing the application and implementation of the current Act.


The Commission had an original budget of R3, 6 bn which was reduced to R3.3 billion for 2021.22 financial year after a reprioritization process by National Treasury.

In view of the over 8 000 claims remaining to be settled and finalized (excluding the new order claims), the MTEF allocations remain woefully inadequate. There is a need for increased budgetary allocations, especially considering that the remaining claims are mainly rural and more complex

The Commission is projecting to settle 240 claims and finalise 316 claims in 2021/22.

With budget allowing, the Commission is projecting to increase the settlement of claims significantly with 558 and 549 claims being settled in 2022/23 and 2023/24 respectively.

While the Commission has met its 2020/21 annual performance targets in respect of settlement and Finalised claims, performance on the settlement of claims is, and will be adversely affected by the reductions in the budget of the Commission – Impacting negatively the settlement and finalisation of claims.

We are working with the Auditor General’s office to establish restitution as a separate entity as prescribed by the Act, with its own APP and financial statements, the technical task team has been established that will take the process forward and ensure that the commission becomes autonomous , consultation with various stakeholders have started , the draft business case is in place and the research strategy was developed.

Office of the Valuer General (OVG)

This office continues to capacitate it’s different business units in order to deliver on the set targets. Key senior management posts have been attended to as well as the appointment of ten valuers.

For 2021/22 the budget allocation is R131 844 000.

We intend to eliminate the valuation backlog completely in 2021/22 financial year.

An Enterprise Resource Planning Solution (IT System) will be implemented.

In the past financial year the Minister has established a Ministerial Advisory Committee to review the Property Valuation Act (Act 17 of 2014) and the team has produced a report for consideration by the Minister.

Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB)

The lngonyama Trust Act vested 2.8 million hectares of communal land to the lngonyama Trust Board (ITB), the ITB accounts to the department and to parliament. We are assisting the ITB to address its operational and cooperate governance challenges.

We want to see a situation where there is stability in the senior management.


The road will not be easy, we will encounter challenges, but we will overcome them and move on in making sure that south Africans have access to land.


I thank you


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Syngenta launches 2021 Leadership Academy for Agriculture Programme

With the right leadership, agriculture can heal South Africa – Twenty-eight agriculturists, from grain producers and agri-researchers to a Brahman stud manager and even a beekeeper, started their journey into leadership mastery.

This group, which represents the rich diversity of South Africa’s agriculture sector, is the 2021 class of the ninth annual Leadership Academy for Agriculture programme, sponsored by Syngenta South Africa. “The Academy is our investment in the future of South African agriculture, especially now when food security is more important than ever as we deal with a global pandemic,” says Ben Schoonwinkel, head of marketing for Syngenta South Africa.

“Our objective is to help shape the future of agriculture by equipping the next generation of leaders across the agriculture spectrum to address the real-life challenges that confront our industry. Judging by the contribution that the more than 200 alumni are making, we are indeed impacting the sector positively.”  

Ben Schoonwinkel, head of marketing for Syngenta South Africa

The Leadership Academy for Agriculture programme is supported by Grain SA and is presented in three modules of three to four days each, during which the candidates work in groups to research and present solutions to topical issues facing the local agriculture sector.

The curriculum is developed and facilitated by Thinking Fusion Africa, with the Northwest University Business School as academic partner. Candidates who complete the course therefore add a highly accredited leadership programme to their portfolio of academic achievements.

The impact and reputation of the programme are attested to by the fact that more than 300 young career agriculturists applied to be included in the class of 2021. Many of them were inspired to do so by alumni who described the programme as “demanding” and “rewarding” in equal measure.

In his address, Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA, emphasised the importance of the programme being aimed at young agri-professionals. He recalled experiencing the leadership development programme Syngenta presented for senior American producers in August 2011. “I was hugely impressed, but it was clear to me that we shouldn’t pour resources into teaching old dogs new tricks.”

Syngenta South Africa supported De Villiers’ conviction that a leadership development programme for the local agri-market had to focus on the younger generation, says Schoonwinkel.

“We need passionate leaders who have the energy and the courage to accept the challenge to drive change in the sector.”

Professor René Uys from Thinking Fusion Africa, who was recently appointed as a professor of practice at the NWU Business School on the strength of her work with the Leadership Academy, says that personal attributes and diversity were taken into account in the selection process.

“This business leadership development programme serves the entire agriculture sector, and we have seen in previous programmes that the more diverse the group is, the more the delegates are able to engage with real-life industry challenges in innovative ways,” she says.

While the purpose of the programme is to equip agri-professionals with the skills to tackle the industry’s challenges, its dream is for agriculture to be the unifying force and leader of economic growth in South Africa. “I believe that agriculture can heal this country, and my mantra is that leaders make things better,” said De Villiers. This, he said, is achieved when individuals change their mindset and behaviour, learn to listen and are open to participate and develop.

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