South Africa: Land reform farms need rescuing
Welcome to Africa where any pie-in-the-sky idea is given oxygen – as long as the pie is given to Blacks. Black South Africans have for years been fed the lie that Whites stole their land, developed farms and subsequently got rich whilst the poor Blacks looked on. In actual fact, Whites developed land that they either claimed, bought or bartered for in years gone by. Africa is not for sissies and it took farmers generations of blood, sweat and tears to build up these farms into successful entities. When South Africa was handed over to the ANC in 1994, land was one of the main issues as many Blacks felt they were entitled to these farms – never mind if they could actually farm them or not – it belonged to the Whites and they wanted them. The ANC of course promised their people that they would get their land ‘back’ and either bought farms, or put land claims against farmers. Today South Africa sits with at least 852 land reform farms – which were handed over to Black ‘farmers’ – being classified as
dumps distressed. No kidding Sherlock! In case anyone missed it, Africans don’t know how to mass-farm. Sure, they may know how to plant a corn plant or two, some tobacco plants and keep the odd starving cow, but ask them to plan, plant and harvest on a large scale and their eyes glaze over. You see, a Black African only looks after himself, his starving cows and his 20 children – he doesn’t care about anyone else. So, it beggars belief that the ANC thought that giving their fellow Blacks successful farms would magically transform them into farmers. The result is that South Africa is now a net importer of staples like wheat and maize – where it was once an exporter (ala Zimbabwe). Today, over R200 million is being spent annually on a pie-in-the-sky Recapitalisation and Development Programme, which is supposed to help failing land reform projects become viable once again. So, to recap – the ANC gave Blacks farms and now they have to pump millions a year back into these farms to keep up the appearance that Blacks can….um…..farm. Yeah, sounds just about right for IQ57.
Hat tip: Julian B
The government has issued a call for strategic partners to help turn around 852 land reform projects at risk of collapse, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said on Monday.
“To date, 852 distressed farms have been advertised for expressions of interest by either mentors or strategic partners interested in making them commercially viable and productive across the country,” he said in reply to a parliamentary question.
Nkwinti said the department had received tenders for just under half of the distressed farms.
“A total of 411 farms were selected from the 852 advertised farms by both strategic mentors through normal tender processes and direct sourcing.”
Asked by the Congress of the People whether his department had been successful in ensuring that all 2.9 million hectares of land given to reform beneficiaries remained productive, he answered: “No.”
Nkwinti said the department had therefore been forced to introduce its Recapitalisation and Development Programme to help failing land reform projects become viable.
To this end, 25 percent of the budget of R900 million for land acquisition in the last financial year was set aside for recapitalisation of existing projects. The department hoped to recapitalise 504 farms.
Nkwinti has been frank about the failures of the land reform programme and has acknowledged that the state will not achieve its aim of transferring 30 percent of white-owned land to emerging black farmers by 2014.
The release of his long-awaited green paper outlining a new approach to land reform has been repeatedly delayed.