Welcome to the Mpumalanga Provincial Government

Policy Budget Speech by the MEC for Agriculture, Rural development and Land Administration Hon Mr MT Malinga tabled to the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature, Nelspruit

11 August 2009

Honourable Speaker
Honourable Premier, Mr DD Mabuza
Honourable Members of the Executive Committee
Honourable Members of the Legislature
Baholi bendzabuko, emakhosi etfu
Balimi nabosomabhizimisi basemakhaya
Organised labour
Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen

Honorable Speaker, let me start by stating that the vision of the Agriculture Sector Strategy in South Africa has been to build a united, productive and prosperous Agriculture. This assertion is inspired by the belief that the prosperity in humanity is possible mainly through the access to the land that is used productively with everyone having the same right and access to it. As in the Freedom Charter of 1955, land is considered as the basis of the development of all humanity. From this glorious document further explain the fact that: “Restrictions of land on a racial basis shall be ended, all the land shall be re-divided among those who work it, to banish famine and land hunger; the state shall help the peasants with implements, seeds, tractors and dams to save the soil and assist the tillers”.

Francis Blanchard, The then Director General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) once said: “ The main burden of development and employment creation will have to be borne by the part of the economy in which Agriculture is a predominant activity- The rural sector.”

Grunnar Myrdal, Laurete in Economics added: “It is in the Agricultural sector that the battle for long term economic development will be won or lost”

Hall and Tordaro argue for Agricultural progress and Rural Development, because: “ …the vast majority of the world’s poor people are also located in rural areas and engaged in subsistence agriculture” since they “...have been bypassed by whatever economic progress has been attained”

But, Hall and Tordaro also argue that: “If Development is to take place and become sustainable, it will have to start in rural areas in general and the agricultural sector in particular” and that for its success, “an Agriculture and employment–based strategy” need to be considered”
What do these Authors seem to suggest?

To appraise the success of the approach the following questions need to be answered:
  • How can rural output and productivity per capita be substantially increased in a manner that will directly benefit average small farmer and a landless rural dweller, while providing food surplus to support a growing urban industrial sector?
  •  What is the process by which subsistence farmers are transformed into high productivity commercial enterprises?
  • When subsistence farmers resist change, is their behaviour stubborn and irrational or are they acting rationally within the context of their particular economic environment.
  •  Are economic and price incentives sufficient to elicit output increases among peasant agriculturalists, or are institutional and structural changes in rural farming systems also required?
  • Is raising agricultural productivity sufficient to improve rural life, or must there be concomitant off-farm employment creation along with improvement in educational, medical, and other social services?

This is meant to indicate that any strategic intervention to be successful must not arise through an act of accident or thumb-suck, but from a thorough consideration of its frameworks and tools for monitoring progress, derived from well grounded research information.
Honorable Speaker, let me again indicate that from the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) we have also been given ten medium term strategic framework priority areas to deliver on.
We take cognisance of the fact that we have to respond to all of them. We however would like to elevate some of the priorities that are of direct significance to us.

We will elevate the following strategic priorities:

1. Comprehensive development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform and food security.
2. Speeding up growth and transforming the economy to create decent work and sustainable livelihoods
3. Strengthen our skills and human resource base
4. Sustainable Resource Management and Use.
5. Building a developmental state including improvement of public services and strengthening democratic institutions

Performance of the Previous Budget

Honorable Speaker, before I continue with the presentation of our performance as the department, please allow me to talk to our most successful programme of Female Farmer of the year as we celebrate the women month in an agricultural and rural development way. I would like to extend my appreciation to all those who participated in the 2009/10 Female Farmer of the Year which was held on 6 August 2009 at Steve Tshwete.

I would like to congratulate the winners and they are Me A Jacklin and Me T Sibiya both from Gert Sibande District, Me A Mathebula from Ehlanzeni District, Me H Sebiloane and Me R Mahlangu both from Nkangala. These women will be representing the province in the upcoming national event in Bloemfontein at the end of the month. I would also like to congratulate our young emerging farmers, Vukuzithathe vegetable project who have scooped the provincial prize as the best Young Aspirant Farmers. Kutimisela kwalabantfu labasha kulandzela ligama lenhlangano yabo kuphindze kusinikete litsemba lelikusasa lelihle kutemkhakha wetekulima.

Honorable Speaker, we continued to utilise the budget of R799, 6 million to strengthen the processes aimed at building unity and prosperity for all our people in the Mpumalanga Province.

We have directed most of our resources towards driving strategies and programme aimed at addressing the priorities as identified by our government.

As our province is largely rural and agrarian, we noted that there is no way in which agriculture could grow and develop without the involvement of the rural communities and structures.

Agriculture Sector Plan

Honorable Speaker, it gives me much pleasure report to this august house on the progress made in developing the Provincial Agricultural Sector.

We have managed to develop an Agriculture Sector Plan. This was done through an intensive process of consultative meetings and workshops with key stakeholder in the agricultural, business and civic sector. The plan is currently been circulated among the key stakeholders who directly or indirectly had an input to its development for further endorsement.
Xikongomelo xa mano lawa I ku nyika maendlelo la ya kungu hatiweke la way a nga ta kobisa ndlela ya ta matirhele ya ta vurimi exifundzeni, ngopfu laha vanhu va akeke kona.

We envisage that it will assist all stakeholders involved in the agricultural sector to work in partnership towards improving farming at all level including the small-scale farming.

I would like to thank the following, but not exclusive, the National African Famer’s Union (Nafu), Agri-Mpumalanga, National Emerging Red Meat Producer Organisation (NERPO), Land Bank, Transvaal Sugar Limited (TSB) and Mpumalanga Labour Market Forum and the others for their unwavering support. 

Masibuyele Emasimi

Hon Speaker, though the intensive Masibuyele Emasimini programme, we strive to stabilise food prices in an endeavour to prevent inflation surges, ensures food security and combat hunger in rural communities. I must indicate that since the introduction of this programme, it has proven to respond positively to the plight of the poor in all areas where it has been implemented with vigour.

As part of promoting integrated rural development and responding to the food price crisis, the department had to revise the Masibuyele Emasimini budget from R35 million to R90 million during the 2008/09 financial year.

We managed to purchase a total of 101 tractors and implements that were used to till and plant the fields of the deserving beneficiaries. This programme has multiple benefits for the local communities. From this programme a total of 245 local people benefitted in terms of decent jobs. At least 186 tractor operators, six mechanics, 22 site managers, and 31 security guards were employed. This programme contributed in the provision of job opportunities among the rural poor and promotes other off-farm entrepreneurship and overall rural development.
Honorable Speaker, we take pleasure in announcing that through this programme, a total of 19 960 households constituting about 114 525 beneficiaries benefited directly from this programme. About 29 234 hectares of land was cultivated and 7 291 hectares were supported in terms of production inputs.
Linked to this programme, is another intervention called the Integrated Food Security and Nutrition Programme whose primary focus is also on poverty alleviation and food security for the people in the province. Through this programme we were able to established 2 800 food gardens for the most vulnerable households using the
Agricultural Starter Pack (ASP). The intervention of this programme translates to 20% of the total targeted area over the next 5 years. The intervention has reached about 11% of the deserving population of Mpumalanga.

Honorable speaker let me pass my gratitude to my colleagues in the Executive Cabinet who on recognition of the impact that this programme had on our communities, have up-scaled the Masibuyele Emasimini project to be a programme. The programme now has full provincial equitable share and dedicated staff. The programme has benefited from this by having it’s originally gazetted budget of R40 million been revised to R96, 6 million. 

Agricultural Infrastructure Development

Honorable Speaker, as pointed out in the previous years that for us to effectively and efficiently intervene in improving the lives of the people in the province, we had adopted a focused and integrated approach to agriculture. This gave rise to the concept of Anchor Projects in the department. It is an approach that has seen us fostering the consolidation of resources to achieve maximum impact on poverty and unemployment. The government support has been mainly on the development of agricultural infrastructure which is one of the prime movers of development. We assisted the farmers to derive economic benefits from the land reformed farms through this capital investment.

This approach addresses the MTSF strategic objective of Comprehensive Development Strategy linked to Land and Agrarian Reform and Food Security. It also speaks to Speeding Up Growth and Transforming the Economy to Create Decent Work and Sustainable Livelihoods.
We continued to support Anchor Projects in Ehlanzeni District Municipality areas (which included macadamia, horticulture, sugarcane and poultry production); in Gert Sibande District Municipality areas (we gave support to apple, soya bean, poultry and cattle production); and in Nkangala District Municipality areas (we supported soya bean, poultry and goat production). 

A total budget of R76 million made up of R53 million of the national conditional of Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP), and R23 million of provincial allocation was made available to provide support to these projects. 

The following are some of the projects that were implemented through this support:
1. Broiler Project:

Construction of five environmentally controlled broiler houses for (Thembelihle in Leandra (1), Zenzeleni in Standerton (1), and Sinamuva in Delmas (3) with a carrying capacity of 40 000 chickens per house have been completed.  These projects are linked to markets such as Early Bird and Day-Break.

2. Livestock Production:

The provision of livestock handling facilities for goats production to stimulate agric-business development in the rural areas were achieved. We established goats handling facilities on 2 new sites in Nokaneng and Lefisoane in the Nkangala District.

3. Soya Bean production for Bio Fuel:

The department assisted farmers who benefited from the Land and Agrarian Reform Programme to actively take part in the bio-fuel industry; we fenced 27 farms for the production of soya beans in Gert Sibande District. In addition, 19 tractors were purchased with implements and were used to plough over 8 000 ha and planted over 3 042 ha with soya beans, maize and sunflower on farms in Gert Sibande and Nkangala Districts. This project was implemented in partnership with the Transvaal Westelike Koporasie Limited (TWK) who provided additional ploughing services, production inputs, markets and associated logistics.

4. Apples Orchards:

We utilised our comparative advantage over the Western Cape to assist the Highveld black farmers to take advantage of the apple market during off season of the Western Cape and other international markets. The provision of irrigation infrastructure and planting of two apple orchards in Msukaligwa Municipality and another three are on-going. The department further provided establishment for the 10 new apple sites in Albert Luthuli and Msukaligwa Municipalities.

5. Sugarcane Projects:

To provide support to small-scale sugarcane growers who are failing to break-even due to the economies of scales and inefficiency due to poor irrigation infrastructure. The farming units are not big enough to absorb the high costs of production. In an effort of sustaining these farmers, the department has embarked on revitalisation of the sugarcane irrigation schemes. The increased in irrigation efficiencies and low capital investment will improve yields and profit margins for the small-holder farmers.

Our approach of the Anchor Project has triggered a positive response from a wide spectrum of agricultural, business and civic sectors. We will continue with the course in the following years and ensure that these projects form part of the Provincial Economic Plan. 

Job creation

Honorable Speaker, the Strategic objective of the MTSF of Sustainable Resource Management and Use and of ensuring that more jobs are created for our people and simultaneously increasing productivity, a total of R47 million was allocated in support of infrastructure development activities. 
Infrastructure was developed for emerging farmers, especially in areas where value addition opportunity existed. In addition, technology and skills transfer form the core of these activities.

Soil Conservation and Veld Management plans and designs were also developed and implemented for 30 projects for small scale farmers and projects in communal areas through the LandCare Programme.

Furthermore, in addressing land degradation and supporting sustainable livelihoods; youth, women and disabled members of our communities received skills development and employment opportunities from the Land Care initiatives as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme. 
We take pride in announcing that we managed to implement LandCare projects in the 6 selected municipalities, and created 1 095 job opportunities, as part of the Expanded Public Works Program (EPWP).

Agricultural Risks and Disaster Management

Honorable Speaker, as part of the management of agricultural related risks, we provided relieve assistance to famers who lost their agricultural produce during the 2007 and 2008 veld fires. The assistance was more than 1 930 both commercial and emerging farmers in terms of livestock replacement (613 cattle), repairing of infrastructure (55 farms fenced) and fodder supply. This resulted in more than 500 temporal jobs created.
In future more focus will be on the reduction of the agricultural related risks in future through the strengthening of the Disaster Risk Management Committees at Local Municipality Level.

Livestock development

Honorable Speaker, we continued our control measures of arresting the situation of animal disease outbreaks.

We effectively managed to control and prevent significant animal diseases through vaccination programme, which included more than one million vaccinations against anthrax, rabies, foot and mount disease among others. 

Additional to this, we increased access to animal health facilities through construction of mobile clinics and dip tanks in deep rural areas. 

Honorable Speaker, just last month we launched state of the art Veterinary Clinic and three Mobile clinics in Hluvukani village in Bushbuckridge. This is located within the high disease risk area or buffer zone. This was done through a partnership arrangement with the University of Pretoria. This is an indication that as Mpumalanga, we will no longer talk about scarce skills in Veterinary Sciences. Through the sealed partnership with the University of Pretoria and close working relationship with the Department of Education, in five years time, the Mpumalanga Province will start producing her own Doctors in Veterinary Sciences in numbers. The Mobile clinics will ensure that animal clinical services are provided to the most rural communities and ensure both animal and human health as part of rural development is looked after.

Effective monitoring and risk management was achieved through almost 5million animal health inspections, hygiene inspections to ensure public health and food safety.  These activities are particularly important in order to protect the national export market threatened by the economic downturn.
We remain on high alert and in a state of readiness to respond to any emergence of swine and bird flu in the province.

Research and Development

Honorable Speaker, our Research and Development Programme continued to effectively respond to environmental and economic needs of our communities. 

In view of challenges with regards to aging information, it is commendable that the Department was able to update almost all of its targeted data sets, was able to distribute more than 135 GIS data sets and carry out about 2 000 agricultural potential investigations in support of farmers and other institutions in the province.

We will continue to improve on our research methodologies through strengthening our partnerships with other research institutions in order to improve our interventions with our communities and farmers. We will invest more in the research and development sector. The focus will be on adaptive research in order to maximise our support to our subsistence and emerging farmers, and rural development demands.

We will continue our research initiatives on indigenous plant and animal breeds, in particular the Nguni cattle, in order to enhance the productivity levels of these species as they are more susceptible to the conditions in our province.

Land reform

Honorable Speaker, we successfully supported the Land and Agrarian Reform Programme (LARP). Success stories coupled with Ilima – Letsema effectively assisted us to mobilise communities to utilise local resources thereby strengthening their livelihoods through asset seeking. 

Through the Land Reform programme we were able to provide support to 41 land reform settlement cases related to Restitution and Redistribution. 
With the new mandate of rural development the department is better suited in providing the support that has been so needed to effectively bring about positive change in the rural community livelihoods.

Land Tenure upgrade

Honorable Speaker, tenure upgrading programme has continued to play a significant role of developing communities. This programme has brought about hope to communities in providing them with tenure security. The programme has over the years provided numerous land owners the title deeds.

In previous year 2008/09, we gave approval of 259 land use change and subdivisions applications in areas outside formal towns. This process contributed significantly in releasing more land for various development initiatives like housing, commercial, industrial and resorts developments. This will contribute to economical growth within the Province. 

I would also like to acknowledge the outstanding work being performed by the Mpumalanga Development Tribunal as well as the Mpumalanga Townships Board, and it is believed that these statutory bodies would further endeavor to enhance integrated development within the Province.

For the financial year 2009/10 a total amount of R 21, 724 million has been allocated to this program for undertaking the tenure upgrading for the communities

We will in this financial year continue with the implementation of Tenure Upgrading. Seven thousand, two hundred and six four title deeds will become available for distribution to residents in various areas where they did not enjoy security of tenure of their properties. The focus area for this year will be in Gutswa A; Kwaggafontein A as well as Matsulu C.  With this, our citizens would then be able to enjoy the privileges of full ownership of their properties.  

In Standerton at Extension 8 we will create 3 000 residential sites (erven) for which could be used by residents to access subsidised housing. This would alleviate the current problem experienced with informal settlement.

Municipality approach

Honorable Speaker, in line with our commitment to the MTSF priority of Building A Developmental State Including Improvement of Public Services and Strengthening Democratic Institutions, we have introduced the Agro-based Local municipality approach in the last financial year.

We managed to establish our offices in the local municipalities headed by our managers. Through this approach we were able to improve and enhance our integrated planning at a local level and ensure that our strategies respond directly to community needs. This approach has strengthened the buy in and active participation by the communities in driving and determining their destiny.

Skills development and training

Honorable Speaker, as part again of complying to the MTSF priority of Building a Developmental State Including Improvement of Public Services and Strengthening democratic institutions, we implemented the Extension Recovery Plan which is targeted at improving the capacity, visibility and accountability of our extension personnel.

This programme has improved working conditions of extension officers in the province through the recruitment of professionals, provision of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Human Resource Development.
Furthermore, it is important to note that several training opportunities provided by the Department in-order to promote the successful implementation of anchor projects and promote sectoral growth  90 bursaries awarded and monitored at different universities & Lowveld College of Agriculture; 82 Training workshops facilitated and co-ordinated and 1 116 officials were taken through various Inservice training.

Administration and Good Governance

Honorable Speaker, in the state of the province address, the Premier indicated that corruption will not be tolerated as it undermines service delivery. He went on to say that we need to fight fraud and corruption in the private and the public sector. 

Today I can say my department has echoed those words and has embarked on a fierce fight against corruption. For purpose of good governance we have ensured that those who committed offences that involve corruption, financial mismanagement and abuse of state property are brought to book. The work we have done in dealing with corruption in my department makes me believe that the battle against fraud and corruption is a winnable one. 

Our commitment to transparent, honest and accountable administration is measured by our success in uprooting corruption. We are leaving no stone unturned and we have displayed that we are handling our cases without fear or favour. 

I honestly believe that service delivery will be improved as we are making sure that our supply chain management is not manipulated. Therefore your support in our endeavor to realise a goal of a clean government is critical.  We are indeed indebted to you for a clean and transparent administration for a better service to our people.

2009/10 Priorities

Honorable Speaker, let me first hasten to indicate that the department three mandates, namely; the Agriculture, the Rural Development, and the Land Administration. Confirmation of these mandates was done in the middle of the first quarter of the current financial year 2009/10.

Mpumalanga Agricultural Development Corporation

During the State of the Province address, the Premier announced that “we need to utilise the asset base of the parastatals to mobilise financial resources to fund the accelerated delivery of massive economic and social infrastructure. To this end, government intends to merge some of its parastatals with a view of enhancing economic growth that will result in job creation and development. We will merge the Mpumalanga Agricultural Development Corporation (MADC) and the Mpumalanga Housing Finance Company (MHFC) with the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) before the end of this current financial year.  What we expect to see with this merger is an acceleration of enterprise development and delivery of massive infrastructure.” 
The department will work with the sister departments of Human Settlement and Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, organised labour and other stakeholders and ensure smooth transformation into an institution that will better serve the needs of our farmers. Government envisages accelerating the development of commercial farmers from the previously disadvantaged group as a continued effort to de-rationalise the agriculture sector.

Rural Development

In line with the MTSF of Comprehensive Development Strategy Linked to Land and Agrarian Reform and Food Security; the province has started working on the implementation of a Comprehensive Rural Development concept in consultation with other government departments, non-governmental role players, communities and the private sector, all of whom have a key role to play in the implementation of the concept. The Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration shall take the lead in the co-ordination and facilitation of the integrated implementation of the Comprehensive Rural Development concept

This Comprehensive Rural Development Programme encompasses all aspects of rural life from rural housing to rural transport, local economic development, education, health, agriculture, social development, water, etc. It is clear that the new Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land administration cannot “go- it- alone” on this steep and rough road. We need partners and we need them now.

Through the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme, we are taking a holistic approach to rural development.  We are saying it is not good enough to hand over agricultural land to people and not ensure that they have access to adequate services.  We are saying that due to the history of neglect of people living in rural areas by the apartheid government, and the resultant skewed spatial planning which favoured the minority of the citizens of this country, any intervention that takes place must take into consideration all the needs of the particular community.  Issues such as access to health care services, decent housing, creation of decent jobs, as well as the development of road infrastructures which is key to economic development, must be addressed. We are moving away from the piece-meal approach, to the implementation of development initiatives for our communities.

The key focus areas for Rural Development and Land Reform include: the expansion of Agrarian Reform; Access to Land; increased Production; Sustainable Rural livelihoods; Infrastructure Development; Access to Markets; Rural finance; Promotion of Co-operatives; Agro-processing; Small Farmer Development; as well as Access to Housing.  As our President Jacob Zuma pointed out in the State of the Nation Address, “people living in rural areas have a right to basic amenities such as access to running water, health care services and decent housing”.

Central to rural development, is the engagement with the targeted beneficiaries through the conduct of a comprehensive needs analysis for the particular community.  As a department we have heeded the call made by our people through many different Fora that: “Nothing About Us, Without Us!”  Consultation is therefore key in all our interventions.  Ours will be a people-centred approach as we roll out the implementation of the rural development in the province. 

The Department is leading the implementation of a pilot project for the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme focusing on Donkerhoek, Kwa-Ngema and Emahhashini communities in the Mkhondo Local Municipality.

The pilot project shall enable the department to refine the concept and develop a coherent strategy towards rural development. Performance assessment of the various land reform projects shall be linked to the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme objectives and the extent to which they help Government achieve the agreed mandate. 

Masibuyele Emasimini (Food Security)

Honourable Speaker, as mentioned above the budget for Masibuyele Emasimini has been revised up to R96.6 million to cover more of our vulnerable individuals. For the upcoming financial year, we will be up scaling Masibuyele Emasinini in all the 18 municipalities. A total of 35 160 households are targeted where 62 583 ha will be cultivated which will include about 23 830 home (back yard) and communal gardens. Mechanisation services and production inputs will be made available to communities who want to cultivate indigenous crops.

We will continue to urge communities and stakeholders to revive and support the practice of cultivating food crops so as to achieve household food security. The advocacy activities will be well co-ordinated and local structures capacitated to strengthen communication to beneficiary communities.

In our bid to eradicate poverty, we will continue to have community mobilisation and working with local structures, local traditional leaders, municipalities, NGOs and private sector to identify and provide assistance to poor households and those that are vulnerable to food insecurity. 
Honorable Speaker, we really appreciate the change that this programme has brought to our communities. It has unleashed enormous energies and enthusiasm from these communities. Their willingness to participate in this programme and determine their own destiny will continue to generate new agricultural opportunities and through backward and forward linkages, rural economies will grow enormously.

One is encouraged by committed communities such as Silwanendlala Multi-purpose Centre who are not involved in food gardens for their own food consumption but to ensure that the more than 150 hungry and vulnerable people under their support do not go to bed with an empty stomach. During our recent community outreach at Masoya with the Honourable Premier and my colleague MEC for Health and Social Development – Me Mahlangu, we committed the government that we will ensure that the state intervenes through the poverty war-room. My department will ensure that these cadres are given the necessary support and land for future expansion. I would also like to encourage other Community-Based organisations like the Masoya Day-Care Centre which takes care for the orphans to work closely with other organisations like Silwendlala.

Skills Development

Hon Speaker, I would like to echo what the Hon Premier said when he says, “the level of our skills base remains very low. As a consequence, growth and development in the Province is constrained by the limited availability of scarce and critical skills”. We can experience a vibrant agricultural, forestry sectors and sustainable rural development if we do have the necessary skills to plan and implement government programmes.

Ngakhoke, uma irhubululo, liveza bonyana umnyango wezelimo nawo ucalene nekinga yokutlogakala kwekgono elicakatheke khulu kwamambala. Ukuze sizokwazi ukuthuthukisa ihlelo lezelimo esiphandeni sangekhethu. Kuzomele sisikime soke sikhuthaze nabantu abatja bonyana balandele iimfundo zezelimo.
In response to the training needs of the agricultural sector in the province; the department through our only jewel - The Lowveld Agriculture College; is planning to introduce two more programmes in the form of Animal Production and Forestry. The reason being that the province is browsed and grazed by millions of sheep, goats and cattle, and also occupies 41% of the total hectors of forestry in the country.

The programme anticipates the establishment and facilitation of the Provincial Agricultural Education and Training Forum (PAETF), In order to get more involvement and participation of the key stakeholders in the province.
In line with improving our service delivery, the department will continue supporting more 140 Extension Officers who are upgrading their qualifications to the national norms and standards. The department will support through bursary schemes, ICT facilities, and other capacity building programmes.

The department will direct R25 million towards the training of the 212 college students and upgrading the skills of the 140 Extension Workers.  More than R3.5 million has been budgeted for the development of 45 graduates attached to the department as part of their internship programme. Through the Vula Ematfuba programme, the department is supporting 76 students who are currently enrolled in different higher learning institutions across the country on scare skills such as veterinary sciences, crop and animal production scientists, agriculture economics and other related fields.

“Working together we can do more by improving the quality of life for all our people living in rural areas”

Honorable Speaker, the priorities highlighted above will be driven, following the MTSF priorities, through programmes budgeted as follows:

Programme 1: Administration
  • The programme will be focusing on the MTSF priority of Building a developmental state including improvement of public services and strengthening democratic institutions.
  • In addition to general support services this programme will be implementing projects like the Extension Recovery Plan, Bursaries, and In-service Training.
  • The programme has a total budget of R92, 286 million
Programme 2: Sustainable Resource Management
  •  The programme will be focusing on the MTSF priority of Sustainable Resource Management and Use.
  • The programme will be implementing programmes of sustainable resource management and Land Care
  • The programme has a total budget of R 39,604 million.
Programme 3: Rural Development, Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, Masibuyele Emasimini

The programme will be focusing on the MTSF priorities of Comprehensive development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform and food security;  Speeding up growth and transforming the economy to create decent work and sustainable livelihoods

The programme has a total budget of R407, 142 million.

Programme 4: Veterinary Services
  • The programme will be focusing on the MTSF priority of Comprehensive development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform and food security.
  • The programme will be implementing programmes of Animal health, Veterinary public health, Veterinary Laboratory Services, and Veterinary Clinical Services, |
  • The programme has a total budget of R 81,868 million.
Programme 5: Technology Research and Development Services
  • The programme will be focusing on the MTSF priority of Comprehensive development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform and food security.
  • The programme will be implementing programmes of research and development and agricultural information services.
  • The programme has a total budget of R36,348 million.
Programme 6: Agriculture Economics
  • The programme will be focusing on the MTSF priority of Speeding up growth and transforming the economy to create decent work and sustainable livelihoods
  • The programme will be implementing programmes aimed at agribusiness development and marketing of agricultural produce.
  • The programme has a total budget of R14,728 million.
Programme 7: Structured Agricultural Training
  • The programme will be focusing on the MTSF priority of Strengthening our skills and human resource base.
  • The programme will be implementing programmes of Higher education and training (HET), and Further Education Training (FET).
  • The programme has a total budget of R41,103 million.
Programme 8: Land Administration
  • The programme will be focusing on the MTSF priority of Comprehensive development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform and food security.
  • The programme will be implementing programmes of Land administration, Planning and surveying, and Land use administration.
  • The programme has a total budget of R21,724 million.

Honorable Speaker, it is important to note that our initial budget included the budget of the Environmental Services. The mandate has since been transferred to the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism. 

Thus the total budget of the department without the environmental component is R733, 827 million.


To conclude Honorable Speaker, we are aware of the mammoth task that lies ahead of us. We are quite aware that our department is tasked with the mandates that are pivotal in the emancipation of our people who have been excluded from fully partaking in the economical activities of our country.
We remain committed towards building a united, productive and prosperous agricultural sector and a sustainable rural development.
May I take this opportunity to thank the Honourable Premier who is also my predecessor for his leadership. I also thank my colleagues in the Executive Committee and the Members of the Portfolio Committee led by the chairperson Honourable Member RC Mahlobogoane for their continuous advice and positive contributions to my area of responsibility.

More gratitude goes to farmers and various stakeholders in the agricultural sector and rural economies who are contributing to food security, job opportunities and overall rural development in the Province.

I would also thank the entire staff in my department under the Leadership of HOD, Ms Nelisiwe Lindiwe Sithole. The value of other sister departments cannot go unnoticed.

Special thanks will go to my wife Bongi and my entire family for their unconditional love and endless support.

To the house at large, we truly believe that these mandates are interlinked and interdependent. We agree with scholars and experts who urge that agriculture and land are the ‘spring board’ of rural development.

Together; let us not leave any land untilled.


Issued by: Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration

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