Debate on the Agriculture and Rural Development Budget 2022

  1. Thank you, Hon. MEC for your comprehensive report. The MF supports this R 2,49 billion budget.
  2. I thank our dedicated Hon. Chair Sibedla-Saphete.
  3. The best news is that the RASET programme has been transferred from EDTEA to DARD. This will ensure political transparency and engagement in this programme which belongs here.
  4. The challenges to spur KZN’s agrarian economy remain:
    • Land ownership, slow transfer and reform. This is causing ongoing conflict among enthusiastic emerging farmers.
    • Rising theft i.e. livestock, tools and cables and farmer murders which needs dedicated civilian oversight with SAPS
    • Weak performance of Eskom and DWAF, yet efficient electricity and water supply is essential to farmer success.
    • Access to markets-means empowering co-operatives and ensuring fully operational pack houses and
    • The filling of vacant posts.
  5. Hon. MEC, farmers are pleased with the voucher system of direct assistance but to gain full trust of farmers they require mentorship, as you’ve mentioned. Indian farmers have indicated their availability to mentor.
  6. There is a great potential with cannabis farming. Similarly, the expansion of cotton must be perused to spur local cloth and clothing manufacture.
  7. I was pleased to hear the Hon. Premier announce the pursuance of biofuel and ethanol blended energy solutions given KZN’s sugarcane abundance. I have highlighted this opportunity always from 2014. Hon. MEC, our committee visited Makhatini Flats a few days ago which uses only 3500 hectares out of 80 000 hectares available land, please fast-track biofuels, the committee will support.
  8. Hon. Speaker, I have always motivated for Ntingwe Tea Estate to be successful, KZN must do what Thailand had done, i.e. their tea brands are world renowned as these have the royal seal of approval. With the coronation of His Majesty, lets adopt such a business strategy offered by our Zulu kingdom heritage.
  9. The department of local government needs to work with DARD to implement rural spatial development in a “look like a village” model to slow the urban over-population and speed rural re-population.
  10. Finally, DARD is starting to move on climate change response, hence I agree with our Hon. Chair, that this department’s budget should increase in the research programme, however critical, specialised posts need to be filled.
  11. The MF supports this budget with the above recommendations.
  12. Thank you.

Hon. S. Thakur-Rajbansi


Debated by: Hon. Shameen Thakur-Rajbansi

Minority Front Leader (KZN Legislature)

Date: Fri 6 May 2022

Time: 09:00 to 16:00

Word Count: 385 Words

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