Training essential for successful land reform in SA, says Phosa
UP TO 90% of land reform projects are unsuccessful, according to ANC presidential hopeful Mathews Phosa.
He said some internal conflict and a lack of skills were some of the factors that had contributed to this.
“You give me land. I have no skills. I have no capital. I only have an emotional joy towards the land‚” Phosa said yesterday on the sidelines of the annual congress of agricultural industry body AgriSA in Muldersdrift.
President Jacob Zuma urged land claimants in his state of the nation address earlier this year to take the land instead of the financial compensation.
“Over 90% of claims are currently settled through financial compensation, which does not help the process at all,” Zuma said.
“It perpetuates dispossession. It also undermines economic empowerment.”
Phosa said 70% of land in Limpopo that had been returned was lying fallow.
“It means you are losing jobs‚ you are losing your food security advantage‚ your global competitiveness‚ and you are not selling things.”
For Phosa, the solution lies in training communities.
“For the common good of the country‚ South Africa must create jobs using farming‚ produce its own food and be independent of every other country outside.”
Phosa believes there is a lack of political will to get South Africans interested in farming.
“Farming is very expensive. An ordinary black community cannot afford farming‚ so you need risk capital to support the farmers and the communities‚ especially the emerging ones.”
Phosa sees a role for government in agriculture as an international negotiator with increasing globalisation.
“The farmers cannot resolve those issues on their own. We need government to hold our hand and work together with the farmers to open those markets.”
Phosa said last month he would support AmaXhosa king Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu‚ in what could be the biggest land claim in the country.