Eastern Cape
New farming proposal published.
13:16 (GMT+2), Tue , 22 July 2014
Eastern Cape
The policy proposals that will force farmers to give half of their farms to their workers had been published. This was done by rural development and land reform minister Gugile Nkwinti. All stakeholders in commercial agriculture have until April 2015 to react to his proposals. These stakeholders include farmers, trade unions, farm workers and the agricultural business sector. These new proposals apparently aim to deracialise the country’s rural economy. According to Nkwinti it will also even out the allocation and use of land and ensure food security as well as food sovereignty for South Africa. Most farmers and experts are however against the new proposals. Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) spokesman Pieter Mulder said the idea of giving farm workers half of the land they work on is ill-considered. “This will not resolve the land reform problems in the country but would instead destroy food security in the country.” He added that when studying the proposals closely, it becomes clear that it originates from a minister and a department which has no understanding of the intricacies of modern commercial farming. A Sunday publication recently reported that it was in possession of a document named “Final Police Proposals for Strengthening the Relative Rights of People Working the Land” which had been discussed with agricultural organisations. The newspaper claimed that the proposal meant expropriating half of every commercial farm in the country and handing it over to farm workers. The proposal allegedly states that the historic farm owners would retain half of their farms and the state would pay for the 50 percent taken for the workers. The money would not be paid to the farm owners but into a trust aimed at investing and developing the farm for all its shareholders. Of the 50% to be shared by the workers; all labourers with a history of between 10 and 25 consecutive years of disciplined service will share 10%, those with 25 to 50 years' consecutive service will share 25%, those with more than 50 years' consecutive service will share 50% and 15% will be available for household subsistence farming.

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