DOCUMENTS

Sexwale wants to meet with farmers - Pieter Mulder

FF+ leader discusses controversial remarks with housing minister

MIN. TOKYO SEXWALE WANTS TO HOLD TALKS WITH FARMER

Dr. Pieter Mulder, FF Plus Leader and Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Minister Tokyo Sexwale, Minister of Housing, yesterday (17 February 2010) held talks about the statement of Minister Sexwale that commercial farmers who get rid of their workers, are the main reason for the large squatter camps next to South Africa's cities.

During the meeting Minister Sexwale expressed the view that he also wished to discuss the issue with South Africa's commercial farmers. Dr. Mulder described their talks as positive and constructive and undertook to organize a meeting between commercial farmers and the Minister as soon as possible.

During the debate on President Zuma's State of the Nation Address, Dr. Mulder criticized Minister Sexwale for his statement that commercial farmers are the main reason for urbanization, which he had made during a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Meeting. Minister Sexwale's statements also caused strong reaction from commercial farmer organizations. Dr. Mulder pointed out that urbanization is an international phenomenon which can be found in all African cities where there aren't any South African farmers.

Dr. Mulder furthermore argued that the government had in the past fifteen years caused great uncertainty in rural areas with their policy directions with regard to South African commercial farmers. "If the government address these issues they will be surprised about the good-will and positive approach of the majority of farmers to develop rural areas and help in this way to slow the stream of urbanization down," according to Dr. Mulder.

During the discussion Minister Sexwale explained his statements and indicated that misunderstandings can be cleared through direct talks with organized agricultural organizations.

Statement issued by Dr. Pieter Mulder, FF Plus Leader and Deputy Minister: Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, February 18 2010

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