NEWS & ANALYSIS

ANC WCape show total disregard for land reform - Beverley Schäfer

DA MPP says no ANC members turned up for committee deliberations on Dept of Agriculture's budget for the year

ANC no show: total disregard for land reform.

9 March 2015

Today, the Standing Committee on Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Agriculture held its deliberations on the Department of Agriculture's budget for the upcoming year - which includes their strategic focus of land reform. No ANC Member of the committee bothered to attend this budget meeting.  A members core oversight responsibility is to interrogate departmental budgets, yet the ANC was a total no show.

The ANC spokesperson and permanent member of this standing committee, Ms Sharon Davids has on numerous occasions failed to fulfil her parliamentary responsibilities of attending Standing Committee meetings and today is another case in point. Yet Ms Davids is a vocal critic of this department and of land reform in particular in the Western Cape.

Should she attend these meetings, she may be aware that:

The Department has committed to a 70% land reform success rate within the next five years which would make the Western Cape a leader in land reform.

The departments' Farmworker Development sub programme still remains the only one of its kind in the country.

Two additional key focus areas have been incorporated into the departmental budget namely; Human capital development and strengthening the interface between local government and the departments. This allows the department to prioritise land reform, agri - processing and skills development with municipalities which will ultimately result in growing the economy and creating jobs.

I have previously called on Member Davids to take her responsibilities as a paid public representative representing her voters in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament more seriously by attending to her parliamentary responsibilities. Are Ms David's concerns only valid in the chamber when the gallery is filled with members of the public as audience for her three minute show?

The DA led Western Cape has put a solid strategic plan together aimed at building an inclusive society, focusing on redressing the legacy of the past when it comes to land reform, committed to creating opportunities for growth and jobs in this sector.

Statement issued by Beverley Schäfer MPP, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Agriculture, March 9 2015

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