DA calls for farmers to receive essential service permits directly from Department of Agriculture
20 April 2020
The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls on the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) to open all agriculture offices across the country to issue permits for small-scale farmers. The Department should directly issue essential service permits to small-scale farmers as the current process by which these permits are issued by municipalities, has proven to be cumbersome and slow.
We have received various reports from small-scale farmers that due to the delays in the issuing of permits by municipalities, farmers are being stopped when they travel to work or to look after their livestock. This despite the agricultural sector having been declared an essential service.
It is ultimately the job of Government to ensure the lockdown regulations have clear provisions to ensure food production takes place. It is also the job of Government to ensure that those enforcing the regulations have a clear understanding of them.
We cannot underestimate the significance of the agricultural sector because now, more than ever, food security and food production are essential to avoid a full-blown national food security crisis.