16 September 2019
Parliament has questioned the impact of the One Household, One Hectare Programme on tenure security.
The portfolio committee on agriculture, land reform and rural development was recently briefed by the agriculture, land reform and rural development on the One Household, One Hectare Programme, Recapitalisation and Development Programme and the Land Development Support Programme and Landcare Programme.
In a statement, the committee confirmed that the committee chairperson, Zwelivelile Mandela, had asked the department in what way the One Household, One Hectare Programme, which commenced in 2016, was contributing towards tenure security.
Another issue raised by the committee was the lack of clarity on the selection criteria for the 7 788 beneficiaries across the country.
The department responded that no policy on the selection of the beneficiaries existed.
The chairperson pointed out that the “absence of no selection criteria is a great travesty that leaves the process open to abuse and malpractice. We must ensure that all such programmes stand up to the criteria of due process, transparency and accountability”.
Lack of funding for farmers was an issue that also needed to be addressed.
In another statement, the committee indicated that the meeting with the department at the end of last week had to be postponed as the “department was not adequately prepared to respond to the various questions sent to the department”.
According to the committee, a challenge to synchronise the activities and communications between the national department and its provincial counterparts appears to exist “which needs to be resolved in order to find meaningful solutions to challenges on the ground, where their programmes are meant to be having an impact on land reform, poverty and food security”.
The committee called for a comprehensive report from the department on the issues that arose during oversight in KwaZulu-Natal prior to the meeting scheduled for this week.
“Parliament, and specifically the Portfolio Committee for Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, will continue to exercise its duty of oversight to ensure that its policies and programmes are implemented to advance the agenda of land reform, poverty alleviation and food security.”
In a separate matter, the department, in Government Gazette 42697, announced an amendment to the standards and requirements regarding control of the export of honeybush, green honeybush and honeybush mixtures.
The amendment was made in terms of the Agricultural Product Standards Act and comes into effect seven days after publication of the notice.