Agricultural union TLU SA expressed indignation at evidence that the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development gave the South African Farmers Development Association (SAFDA) more than R246 million over the past five years.
In answer to a parliamentary question from the DA, Minister Thoko Didiza admitted that her department paid SAFDA R246,664,290, but it is not clear how they applied the funds and what the success was. Furthermore, the agreement between the two parties also includes a confidentiality clause, which creates even more questions on how they spent these public funds.
“We are quite certain that the communities who were supposed to benefit from these funds are no better off than they were,” said Henry Geldenhuys, the president of TLU SA.
“As with the financial support paid to small-scale farmers at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is clear that whoever awards these funds have no insight into the food supply in South Africa. These farmers provide only 3% of the national demand for food. Giving this group and subsistence farmers the biggest chunk of financial support does nothing to supply food to 68% of the urbanised population.”
“It is clear to TLU SA that this type of support is nothing but an effort to keep people dependent on the state. It is not sustainable and will not empower one person in the long run,” Geldenhuys said.
“We expect the government to think about the future of the country seriously,” he said. “The government is drifting further and further away from possible solutions. The country’s residents realise a bit more every day that there are no solutions within the policy framework of the ANC. Communities will have to create their own circumstances for the future.”