The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has an allocation budget of R16.9 billion for the 2021/2022 financial year.
Minister Thoko Didiza said during a virtual budget speech on May 13 that a sizeable portion of this budget is for transfers to Provincial Departments of Agriculture as part of the division of revenue. These allocations relate to Ilima/Letsema Conditional Grants (R 597 126 million), CASP Infrastructure Grant (R1 157 176 billion), and CASP Extension Services – R310 343 million.
She said the Commission of Land Restitution will receive a budget of R3, 3bn for 2021/22.
Didiza said other transfers are to agricultural entities, such as the Agricultural Research Council, which received a grant of R1 282 632 billion. The National Agriculture Marketing Council received an amount R47 305 million, and the Ingonyama Trust received an amount of R23 517 million.
Didiza said that as this year has been set aside to honour and celebrate the life of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke, women’s empowerment cannot be an afterthought nor an add-on, but it ought to be integral in our policy, legal framework and our socio-economic development plans.
“Madam Speaker and Honourable members, you must have noted that even on the land allocation policies and processes, we have made a deliberate target that fifty per cent of the land allocation will go to women, forty per cent to youth and six per cent to people with disabilities. The land is an asset that can liberate women, not only in terms of ownership but also in the productive use of this asset for economic participation and livelihood,” said Didiza.
Didiza said that last year, President Ramaphosa announced that Government would release 700 000 hectares of state land for agricultural purposes.
These land parcels, she said, included communities who have been utilising state land, farmers whose leases had either expired or never had any and some of these, there were no allocation made.
“We outlined a process that will ensure that we affirm the tenure rights of those who have been utilizing this land following the land enquiry process.
“To date, we have managed to allocate 436 563 hectares of the 700 000 ha. Of the 436 563 ha allocated, the Department had, as of yesterday, issued leases for 206 765 hectares, of which 53 880 hectares comprising of 78 farms were allocated to 211 females; 14 251 hectares comprising of 18 farms were allocated to 131 youth and 842 hectares (0,4%) comprising of 1 farm (0,5%) were allocated to a person with disabilities.
“There are 116 farms totalling 127 743 ha which are occupied by communities. Given the nature of how this land has been utilized we have not achieved the fifty per cent allocation that we set for ourselves.”