Kwazulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s remarks, during yesterday evening’s SONA, which addressed a number of key issues pertaining to agriculture, as well as various key factors which directly impact the economic viability of the sector.
- Kwanalu is pleased the address placed emphasis on the following:
- The new energy generation projects and the implementing of fundamental changes to the structure of the electricity sector
- The focus on regenerating the SA railway systems, and said “the agricultural sector, for example, relies heavily on efficient, well-run ports to export their produce to overseas markets”
- The prioritising of institutional reforms to ensure future water security, investment in water resources and maintenance of existing assets
- Acknowledgement of commodity masterplans in the sugar and poultry industries which contribute significantly to increased investment, improved production and transformation.
- Emphasis on the struggling economy, corruption and the acknowledgement of the fact that the state did not stop the July unrest
- Land reform will proceed in terms of the Constitution
- Recognition that there is enough arable land to support small scale farmers
Kwanalu, however, emphasised the importance of all tiers of government operating efficiently and effectively.
“The decay and collapse of government departments and municipalities whose primary function is to provide services, such as infrastructure including roads, bridges, rail, safe water and electricity, is critical to the survival of the agricultural sector,” said CEO, Sandy La Marque.
La Marque adds that greater accountability is required.
“Officials need to return to work and be committed to ensuring that their function aids the sector, and the entire country, in moving forward and realising economic growth,” said La Marque.
Kwanalu, with its members, will continue to play a significant role in matters related to the rural and agricultural sector, and demands the same of government, stakeholders and all other role-players to step up and make a difference.