The statement below follows an oversight visit to the Bosman Adama wine farm in Wellington by the DA Shadow Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Thandeka Mbabama MP and DA Shadow Minister Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Annette Steyn MP. Please find attached soundbites in English by Ms Mbabama and in Afrikaans by Ms Steyn.
Against the backdrop of the land debate dominating the national discourse, the DA’s oversight visit today to Bosman Adama wine farm has proven that partnerships, effective implementation and ongoing support are key to land reform success.
The Bosman’s farming enterprise and their workers decided on an equity scheme model for their land reform project. Share Equity Schemes in agriculture are arrangements in which farm workers, small-scale farmers or other disadvantaged people buy shares in a commercial farm.
The Adama Apollo Trust was established in 2008 and its workers became beneficiaries of the trust, receiving a 30% share in all the vineyards of Bosman Farming and in the Bosman Family Vineyards cellar. The dual goals of social upliftment and skills transfer forms the heart of this deal.
The farm’s workforce has increased from 260 to 420 people, 300 of whom are permanently employed. Since the partnership began, 122 houses for staff members have been provided and a housing project in Wellington is being currently under development for their retired senior citizens and young start-up families. Young people are also offered the opportunity to further their studies, some being integrated back into the business while others find work elsewhere.
Through Share Equity Schemes, farm workers receive the necessary support in order to access ownership of land and assets, this is one of the ways that the Western Cape government has ensured that there is adequate support for black emerging farmers which will guarantee their economic success and longevity in the agricultural sector.
It is this kind of support which has meant that the DA-run Western Cape government has a success rate of 62% of all land reform projects farms in the province. This is in stark contrast to the ANC-led national government 90% failure rate of land reform projects. The Western Cape has also committed to increasing this success rate to 70% over the next 5 years.
A key component of successful reform projects is post-settlement and continued support. The Western Cape has therefore increased its budget to its implementation agency, Casidra (Cape Agency for Sustainable Integrated Development in Rural Areas) by almost 44% in order to speed up land reform and post-settlement support across the agricultural sector.
Casidra provides extension and advisory support to emerging farmers such as the development of business plans; provision of grants for infrastructure development, production inputs and mechanisation; facilitates the delivery of skills development programme for farmers and facilitates accreditation of farmers to enhance access to markets.
The DA is fully committed to redressing the injustices of the past through land reform in a way that truly empowers black people and strengthens the economy. We do not agree, however, that the Constitution is an impediment to land reform. Making this argument lets the ANC off the hook on the real impediments – corruption, bad policy and chronic underfunding.