Land Bank supports DA call to release land to black emerging farmers

Issued by Annette Steyn MP – DA Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
24 Apr 2018 in News

In the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries today, the Land Bank told Parliament that they want the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) to release farms under their custodianship to black emerging farmers on a “free title ownership” basis.

In its presentation to the committee, the Land Bank weighed in on the issue of emerging farmers not having enough collateral due to historical disadvantage in terms of dispossession and a lack of ownership.

In the Western Cape we leverage approximately R80 million per annum from the private sector to support emerging farms, especially black female farmers.

The DA believes the call can be made for the same to be replicated in other provinces in order grow support for emerging farmers nationally.

This is where the ANC’s land policies have failed to fast-track and achieve meaningful land reform. To this day, too many people who were violently dispossessed of land remain destitute and without the dignity of land rights.

The DA believes that overcoming this challenge is the first step to unlocking our people’s entrepreneurial potential as this, coupled with adequate training and support, will enable black South Africans to become commercial farmers.

The Land Bank’s call to release land to emerging black farmers, as the DA has previously called for it, would enable commercial banks to finance emerging black farmers as they will have full ownership rights of the land.

The credit assessment criteria that financiers, especially commercial banks, usually apply when evaluating a farmer’s credit application includes collateral which refers to the land that the farmer has title over.

The DA has previously called for the DRDLR and other government departments to release land under their control. The Land Bank’s commitment to emerging farmers should be welcomed and the DA agrees with their call to increase funding in the form of equity support for farmers.

This goes directly against the ANC and EFF’s call for expropriation of land without compensation which is not only bad on principle but has practically failed where it’s been tried before. The ANC government has, through its land reform programme, opted for state custodianship  other than giving title deeds to black farmers.

The DA is optimistic that through key interventions, such as those advocated by the Land Bank will ensure adequate financial support and sufficient training for black emerging farmers to become successful.

The DA will continue engaging with various stakeholders and industry experts in our quest to address the land question as well as expanding support for emerging black farmers.