Billions spent on distressed farmers

Government has had to pump money into almost 600 farms in distress from April 1, 2010, to December 31 last year, Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said on Monday.

Replying in writing to a parliamentary question from an opposition MP, Nkwinti said R1.3 billion was spent on helping 411

26/10/2010 Gugile Nkwinti Rural Development and Land Reform Minister during a media briefing on the new growth path, held in Pretoria Gauteng. (747)Photo: Leon Nicholas. Credit: INLSA

distressed farmers by April last year. By December, this amount had more than doubled.

“For the period 1 April 2011 to 31 December 2011, a total of 595 projects were assisted, including the farms that were assisted during the 2010-2011 financial year,” Nkwinti said.

“In total, financial assistance to the amount of R3,585,223,614.79 was provided.”

This included financial and technical assistance in the form of contracted strategic partners, mentors, and in some cases service providers to render services, such as water reticulation.

Nkwinti has acknowledged that the state will not achieve its aim of transferring 30 percent of white-owned agricultural land to emerging black farmers by 2014. - Sapa