ANC pours cold water on WC Agri’s 83% success rate in land reform

Dr Mogale Sebopetsa, head of Department, Western Cape Agriculture, and MEC Ivan Meyer.

Dr Mogale Sebopetsa, head of Department, Western Cape Agriculture, and MEC Ivan Meyer.

Published Dec 6, 2023


Phuhlisani Solutions (PS) has released a report that scores the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) with a 83% success rate in land reform, something that the ANC says doesn’t translate into reality.

PS is an independent research company commissioned by the department to do a land reform evaluation report and agribusiness studies supported by the department from 2019 to 2023.

According to PS, the exercise was aimed at doing three things: an evaluation of the current status of the businesses; an assessment of the “success” of the businesses using 39 indicators; a review of the post-settlement support (PSS) programme.

“A total of 86 businesses were selected, and a “project” and a beneficiary questionnaire were used to interview the members. Stakeholders at the provincial and district levels were also interviewed.

Many respondents were highly committed and dedicated producers, stating that “farming is in my blood”. Respondents scored “progress with production” highly. More than 66% believed their management was good or very good. A significant 93% indicated their businesses were either viable or breaking even, and more than 75% were reinvesting in the business, read the report.

Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer said the report found 83% of the land reform farmers who received PSS consider themselves to be a successful agribusinesses, in sharp contrast to the national government’s 90% failure rate.

“We are proud of the outcome of the latest round of evaluation of agricultural businesses and projects supported by the WCDoA PSS programme.

“The success of land reform in the Western Cape is underpinned by the quality of extension services, training, financial support and mentoring received from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and its industry partners,” said Meyer.

ANC spokesperson on agriculture Patrick Marran said: “In written questions to MEC Meyer about whether he knows how much land or what percentage of land is in the hands of blacks (coloured, African, Indian), his response was that he doesn't know and that the deeds office should rather be consulted.

“In another question to the MEC about whether he can tell us the province’s land reform programme, his response was that land reform is a national programme and not that of the province. The above clearly indicates that the DA provincial government is out of touch with reality on the ground. The report also made a clarion call that all farmers should be supported and not only a few, because currently only a few get supported,” said Marran.

He said this report only spoke to the few and not all land reform projects in the province supported by Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme and Ilema grants, which are national programmes.