Western Cape Premier Helen Zille delivers her State of the Province address. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape government has supported 357 land reform projects with over R500 million in funding, provincial Premier Helen Zille said on Friday.

“Since 2014 we have supported 357 land reform projects with over R500 million in funding. We also leverage R80 million annually in private sector support for emerging farmers, including market access contracts and mentorship programmes,” she said.

Zille delivered her last state of the province address (Sopa) at the provincial legislature in Cape Town on Friday. 

She said the result of her government’s support was a 72% success rate on land reform projects in the Western Cape, compared to an estimated 10% nationally.

“In fact, our success rate is up, despite the drought, by a full 10 percentage points since the last time this independent evaluation was done in 2013. Our services to emerging farmers include training courses, mentorship, market access support, and farm development support,” Zille said, adding that drought recovery has started, shown by the fact that the agriculture and agri- processing sectors added a combined 35,000 jobs between the third and fourth quarter of 2018.

She pointed out that despite three years of drought, the sectors had still managed to create 10,000 jobs since 2015.

African News Agency (ANA)