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Water blockage sets black farmers up for failure, says Ronald Lamola

ANC NEC member Ronald Lamola says black farmers are set up for failure.
ANC NEC member Ronald Lamola says black farmers are set up for failure.
Image: Mandla Khoza

ANC national executive committee member, Ronald Lamola, says black farmers are set up for failure when they get land because white farmers are closing them out on water rights.

Speaking to Sowetan on the sidelines of the Women in Water Summit in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, yesterday, Lamola said access to land goes hand in hand with water rights.

He called on women, as the people who work the land, to come with innovative ways to save water and also better contribute to the economy.

"Our economy is growing at less than 2% and women, who are the people working the land, need to better contribute with innovative ways to save the water which helps to work the land. They need to equip themselves with skills," he said.

"When it comes to land reform that we are on now, we need to give practical ownership of the land with water rights too. Our people are complaining that when they claim the land, they do not get water rights in the farms they claim.

"You find out that whites are involved in a corrupt scheme to close out black farms from water, where the previous farm owner steal the water rights and give to his friends who happen to be neighbouring white farms.

"They price a farm to be given to blacks and when the farm is officially given to black people, they don't get the water rights which is clear that we are setting black farmers for failure."

Inkomati-uthusu water catchment management agency's chairperson, Thokozani Nyaka, said there's no way that farms can be given without water to people to farm on, hence land and water go together.

"We know that land and water issues go together. You can not have land without water for anything you opt to do with the land. Here we want women to come up with innovative ways to preserve water and deal with the climate change which makes our rivers and dams dry," said Nyaka.

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