Land reform fails without support
Land has no economic value to the beneficiaries without the requisite support. Without post-settlement support, land reform programmes will not yield any sustainable development nor improve the quality of life of rural people.
Hence, the objectives of land reform are quite clear in that they are intended to address the need for land by the previously disadvantaged. This will eradicate poverty and promote economic development as well as improving the quality of life for all.
It should be known that new landowners or land reform beneficiaries are not financially stable and they lack resources to turn their farms into commercially viable farms that are able to solidify food security and liberalise the markets.
This will eradicate the currently monopolised markets, thereby improving the livelihoods of rural communities.
Adequate post-settlement support including mass access to training, access to credit, access to markets, agricultural subsidies, insurance and extension services will go a long way in radicalising economic advancements of the previously disadvantaged.
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is mandated to facilitate land acquisition in the country but it is always disconcerting to see beneficiaries still trapped in poverty after most farms had been handed over to them.
The announcement by the minister during the budget speech that almost R700-million will be set aside to spruce up post-settlement on restituted farms has brought hope.
Redistributed land without the requisite support fails to unlock its full value. All land reform beneficiaries should be subsidised until they are self-sustainable. The private sector must also lend a hand in the process.
Mpho M Rammutla, Atteridgeville