Home National Land Redistribution to Bolster SA’s Agricultural Output and Food Security: Deputy President Mashatile

Land Redistribution to Bolster SA’s Agricultural Output and Food Security: Deputy President Mashatile

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Deputy President Paul Mashatile confirmed the release of a substantial amount of land for redistribution as part of the government's efforts to support agricultural productivity and ensure food security in South Africa.

Deputy President Paul Mashatile

Deputy President Paul Mashatile confirmed the release of a substantial amount of land for redistribution as part of the government’s efforts to support agricultural productivity and ensure food security in South Africa. His oral replies to the National Council of Provinces in Parliament on Tuesday touched upon various critical national issues including youth unemployment, skills shortage, dealing with water disruptions, and the controversial genocide case against Israel.

By Thys Khiba - The Land Bank has announced the appointment of Themba Rikhotso as its chief executive officer (CEO), effective 1 April 2023.
Land Redistribution to Bolster SA's Agricultural Output and Food Security: Deputy President Mashatile 3

In his opening remarks, Deputy President Mashatile said, “Prior to responding to questions by Members of this House, let me wish all those celebrating a Happy and Blessed month of Ramadan. May it be a turning point for the people of Palestine, and the oppressed nations of the world.”

On the high unemployment rate among youth, Mashatile reaffirmed the government’s commitment, stating, “As part of our commitment to reduce youth unemployment, the Minister of Finance has announced an amount of R7.4 billion set aside for the Presidential Employment Initiative for the 2024/25 financial year.” He added, “Thus far, the Presidential Employment Initiative has assisted over 1.7 million people through a combination of job creation, job retention and income and skills support interventions.”

Detailing the efforts to combat the skills shortage in South Africa, the Deputy President indicated that government-led social compacts were signed to focus on various human development initiatives. “The Department of Higher Education and Training established a National Skills Fund … This year, R800 million has been set aside to develop skills in the digital and technology sector,” he explained.

Moreover, the Deputy President highlighted the recent improvements in municipal water services and infrastructure in regions facing crisis. He specified, “Last week, we visited the Knysna Municipality … the pump station that had been vandalised in the Hornlee area has been repaired, and water supply has been restored to the community.”

As for the transfer of agricultural land for redistribution, Mashatile disclosed, “The Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure announced that 221 land parcels measuring 148 796 hectares have been released … Approximately 1 576 hectares of land is earmarked to be released before the end of this financial year.” He affirmed, “As a government, we will prioritize providing extension and technical support in order to ensure that we distribute properties that are productive and contribute to South Africa’s food security.”

Touching on international human rights issues, Mashatile addressed the genocide case against Israel, asserting, “As South Africa we have no regrets about becoming the first country to file the lawsuit against the State of Israeli at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.” He admitted the country faces opposition on this stance, but insisted, “However the ANC led government will continue to engage every sector of our society especially on matters contentious.”

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