Ricochet News

High-profile delegation to address local farmers on land expropriation, drought and farm attacks

Apr 9, 2018
High-profile delegation to address local farmers on land expropriation, drought and farm attacks

Eastern Cape farmers worried about the effects of an ongoing crippling drought, mooted land expropriation without compensation and brutal farm attacks, will have a chance to air their concerns this week.

A provincial road show for farmers held by their representative organisation, Agri EC, kicks off on Tuesday in Komani (Queenstown), before heading to Graaff-Reinet on Wednesday and wrapping up in Uitenhage on Thursday.

A high-profile delegation from Agri South Africa will be on hand to provide clarity on the latest developments affecting the agricultural sector, as well as listening to issues raised by the province’s farmers. 

Agri EC president Doug Stern said it was – perhaps more than ever – critical to discuss “hot topics” with the Eastern Cape’s farmers, to afford them the opportunity to raise their concerns.

“We want to address concerns across the board, listen to what the farmers have to say and then address the issues raised with the relevant authorities,” said Stern.

“We need to give them a platform from which to be heard, without fear of reprisal; a platform on which they can speak their minds freely,” Stern said, adding that it was for this reason that certain sessions would be closed to members of the public.

“Government generally is not very sympathetic towards agriculture,” Stern said.

“Therefore, it is of paramount importance to get our [Eastern Cape farmers] message across to our Agri SA representatives who negotiate with the government on our behalf. Farmers are South Africa’s lifeblood, but a barrage of political threats hangs over their heads.”

The delegation from Agri SA will include the following representatives:

  • Dan Kriek – President of Agri South Africa
  • Dr Requier Wait – Eskom and other SOE matters
  • Annelize Crosby – Land
  • Ernest Pringle – Land
  • Jahni de Villiers – Labour
  • Kobus Visser – Rural safety
  • Janse Rabie – Natural resources