Landbou: Die regering fokus steeds op mislukte BEE regulasies

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Familieboerderye staar ondergang in die gesig met SEB en ander regulasies wat deur die ANC geïmplementeer word om kwansuis volhoubaarheid, voedselsekerheid en sosiale gelykheid te bevorder.

Bestaande kommersiële landbouers worstel om al die lyne bymekaar te hou om nie verdere eienaarskap in die huidige omstandighede in Suid-Afrika af te staan nie, selfs al is dit teen vergoeding, maar die swak en ondeurdagte uitvoering van BEE regulasies het groot leemtes geskep wat die winsgewendheid en mededingendheid van die landbousektor aanhoudend negatief beïnvloed.

TLU SA sê hy is bekommerd oor die groot onsekerheid wat deur die departement van Landbou, Grondhervorming en Landelike Ontwikkeling se beleidsomgewing oor tyd heen geskep is.

Hierdie onsekerheid het weer navore gekom na die herpublisering van regulasies oor die uitvoer van sommige landbouprodukte na die Europese Unie (EU) en Brittanje in die Staatskoerant op 31 Oktober en 1 November 2023.

Die ANC regering volhard reeds die afgelope 30 jaar op dieselfde vernietigende pad.

Die regulasies wat reeds sedert 2016 geld, bevestig TLU SA se talle waarskuwings oor die regering se onvermoë om die ekonomie te bestuur.

Die ekonomiese samewerkingsooreenkoms tussen die Suider-Afrikaanse Ontwikkelingsgemeenskap (SAOG) en die EU is deur beide partye op 10 Junie 2016 onderteken en het op 1 Oktober 2016 in werking getree.

Hierdie regulasies hou beperkings vir die landbou-industrie, en spesifiek die familieboer in, wat kommerwekkend vir die publiek moet wees.

Die verwagtinge wat deur Swart Ekonomiese Bemagtiging (SEB) geskep word, beperk die landbousektor se groei en volhoubaarheid.

Negatiewe regulasies in ‘n poging om vooruitgang te probeer bewerkstellig, het ‘n beduidende impak op die landbousektor in Suid-Afrika. Dit word nie net op een area afgedwing nie, maar van grondbesit en chemikalieë gebruik, tot waterbestuur, ondersteuning, subsidies en dierewelsyn om maar net ‘n paar te noem.

“Landbou in Suid-Afrika het ‘n sterk geskiedenis wat vandag steeds deur familieboerderye se sukses ondersteun word.

“Dit is hierdie boerderye wat vandag nog deel is van die landbousektor se enorme bydrae tot die sukses van Suid-Afrika se Bruto binnelandse produk (BBP). Dit is ook hierdie boerderye wat funksioneer as kommersiële landbou wat verseker dat daar kos op die tafels van verbruikers is.

“Die onlangse herpublisering van regulasies oor die uitvoer van sommige landbouprodukte waar SEB vereistes steeds een van die kriterias bly het net weer die kortsigtigheid van die regering beklemtoon,” sê die TLU SA Hoofbestuurder, Bennie van Zyl.

TLU SA wys daarop dat daar ongeveer 37 000 kommersiële boere is waarvan ‘n klein gedeelte uitvoer en tans vir ons land kosbare buitelandse valuta verdien. Met meer as 60 miljoen inwoners in die land is die vraag egter hoeveel mense regtig deur SEB bemagtig kan word.

Die landbousektor se volhoubaarheid en voedselsekerheid is veronderstel om die regering se hoofprioriteite te wees in pleks van die volharding van ‘n beleidsrigting wat geen voorspoed tot gevolg het nie. 

Agriculture: ANC’s focus still on defunct BEE rules

Family farming faces a bleak future and will most probably fail to continue with all the SEB and other regulations implemented by the ANC to ostensibly promote sustainability, food security, and social equality.

Existing commercial farmers struggle to keep all the pieces together to avoid further ownership loss in the current circumstances in South Africa, even if it is for compensation.

BEE and other regulations as well as ill-thought-out implementation have created significant gaps that continue to negatively impact the profitability and competitiveness of the agricultural sector.

TLU SA is concerned about the uncertainty created over time by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development’s policy environment.

This uncertainty has resurfaced following the republication of regulations regarding the export of certain agricultural products to the European Union (EU) and Britain in the Government Gazette on 31 October and 1 November 2023.

The ANC government has persisted on the same destructive path for the past 30 years.

The regulations that have been in effect since 2016 confirm TLU SA’s numerous warnings about the government’s inability to manage the economy.

The economic cooperation agreement between the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the EU was signed by both parties on 10 June 2016, and came into effect on October 1, 2016.

These regulations impose restrictions on the agricultural industry, specifically affecting family farmers which already are struggling to maintain more than one family household where the farmer and his/her children are involve. These regulations will enforce them to appoint a black person as an additional shareholder, which should be a cause for concern for the public.

The expectations created by Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) limit the growth and sustainability of the agricultural sector. Regulations aimed at trying to achieve growth have a significant impact on the agricultural sector in South Africa.

They are enforced not only in one area but also in areas such as land ownership and chemical use, water management, support, subsidies, and animal welfare, to name just a few.

“Agriculture in South Africa has a strong history that is still supported today by the success of family farms. It is these farms that continue to be part of the agricultural sector’s significant contribution to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“It is also these farms that operate on a commercial level, ensuring that there is food on consumers’ tables. The recent republication of regulations on the export of certain agricultural products where BEE requirements remain one of the criteria has once again highlighted the short-sightedness of the government,” says TLU SA General Manager, Bennie van Zyl.

There are approximately 37 000 commercial farmers, of which a small portion exports and currently earns valuable foreign currency for our country. However, with more than 60 million residents in the country, the question arises of how many people can actually be empowered by BEE.

The sustainability and food security of the agricultural sector are supposed to be the government’s top priorities instead of persisting in a policy direction that has yielded no prosperity.