14th of February 2018, the former president Jacob Zuma announces his resignation from presidency in South Africa. This brought forward an open dialogue, questions and internal conflict in terms of Land, Radical Economic Transformation (RET), a new president and exactly where a majority South African Youth in agriculture is placed in South Africa.
“They are quite insane, didn’t they see what happened in Zimbabwe? Got rid of white farmers and promptly starved”. These are lessons to be learnt in history, and even recent history. “Stealing things and giving it to people that do not know how to use them is how countries become unstable in a matter of years”. (These are views from Twitter on Land expropriation without compensation).
Section 25 of the Constitution in SA states that land expropriation can only happen in public where the court intervention is applied and both parties involved, subject to compensation.
The motion to commend this section of the Constitution was passed in the parliament of the country after it had been started by the former president Jacob Zuma in his era as president. This, therefore, poses questions in the context of youth in Agriculture.
1. Where the expropriation of land finally happens, who will the beneficiaries be?
2. As debates continue to rise that land can only be used for farming, does that devalue the presence that is still needed from youth in agriculture?
3. How do we ensure that we also include the sustainable input of youth profitable Agri system and overall Agri economy?
RET- Radical Economic Transformation is an idea that the enonomy be shared with the majority. This after government survey put out that only 2% of the economy belongs to majority, translated that in the sectors that make the countries economy and GDP ( minerals, construction, agriculture, infrastructure etc) only 2% belongs to the majority
In the agricultural context, in the era of the former president, two of the major portfolios which sought to advance youth in Agriculture were; Operation Phakisa and Special Economic Zones.
Operation Phakisa took focus in agriculture. With its continued aim to create and support 450 sustainable and profitable black commercial producers participating in the prioritized value chain. (Budget 2018)
In closing, it is obvious that the political climate in SA has a great influence in who we are as a youth in South Africa. It is important that with our previous displacement we take a stand on who we are becoming. We are to be very pleased with the works of our former president, who championed agriculture and the placement of land and our participation in RET. We should never lose sight of Land and RET. We need run with it and carry it on our backs as we radically place ourselves in agriculture. The uncertainty of whether land should only be for farming can only be met on the basis that we can use land in many ways for the benefit of the majority. That in this way agriculture is complex in its nature and the value chain is proof of this statement. Our only agenda now is to firmly place ourselves within agriculture and continue the fight for land and RET.
This is a guest post by Nomfundo Zondi of Icebo Empowerment Network, South Africa.
About Nomfundo Zondi
Nomfundo Zondi, Founder of Icebo Empowerment Network, an Agri empowerment, and advocacy platform for youth and women in agriculture and climate change. Together with Icebo Consulting, consulting in agriculture and climate change. She is the founder of the hashtag #AgriWomenChatAfrica on Twitter.
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