JOHANNESBURG – President Jacob Zuma says transformation is key and that it doesn’t mean destroying industries.
Zuma was speaking at the African Farmers Association of South Africa (Afasa) gala dinner in Johannesburg’s East Rand on Monday night.
Zuma has reiterated that the economy is in recession, saying that it is under duress at the moment but that industries such as agriculture can still play a vital role in uplifting the current economic status.
While the president of the African Farmers Association of SA, Dr Vuyo Mahlati, called on better assistance by the government to black farmers, President Zuma says that the industry has to conform and transform.
But he says that transformation doesn’t mean alienating white farmers.
“We fully support all our farmers, black and white, established and emerging. Transformation is aimed at allowing the entry of black people to participate meaningfully in the economy and in this case, the food production value chain.”
Zuma says the government is finalising the Afri-BEE enforcement regulations to enforce broad-based economic development in the industry.
ZUMA URGES YOUNG PEOPLE TO USE LAND PRODUCTIVELY
Meanwhile, Zuma says it’s great that more and more young people are showing an interest in the acquisition of land but urges them to also show interest in effectively utilising the land.
Also in attendance was the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Senzeni Zokwana and the Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.
Zuma reiterated the importance of the agricultural industry and the need to transform it.
He says it’s a good thing that young people are discussing the issue of land.
“We’re encouraged that young people are demonstrating a keen interest in the acquisition of land. We should ensure that this interest goes beyond land ownership to the willingness to productively utilising the land.”
Zuma says he would like to see more young learners taking up agriculture as a subject.
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)