The South African agricultural sector was not a contributing factor to the recession the country currently has to contend with, and TAU SA would like to congratulate the entire agricultural sector and in particular all farmers for the remarkable achievement of growing the agricultural sector by an astounding 22%, whilst other sectors are experiencing unfavourable conditions.
TAU SA President, Mr. Louis Meintjes, affirms that this notable achievement is a feather in the cap of the agricultural sector and clearly indicates the resolve of agriculturalists, which remains, in spite of climatological and political challenges, one of only two sectors indicating growth while the rest languish in recession.
“This pertinent information follows on the heels of President Jacob Zuma’s acknowledgement that land claimants are not interested in gaining access to land, rather, the vast majority; prefer to settle land claims on a financial basis.
“Perhaps the time has come for government to steer the country on a path of growth, to shake off the stigma and untenable situation of junk status and to restore law and order instead of persistently piloting attacks against farmers and their land whilst it is clear that the so called ‘land hunger’ does not exist, and is merely a ‘money hunger’ in disguise; all this whilst the commercial farmer is practically the only group still achieving economic success, over and above the fact that they still put food on South Africa’s table every single day.
“It is therefore high time that the government refrain from throwing political threats at the door of agriculturalists and leave farmers alone to do what they do best,” said Mr. Meintjes.
It is generally anticipated that the proposed national minimum wage will come into effect on 1 May 2018. Indications are that the agricultural sector would be required to pay at least 90% for the first year after implementation to facilitate a gradual transition from the Sectoral Determination to the new dispensation. By 1 May 2019 the full national minimum wage should be in effect. This implies that farmers should calculate the increased financial impact on sustainability and profitability because the serious consequences thereof might require timely alternative adjustments.
“The continued interference of government in the options available to entrepreneurs of how production factors should be managed to result in profit, is cause for concern”, says Mr Louis Meintjes, President of TAU SA.
Government should be creating a climate which will entice investors and entrepreneurs to do business with confidence to ensure a flourishing economy. Currently all the production factors, namely entrepreneurship, capital, raw material and labour are subjected to question marks and uncertainty rather than creating stability. The uncertain policy environment, including the possibility of state capture, results in poor economic growth. In this regard, loss of job opportunities and increased rural poverty could escalate.
The TAU SA Executive Committee is fed up with accusations that famers have stolen the land that belongs to them which leads to more voices demanding expropriation without compensation.
The TAU SA President, Mr Louis Meintjes, says that clarity should be obtained as soon as possible. “These continued vague accusations are frequently made but to date nobody has been able to support such claims with concrete evidence.
Therefore TAU SA has decided to offer a reward of R100,000 to anybody who could prove beyond reasonable doubt that any commercial farmer or member of TAU SA gained ownership in a way that constitutes theft,” said Mr Meintjes.
Mr Meintjes added that property rights provided stability which forms the basis of economic growth. “Without healthy property rights, all other rights will collapse. Irrespective of this, our property rights are seriously threatened by the “theft” accusation, whist no evidence exists that the land was ‘stolen”. All who believe in economic growth, job creation and poverty relief should stand together and oppose this serious threat forthcoming from popular lies. Do not allow the lie to determine our direction.”
The fact that the nearest farmers’ house was burnt in Coligny after two accused were allowed bail, is totally unacceptable and TAU SA demands that those guilty of arson, immediately by identified and arrested.
The President of TAU SA, Mr Louis Meintjes, says that such actions cannot be tolerated. “It is outrageous that a gang takes the law into their own hands, whilst the victim has no relation whatsoever with the court case. This boils down to absolute contempt of the criminal law system.”
Mr Meintjes demands that the police identify and arrest the perpetrators because they show no respect for the justice system, and therefore they should not be allowed to apply for bail.
In the meantime, government should take note that no law-abiding citizen needs to see their livelihood and property being threatened and destroyed, and should the instruments of state not be able to protect the law-abiding citizenry, the right of the latter to protect and defend life and property should be recognised.”
The criminal onslaught on farm dwellers is wide-ranging. Over and above the unacceptable high occurrence of murders which is regularly reported in the media, farmers are subjected to a wide range of other crimes. In this regard stock theft, theft of produce, equipment, tools and other input means, trespassing, arson and illegal occupation of land need to be emphasised.
TAU SA is regularly approached by a variety of representatives offering a wide range of products which could be utilised either as early warning systems or to prevent such crimes from occuring.
TAU SA is currently involved in compiling a survey of such technology which could be considered by farmers to provide such early warning or which could contribute to the protection of farm dwellers and their property.
Representatives of companies who are of the opinion that they stock products which will meet these requirements, are requested to provide TAU SA with more particulars about the utilisation of their products as well as price lists. Such information will be made available to farmers who could consider the various options to ensure improved safety and security measures.