TLU SA has always sold the farmers point of view to government. We do not sell government’s stance to our farmers. TLU SA does not speak for the farmers, they speak for themselves. TLU SA’s power lies at grass-root level – where it really matters for the farmer in their day to day survival.
Agriculture in South Africa is very complicated since we are seen as a marginal agricultural environment in comparison to other countries. The uncertain policy situation projected by the ANC worsens the situation. As TLU SA we are currently focussing on three aspects to create stability.
Firstly, the safety of farmers, their families and the workers on the farms. The reality is that government have lost control over the safety of South Africans. Our safety committee have, over time, been established where realistic and achievable plans are implemented to look after our own safety. Various other institutions have built on this TLU SA model.
Furthermore, the uncertainty over property rights, clearly created with a political agenda, holds nothing positive for investors. Agriculture cannot go forward under these circumstances. TLU SA is constantly making every effort to not support the ANC’s slipway into socialism, but to focus on the principles needed to help agriculture survive.
In the third-place farmers have been struggling under extreme financial pressure brought on by not least of all, the drought.
TLU SA held a sustainability conference on 6 December 2018 after which a committee started working on ways to distribute the risk from the producer only to other players in the supply chain.
TLU SA have always stood by the viewpoint that family farms are the foundation of agriculture. It is their contribution in the rural areas which creates jobs and sustains smaller towns.
We have been saying that the time is right to stand together for the past few years. It can only be done with the support of people and institutions serving the same ideals and principles we serve. These are the same principles followed by TLU SA since its inception and which are still in the best interest of the farmer. It is set out in the Manifest and the Constitution. The most important is still the belief in our Almighty God, as shown in His Word, the Bible.
The other important principles TLU SA stands for is the protection of property rights and the fact that market demand determines prices.
TLU SA does not speak for the farmers, they speak for themselves. But because farming is very labour intensive, we created structures to facilitate communication.
|Farmers Union Structure
The leadership of TLU SA is elected annually during Congress, normally hosted in September.
During the early days of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek farmers did not really have a need for a body such as a farmers’ union, which could manage farmers interests. Their grievances were sent to a field cornet or magistrate and if that did not have the required outcome it was escalated to a member of the Volksraad.
By the turn of the century, the responsibilities of farmers increased and the need for a sympathetic ear of someone with shared interests became stronger.
Farmer unions spontaneously formed and a voice of representation in government became a necessity.
The founding of the Transvaalse Landbou Unie can today be seen as the birth date of organised agriculture in South Africa.
Through the efforts and fundraising of Edith O’Connor (founder of the Transvaal Vroue/Women Landbou Unie), the first TLU-building in Pretoria was taken into use in 1965. It was located at 279 Struben street, between Andries and Van der Walt streets.
The current TLU SA Building in Silverton, Pretoria was completed in 1970. It was inaugurated on 23 April 1971 by Minister Hendrik Schoeman.
Apart from the offices on the first floor used by TLU SA, other office space is rented out to Camira Accountants & Auditors, Maree Attorneys, and the TLU SA Financial Wellness Desk.
Office space on the top floor is available to rent. For more information, contact Ute on 012 804 8031.
The Org Wenhold Conference Hall is used to host TLU SA functions. It is named after the chairman of the Building Committee.
Various other companies regularly make use of the conference facilities. It can comfortably accommodate 110 delegates and is available to hire at reasonable rates. The adjoining kitchen and crockery can be hired at an additional cost.
Contact Secretary for more information regarding hire of the Org Wenhold Conference Hall on 012 804 8031.
UNITY IN AGRICULTURE
Since TLU SA (at that stage the Transvaalse Landbou Unie) and the Suid-Afrikaanse Landbou-unie’s (SALU) roads diverged, the management of TLU SA continued to reach out to other roleplayers in the commercial agricultural industry. The goal is to take a shared approach to agricultural interests.
In spite of these efforts having varied success in the past, TLU SA continues to strive for unity under and in the interest of commercial farmers.
There are some outcomes required for any cooperation to be accepted:
- It must be cooperation in principles;
- The interests fo commercial farmers should be the priority;
- Organised agriculture cannot afford to simply become a political echo of any political parties;
- A healthy distance from the government of the day should at all times be upheld;
- The organisation (organised) is a means to an end. It should never be allowed for the organisation itself to become the goal.
A commercial farmers union’s goal should always be to keep commercial farmers safely and sustainably on their land. The power of collective bargaining creates this capability.
The status quo is unacceptable.
Murder, assault, rape, robbery, theft (including livestock and game), arson, trespassing, unlawful land occupation and intimidation continues after the Commando system was phased out.
The sector policing system was not implemented properly. It does not offer farmers a worthy alternative. This leads to the situation regarding rural safety to worsen even more.
The negative impact of the Firearms Control Act weakens the defensibility of farmers whilst implicating an unacceptable approach to private ownership. The cost involved in renewing of firearm licences and all it entails is as unacceptable.
TLU SA accepts that the legal and responsible ownership of firearms is a critical element of private ownership.
Apart from this, citizens have the right to protect property and life against any threats.
Accordingly, TLU SA will consider any legal course to have owners of licenced firearms to hold onto their firearms.
The prescribed regulations governing the buying and licensing of firearms is seen as impractical, expensive and unnecessarily cumbersome. TLU SA will consider and apply any options to influence the process in such a way that meritorious applicants will not be influenced negatively.
Because of poor policing farmers are forced to implement other safety precautions at own cost. These costs cannot be added to production costs.
Inadequate border regulation leads to a dangerous increase in illegal foreigners and animal illnesses.
Various new acts and regulations have a very negative impact on the agricultural sector. In most of the cases, these guidelines were implemented one-sidedly without the agricultural sector being able to give sensible inputs. Farmers are price takers, and eascsh additional cost influencing production is in reality for the account of the producer since it cannot be absorbed by the price structure. The impact of the following aspects has a substantial effect on the economic sustainability of agriculture:
Local Government: Divisions of Revenue Act (Act 6 of 2004) as well as the Municipal Systems Act (Act 117 of 1998)
Irrespective of the levy, farmers will be subjected to additional expenses – in many cases for services not even delivered in the rural areas. This act is seen in general as unacceptable by farmers. The effect of additional taxes on production means (land) in unique in all the economic sectors. It also represents a cost element which cannot be added to and in turn recovered from product prices.
National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998)
This act already implicates a measure of expropriation and subjects the farmer to taxes not previously payable. For all practical purposes, all water in the country is already nationalised. TLU SA’s stand is that payment should only be made for the delivery of high quality and sustainable services. Until the infrastructure is in place, TLU SA cannot in good faith subsidise the department to develop this infrastructure.
Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (Act 28 of 2002)
Old Order Permitholders had less than a year to take up their prospecting and mine rights before it expired. That meant the current owner would also lose potential income. TLU SA sees the application of the Minerals Act as constructive expropriation. Accordingly, the organisation aims to protect and ensure private ownership or alternatively ensure market-related compensation for each owner of mineral rights. The prescribed process to keep mineral rights is intricate and this complicates the process. In practice, the process is not feasible.
TLU SA accepts the view that there different authoritative bodies (forms of government), namely those of the individual, the family, the church and culture; and civil authority.
All authority of the state is deduced authority and local government cannot act differently to any higher government authority’s rule.
The local government, therefore, has an accountability to the whole community and not just to the governing political party, to implement the rule of law, punish criminality, act unbiased in legal cases, create a free and safe environment for production in a free economy, and to prevent tyranny and monopolies.
Local government also has the responsibility to not act, or have any managerial power or control on the terrain of the civil community, since such acts are the basis of the party in the community.
TLU SA acts within reasonable governing authority without relinquishing the right to represent and confirm the interests of the commercial farmer. TLU SA is involved with local management without any party involvement and will continue to monitor and manage the delivery of services and will act accordingly to protect the interests of farmers.
RELATIONS WITH GOVERNMENT AND OTHER AGRICULTURAL ORGANISATIONS
TLU SA uses every opportunity to communicate the interests of its members to government. Personal conversations with the relevant Minister of Agriculture takes place every two months. TLU SA is also continuously in conversation with senior officials of departments and organisations which has an influence on agriculture.
During these conversations, it is the goal of TLU SA to always communicate the commercial farmer’s best interest as a priority by using straight and honest communication.
See how our relations are to the benefit of commercial farmers here.
TRANSFORMATION IN AGRICULTURE
ECONOMY AND THE FREE MARKET
BLACK ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT
Voedselsekerheid is ’n kritieke element van enige staat se strategiese profiel.
Suid-Afrika is in die bevoorregte posisie om tot nou in die binnelandse behoefte te voorsien en waardevolle buitelandse valuta te verdien. Hierdie toedrag van sake is egter in gedrang na aanleiding van vele faktore soos veiligheid, politieke ingryping met betrekking to privaatbesit en oneweredige internasionale kompetisie.
Die versekering van voedselsekuriteit bly ’n primêre verantwoordelikheid van die owerheid en TLU SA eis dat dit gehandhaaf word.
TRANSFORMASIE IN LANDBOU
TLU SA se uitgangspunt oor transformasie in die landbousektor, is dat ekonomiese volhoubaarheid en stabiliteit in die sektor in die belang van almal betrokke, gehandhaaf word.
Die produksie van voedsel en vesel, asook die verdienste van buitelandse valuta moet nie nadelig deur die proses beïnvloed word nie.
Die staat het die verpligting om nuwe toetreders na behore te bemagtig met inbegrip van redelikheid en winsgewendheid sonder dat ander deelnemers in die sektor met hierdie verantwoordelikheid belas word.
Waar daar van mentorskap gebruik gemaak word, moet sodanige betrokkenheid en oordrag van kundigheid op ‘n vrywillige basis geskied sonder dat die finansiële situasie van mentors benadeel word.
Die proses se sukses tot hede, moet geëvalueer word.
EKONOMIE EN VRYEMARK
Die benadering om landbou se rol in die ekonomie te meet aan die bydrae wat gemaak word tot die bruto binnelands produk (BBP) is tegnies korrek. Aspekte wat egter ook in ag geneem moet word indien die rol van landbou in die ekonomie verreken word is:
- Die strategiese waarde wat voedselsekuriteit vir ‘n land teweeg bring;
- Die rimpeleffek deur die res van die ekonomie indien primêre kommersiële landbou tot stilstand kom of selfs net ‘n redelike insinking beleef kan moeilik bereken word.
Aspekte wat maklik uit die oog verloor word indien landbou se rol in die ekonomie verreken moet word is onder meer die volgende:
- Die rol wat gespeel word om die landelike gebiede te stabiliseer;
- Die instandhouding van die plattelandse besighede as gevolg van landbou se ekonomiese inspuiting;
- Werksgeleenthede wat geskep word;
- Die invloed op alle insetverskaffers indien hul produkte nie meer aangekoop word nie.
Die owerheid se taak is om ‘n klimaat te skep waarin die ekonomie kan gedy. Enige verantwoordelike regering sal die waarde en belangrikheid van landbou in die totale ekonomie besef en seker maak dat die speelveld sodanig gelyk gemaak word dat kommersiële landbou oor ekonomiese redes in stand gehou sal word.
SWART EKONOMIESE BEMAGTIGING
Die proses rondom AgriSEB het sedert die eerste fase – waarby TLU SA nie betrokke was nie – heelwat interaksie teweeggebring.
Met die daarstelling van die Stuur Komitee is TLU SA betrek en is daar deurlopend duidelik standpunt op skrif ingeneem oor die posisionering van TLU SA. Die tekortkominge ten opsigte van die proses en die nadelige effek wat dit op voedselsekerheid gaan hê is telkens uiteengesit.
TLU SA is van mening dat:
- Die eise en teikens in die besprekingsdokument nie haalbaar is nie. Nie alleen bedreig dit wettig verkreë eiendomsreg nie, maar dit verdeel ekonomiese eenhede in onekonomiese eenhede. Dit sal lei tot die ondergang van kommersiële landbou;
- Verantwoordelikhede van die staat met betrekking tot opvoeding en geletterdheid eensydig gedelegeer word na ‘n ekonomiese sektor wat nie oor die nodige bronne (finansieel en kundigheid) beskik nie;
- Die gesag wat aan die Minister van Landbou en Grondsake en gevolglik ook aan die Grondeisekommissarisse verleen word in die Wysigingswet op die Herstel van Grondregte om sonder behoorlike regsproses, grond te onteien, onaanvaarbaar is;
- Die element van dwang wat in die dokument vervat word, onaanvaarbaar is;
- Daar haalbare, praktiese en voldoende alternatiewe bestaan om die toetrede van swart boere tot die landbousektor moontlik te maak sonder die toepassing van beide die Wet op die Herstel van Grondregte sowel as AgriSEB. Die benutting van staatsgrond, grond wat op die ope mark beskikbaar is en die beginsel van Gewillige Verkoper – Gewillige Koper sal tot beter resultate asook gesindhede lei.
- TLU SA bevorder binne die raamwerk van aanvaarbare wetgewing, die konsep van Breë Basis Ekonomiese Bemagtiging (BBEB) waarin die betrokkenheid van die staat tot ‘n minimum beperk word en die breë basis van ekonomiese bemagtiging deur kundigheid, vermoëns en bestuurbare ekonomiese kragte bepaal sal word.
- Die Telkaart-proses en raamwerk ‘n vorm van polisiëring en dwang ten opsigte van SEB is. Dit plaas ‘n verdere administratiewe las op die landbousektor. Gevolglik is dit uiters nadelig vir die diversiteit binne die kommersiële landbousektor. Daarom word die Telkaart nie aanvaar nie.
- Daar geen verantwoordelike besluit oor sodanige proses geneem kan word alvorens daar nie wetenskaplik gefundeerde impakstudies gedoen is waarin die gevolge van die proses uiteengesit word nie.