23:46 (GMT+2), Wed, 19 August 2015

Kimberley – Government statements about the percentage of land in white ownership are a “blatant lie” as there is no way to know for sure until a land audit has been done.

This is according to PWC Economic Advisor Roelof Botha during his address to Agri Northern Cape’s Congress in Kimberley. Botha slammed trade union leaders, highlighted how labour legislation stymies job creation and also criticised government’s preference to focus on Brics programmes instead of taking advantage of Africa’s potential by improving SADC systems.

Botha did, however, highlight numerous positives for the sector and particularly empahsised the opportunities in Africa:

‘Roelof Botha’

Agri Northern Cape President Henk van Wyk meanwhile told Congress the past year has been one of the most difficult since the first democratic elections in 1994.

One contributor is the drought, which he described as the worst in 20 years:

‘Henk – challenges’

Van Wyk says despite this, there is still hope and praised the farmers of the province for their tenacity, toughness and willingness to tackle challenges. He also highlighted land reform, saying farmers will need to roll up their sleeves to make it successful:

‘Henk – land reform’

Congress has also heard from ABSA ecoomist Ernst Janovsky that now is the right time to invest in agriculture.

 

Sabrina Dean/OFM News

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