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KwaZuluNatal agriculture budget vote 2010
15 April 2010
Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government

Acknowledgements: FANRPAN acknowledges the South African Government for this document


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Budget policy speech by the MEC of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development, delivered by the Honourable Lydia Johnson

Madam Speaker
Honourable Premier
Colleagues in the executive
Members of the house
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Amakhosi
Municipal political office bearers
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen


Introduction

I stand before this august house for the second time to present the budget policy speech for the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development. Agriculture remains one of the most important sectors through which this government has committed to change the face of our social and economic outlook in its bid to bring a better life to all the people of this country and more particularly, the people of KwaZulu-Natal.

It is almost a year since we entered into a renewed contract with the electorate, following the election of 22 April 2009. The ANC election manifesto that the masses of this country voted for last year and from which we take our tune as government, categorically states that rural infrastructure development and agrarian reform are at the heart of our plans to improve our country’s food security. This augurs very well with the department’s undertaking to advocate for optimal land use where most of KwaZulu-Natal’s natural resource base favours agricultural production.

The 2010 State of the Nation Address by His Excellency President Jacob Zuma and the State of the Province Address by Premier the Honourable Dr Zweli Mkhize made mention of the fact that we have to work closely with the communities, thereby galvanising the people to go back to the fields to produce their own food. This province has already commenced with this initiative and continues to intensify this partnership through the “One home one garden” campaign and many other agricultural support services, details of which I will elaborate on later.

Madam Speaker, the department has stabilised and is now on a sound financial and managerial footing. As you are aware, the department embarked on the implementation of a finance turnaround strategy to address the root causes resulting in the adverse opinions received from the Auditor-General in the past. This strategy has demanded a high level of dedication and commitment by staff. I am really pleased to report that, after several challenging years, the department received an unqualified audit opinion for the 2008/09 financial year. With the project achieving this first major milestone, the focus shifted to ensuring the sustainability of this success. The focus now is on training of staff on new business processes and standard operating procedures. With all the efforts that we have made, we are looking positively into the future and are confident of receiving an unqualified opinion from the Auditor-General again for the 2009/10 financial year.

I am also happy to introduce to you the new Head of Department, Dr Sizwe Mkhize, who assumed office on 1 April this year. He is now the new leader of the team to keep the department on course. This will bring more stability and continue to build on good practice achieved over the past two years.

Madam Speaker and Honourable members, as I present this 2010/11 budget speech, all in the department are very mindful of the expectations we have to meet in order for the department to make a major contribution in the upliftment of our communities. With this year being declared a year of action, the department will not only seek to encourage more people to be involved in agricultural activities, but will further assist them in securing suitable markets for their products. In this regard we are looking forward to taking advantage of the opportunities that will be presented by the Dube Trade Port.

Agricultural services

Agriculture, as indicated earlier, is pivotal in the development in many geographic areas of KwaZulu-Natal where the natural resource base favours agricultural production. I shall now present some of the department’s important agricultural programmes.

The Honourable members will also notice that these agricultural programmes are all aligned to the following five of the 12 national outcomes of government; namely: decent employment through inclusive economic growth; an efficient, competitive infrastructure network; vibrant, equitable, sustainable rural communities contributing to food security for all; protect and enhance our environmental assets and natural resources and an efficient, effective and development orientated public service and an empowered, fair and inclusive citizenship.

Food security

Food security refers to the availability of food and one’s access to it. A household is considered to be food secure when its occupants do not live in hunger or in fear of starvation.

The state of food insecurity as presented in the previous budget speech was worsened by the major loss in jobs in various sectors, including agriculture. Therefore, a more robust programme had to be put in place to enhance food security in the province.

The One Home One Garden Campaign was launched at Nkandla on 18 July 2009. The main thrust and advantage of this campaign is that it has the capacity to fight hunger and malnutrition at household level. Through this campaign, I find meaning for the following extract from the Freedom Charter: “food plentiful and no one shall go hungry”. Madam Speaker, I must say that this campaign has been well received by the majority of our people and will remain a permanent feature in the department. We will continue to drive this campaign in earnest so that it reaches all areas of our province.

As we all know, it is estimated that 35 percent of people are food insecure in KwaZulu-Natal. This equates to approximately 580 000 households. As a result, our initial target of 233 000 households for seed scoop support was extended to 690 000 households during 2009. These households were assisted with seeds for vegetables, as well as maize and beans. This intervention is generally known as the “seed scoop” or starter pack one, which entails free seed, that can supply enough vegetables to a family for the whole season. In 2009/10 the province of KwaZulu-Natal also started the ‘war on poverty’ programme, focusing on the 57 poorest wards. In these wards the department assisted some 30 percent most deprived households with starter pack two, which is a crate containing vegetable seeds, start-up fertiliser and some garden tools. A total of 34 528 such crates were distributed during 2009/10.

The department also assisted some households, where the occupants could not walk far due to various reasons, with starter pack three, which were the same crate as well as water provision for 403 home gardens. In 2010/11, our food security programme will be extended to the next batch of wards. The department will again intervene on the same basis as last year with the provision of the seed scoop to households in all the wards of KwaZulu-Natal as a “safety net”, as well as with starter pack two and three.

I wish to remind everyone in this house that this campaign is not only about growing vegetables alone, but we also want to grow fruit and indigenous trees and hence we say, “One home one garden, one fruit tree and one indigenous tree”. These trees are important for various reasons but I will speak more on the importance of trees when I deal with environmental issues. Let me also extend a word of gratitude to the various faith denominations and schools which have heeded the Premier’s call for “One church one garden and one school one garden” respectively.

The KwaZulu-Natal and flemish co-funded ‘empowerment for food security programme’ which is currently implemented in eight local municipalities with the aim of developing best food security practices, namely:
  • Food preservation, preparation, storage
  • Diversification of food at household level
  • Healthy and environmentally friendly pest and disease control
  • Composting and manure utilisation to promote organic cropping
  • Enhancing food security through livestock production
  • Promotion of traditional food production
  • Agro-processing, rain water harvesting and irrigation management
  • Efficient energy utilisation.
The department is also partnering with the Independent Development Trust and our two Colleges of Agriculture to train more than 40 000 beneficiaries of the “One home one garden” campaign during 2010/11. Each recipient of the household starter pack will be trained before receiving the vegetable seeds. To achieve maximum benefits from seeds and implements provided to communities, the department will also be conducting hands-on practical training through 570 demonstration gardens.

Juncao Mushroom Project

The Juncao Mushroom and Upland Rice Project were initiated in January 2005 under the contract between the department and the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University in Fuzhou, China. Agricultural trials at our research stations indicated that rice production was feasible but not viable due to high demand for irrigation that proved necessary to produce a decent crop, as well as the need to protect the crop from heavy predation by birds. Nevertheless, similar trials on Juncao Mushroom production have proved feasible and very viable.

A Juncao Research and Training Centre have since been constructed at Cedara. It is envisaged that the centre will form the basis for a sustainable Juncao Mushroom Industry initially throughout KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Should the demand become evident, it could be expanded to include other provinces.

To date, a successful development site has been established at KwaDindi at Vulindlela. Currently there are 97 members of a registered, secondary Juncao Co-operative. The majority of the members are women (75 percent) and youth (20 percent). Since its inception, more than 584 000 mushroom packs have been produced at KwaDindi. However, a large volume (60 percent) has been used for home consumption by the direct beneficiaries. The surplus has been sold locally and to a hawker who labels and sells the product commercially.

A satellite base is presently under construction at the site. Once this is completed, the beneficiaries will be able to produce their own packs (with only the spawn emanating from Cedara). It is estimated that some 350 permanent jobs will ultimately be created as a result of the satellite base. It is important to note that a fully functional satellite base should generate an estimated R7.5 million annually for and by the rural communities surrounding the facility. Further, similar satellite bases are planned. Registered cooperatives have been established at Mehlomnyama in the Ugu District with 20 women beneficiaries; at Dukuduku in the uMkhanyakude District with 20 youth and at Msinga Top with 20 direct beneficiaries, 17 of whom are women.

To further sustain and enhance the interventions currently being implemented, the department also plans to develop a livestock food security pack during the MTEF period. This intervention will assist approximately 800 000 households over a period of time, beginning in the next financial year.

Nguni Cattle Project

Nguni Cattle are a very treasured asset in many parts of KwaZulu-Natal’s extensive grazing areas, which comprise as much as 80 percent of the area of the province. Nguni cattle have undergone natural selection to the habitat over centuries and are therefore well adapted. Needless to say, the department had some challenges with the old Livestock policy and has thus revised its policy on indigenous livestock. The new policy was approved in 2009 and the department will commence with the distribution of such stock in its possession. The new policy allows for animals to be distributed to Livestock Associations with sufficient grazing and handling facilities. Following a roadshow during which the requirements of the policy were communicated, an increased interest was noted. Training of such Livestock Associations is continuing and will increasingly result in sound management of herds. This includes management of grazing, breeding, health, nutrition and financial management.

This fundamental shift in policy will also be the future focus on the supply of selected Nguni bulls to Livestock Associations. The department also plans to revive its adaptive research capacity and will focus on, inter alia, breeding and selection, selective grazing systems, supplementary feeding and rounding off regimes for the various types of animals in the herd. This research capacity will furthermore be extended to all types of indigenous farm animals.

Dip-tanks and related infrastructure

To improve livestock production among our communities, the department has also embarked on establishing and capacitating 42 Livestock Associations with a membership of 1 200 dip-tank committees. In this regard, the department has to date already rehabilitated 1 005 dip-tanks out of the 1 600 dip-tanks in the deep rural areas. During rehabilitation, livestock association’s ensured equitable distribution of job opportunities and identification of candidates for respective training programmes, which is commendable indeed. In addition to dip-tank rehabilitation, the department will commence with fencing of grazing camps and the construction of stock watering facilities to allow for controlled grazing systems and breeding seasons to be implemented. This will amount to 595 km of fencing and 14 Dam Scouring Projects in Zululand, Uthungulu and Umkhanyakude, to mention a few.

Veterinary services

Madam Speaker, the Veterinary Services of the department is there to, inter alia, control animal diseases that are transmissible from animals to humans. I wish to point out that many rural communities already keep a substantial number of various types of livestock. Challenges experienced include disease and high mortality rate as a result of lack of medication, infrastructure, animal health care, awareness and capacity of many livestock owners. This hugely affects sound animal production and the realisation of potential benefits from this venture.

According to the 2007/08 livestock census of communal livestock (excluding commercial farmers), the Province has approximately 1,1 million cattle, 313 000 goats and 98 000 indigenous chickens. The cattle alone are worth approximately R3 billion, using current market estimates. Rural people are to a great extent dependant on livestock in exchange for food, school fees and cultural events. The department will therefore embark on a programme to improve livestock through a comprehensive primary animal health programme and sound animal husbandry practices throughout the province. This entails vaccinations against very prevalent diseases such as Newcastle Disease and Brucellosis, as well as programmes to enhance controlled grazing systems, breeding and nutrition management.

Rabies control programme

Madam Speaker, Rabies is probably the most serious threat to humans that is caused by uncared for companion animals. In 2009, KwaZulu-Natal registered 224 cases of rabies, a 28 percent decrease from the cases reported in 2008. I am pleased to report that the Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), have donated R16 million over five years towards the “Human Rabies Elimination Project” in KZN. This will assist the department in intensifying its campaign in fighting rabies in the province. In an effort to control this disease, the department vaccinated 326 695 and treated 2,7 million animals during 2009/10. This will be escalated with the above assistance and it is intended to vaccinate 550 000 animals during 2010/11.

Stock theft

The single most serious threat facing livestock farmers in this province is stock theft. Losses in 2008/09 amounted to R365 million nationally and R109 million in KwaZulu-Natal. The numbers of livestock farmers continuing with livestock production are diminishing as a result. The department has partnered with the livestock farmers, the Department of Community Safety and Liaison and the South African Police Service (SAPS) to fight stock theft. In order to immediately address stock theft, the department has been purchasing and distributing branding kits, stock cards and registers to livestock associations.

Support to small scale communal cash crop farmers

Madam Speaker, the department renders a great deal of support to small scale cash crop farmers. In this regard, the department provides support with extension services and mentorship programmes to these farmers. In 2009, the department embarked on a series of road shows in the province, where I interacted with farmers and learnt about the myriad of challenges they face on the ground. Issues of water, mechanisation, fencing and markets were brought to our attention by the communities. We have, as a result, managed to procure 33 tractors with implements which will be kept at our offices, thus ensuring broader access to mechanisation services. We have already established a booking system whereby communities can book for tractor services and where possible, the department will partner with municipalities.

Massification

The Crop Massification Programme is aimed at empowering small scale farmers to farm collectively as cooperatives on consolidated larger parcels of land. The department assists with mechanisation, agricultural inputs, mentorship and access to markets. In 2009/10 a total of 850 hectares of land were planted with maize and beans in the North Region. Of these, 750ha were planted with maize in Umkhanyakude, Umzinyathi, Amajuba and Uthungulu districts. One hundred (100) hectares of beans were planted at Nkandla. Five cooperatives with 694 members benefited from this programme.

In the South region, a total of 836 hectares of land were planted, 614 hectares with maize and 222 hectares with beans at Mpendle, Ubuhlebezwe and Ingwe. In Mbabazane and Ukhahlamba, farmers were assisted with liming on 300ha of land and did the planting themselves. This benefited more than 1 100 farmers. Throughout the province, a total of 1 686 hectares of land were planted and more than 10 764 beneficiaries were assisted through the Massification programme.

In 2011 the department will continue with massification programme and plant 2 424ha of maize and beans. In collaboration with Amakhosi and Ingonyama Trust, more land will be made available for the massification programme. This forms part of ‘One Village One Product’ Campaign which acknowledges the important role played by Amakhosi and the entire traditional leadership within our communities.

Agricultural cooperatives

Honourable Speaker, the role of primary agricultural cooperatives as a vehicle for rural poverty reduction has been demonstrated by its success in many parts of the world. Our experience, however, has shown that this only becomes a reality if such cooperatives are given adequate support and mentoring.

I am proud to report that through our partnership with the Department of Health and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, we have assisted seven cooperatives who have been awarded commercial tenders to supply their produce to 23 hospitals in the four Districts of Sisonke, Umzinyathi, Uthungulu and Umkhanyakude. These hospitals include Stanger, Itshelejuba and Charles James, to mention a few.

The aim is to support cooperatives until such time that they are self-sustainable. This project will be expanded to include more cooperatives in the near future and partnerships will be extended to include other Departments and partners. Madam Speaker, we will closely monitor and evaluate the performance of cooperatives and this will be used as a yardstick for future expansion.

1.11 Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP)

Madam Speaker, the CASP programme is a conditional grant aimed at assisting the farmers, particularly those who acquired land through the restitution programme. It provides infrastructural and agricultural input support to farmers. The operational challenges and complexity of commercial farms that have been transferred to new black farmers has made it crucial that the department forms partnerships with commodity associations as bodies that have expertise in the field of production and marketing. In this way, the department will be able to further support black commercial farmers.

Makhathini Integrated Master Development Plan

Madam Speaker, the potential of the Makhathini Flats as a food basket for the province is well documented. As a result, the Makhathini Integrated Master Development Plan, approved by Cabinet in November 2008, is being rolled-out earnestly by the department. This plan indicated that major repairs and upgrades are required before the Makhathini Irrigation Scheme will reach full potential again. In the past financial year, R30 million was spent to rehabilitate the infrastructure. I am pleased to report that, among others, the irrigation scheme has been fenced (119 km), six pumps in the central pump station were repaired and six pumps replaced. During this process, 193 jobs were created and farmers were trained in the correct fencing methodologies.

For the vegetable farmers, a platform has been created for value-add to the produce on the irrigation scheme, including the refurbishment of the pack house. The ablution facilities will be completed soon, bringing the pack house on equal footing with commercial pack houses. The farmers will now be able to pack for any buyer and meet the required hygiene parameters.

Honourable Speaker, the livestock farmers will also be assisted with the development of a livestock support centre for both Jozini and Umhlabuyalingana. This will provide for a marketing platform from where the livestock farmers of both large stock (cattle) and small stock (goats, pigs and sheep) will be able to market their animals to buyers at the best market price. These centres will also be used as training facilities where farmers will be trained in the latest technologies of livestock production and marketing. The development of the centres will start shortly and will be completed in a period of six months.

Mjindi (Pty) Ltd

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the new Board of Directors for Mjindi Farming Pty (Ltd) has been appointed with effect from 1 March 2010. The first task of the board will be to identify and appoint competent staff to implement the new mandate, including repair and maintenance of the existing irrigation infrastructure, irrigation expansion from the current 3 500ha to 15 000ha, capacitating farmers and exploring value-add enterprises.

Women and Youth

I believe that the women and youth must and can play a more meaningful role in agriculture. It is sad that high levels (65 percent) of employable young people are presently unemployed in our country, while the majority of these young people still hold a view that agriculture is backward, dirty hard work meant for the uneducated and cannot be pursued as a financially rewarding career. The department is committed to facilitate all activities aimed at empowering youth and women in agriculture and rural development as groups that require special focus. We will furthermore continue to spare no effort to promote agriculture as a profession so that young people can see it as attractive and worthwhile career to pursue.

In the 2009/10 financial year, career guidance campaigns were conducted to encourage school-going youth to take agriculture and environmental studies as a career of choice. The department also promoted the same in schools through a Schools Garden Competition, which was held in October 2009. This was the pilot for eThekwini District, which will be rolled-out to all districts in the Province during 2010/11.

The department also conducted awareness programmes on agriculture with the aim of promoting food security and farming. In these campaigns, the “youth in agriculture and rural development” will assist the department. For a greater part of the last century and since the beginning of the industrial revolution in South Africa, women’s role in agriculture has become more entrenched. It is for this reason that the department has vigorously engaged in promoting and encouraging women to be involved in agriculture. On 10 August 2009, the department hosted a successful female farmer event from which we selected five female farmers who went on to represent our province in the national event in Bloemfontein.

Agricultural Training

Honourable Speaker, the department boasts two reputable colleges of agriculture, namely, Owen Sithole and Cedara. These colleges will henceforth become known as Agricultural Training Institutes. I am pleased to announce here today that the department and the University of KwaZulu-Natal have recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement, officially sealing a partnership between the department and the university to offer the Bachelor of Agriculture degree (B Agric) in Agricultural Extension and Rural Resource Management. While there are other B Agric degrees on offer, this is the first to be floated under the new South African Qualifications Authority and the first to be taught at an agricultural college while enjoying full university degree status. The department also continues to offer a two year higher certificate and a three-year Diploma. In 2010/11, 305 new students enrolled in both our colleges.

Extension recovery programme

The national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries have, through a conditional grant under the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, funded the extension recovery plan. KwaZulu-Natal has been recognised as a lead province in the implementation of the programme. Four hundred and eighty four (484) extension officers were trained and obtained the International Computer Drivers Licence certificates. This includes being equipped with laptops suitable for field usage and 3G cards for improved infield diagnosis and recommendations. The farmer database has been commissioned by the national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the next few months will see the department actively populating this database. This will greatly improve communication amongst the department and farmers.

To strengthen capacity within the extension recovery programme and reach out to more farmers, the department has appointed 54 new extension personnel at the beginning of April 2010. Arrangements are in place to enable extension officers to upgrade their qualifications from diplomas to degrees. This is in line with the national norms and standards. Environmental services

The aim of environmental services is to strike the balance between the requirements of both economic development and environmental sustainability. This requires the department to work with all role-players, as lead agent in the province, to coordinate the work of the sector to prevent the effects of pollution and waste from harming the environment and maintaining biodiversity.

In the 2010/11 financial year, the focus will be:
  • To pursue and explore the concept of green jobs, promote green economy and create decent work and sustainable livelihoods
  • To continue to provide leadership and coordination of government’s approach to large, complex and cross-sectoral environmental issues specifically responding to climate change and championing sustainable development.
In order to improve decision making on environmental authorisations, various environmental management frameworks have been initiated. The primary objective of these frameworks is to ensure that development does not negatively impact on demarcated sensitive areas.

Pollution control, waste and chemical management

During 2010/11, the first KwaZulu-Natal integrated waste management plan will be developed. The plan aims to provide a status quo of waste management within the province, and to identify the gaps and needs currently existing in the province with regard to waste management. The drafting of the provincial integrated hazardous waste management plan has already commenced.

The department has, in partnership with Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), provided funding to district municipalities for the development of municipal integrated waste management plans. The department will also be assisting district municipalities who will be hosting Public viewing areas for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup with the implementation of effective waste management practices.

Air quality and climate change

In addition to the five ambient air quality monitoring stations at the “hotspots” around the province, the department is in the process of purchasing four additional monitors as part of the health study in the Richards Bay area. It is also pleasing to report that there were no exceedance of the sulphur dioxide and particulate matter concentrations at our monitoring sites situated at Empangeni, Mandeni, Estcourt, Newcastle and Port Shepstone. A new station is to be installed in Pietermaritzburg during this year. The Action Plan to address impacts of climate change in the province will be developed. The department will also undertake a campaign throughout the province to create awareness in the vulnerable communities on the impacts of climate change.

Coastal management

Following the March 2007 coastal storm, a user-friendly decision support tool was developed and will be finalised in 2010/11. This tool will assist the department to better evaluate development applications submitted for environmental authorisation.

The implementation of the KZN action plan on marine and coastal pollution management this year will improve the monitoring and assessment of impacts relating to discharges to the marine environment.

Environmental impact assessment

The department is continually striving to improve its turn-around times in the finalisation of Environmental Authorisations (formally known as RoDs). In 2007/08 the number of applications that were finalised within the legislated timeframe was 40 percent. During 2008/09 and 2009/10 the numbers increased to 66 percent and 69 percent, respectively. For 2010/2011 our target is 80percent. The improvement is being enhanced by the intensive EIA training given to staff.

Compliance monitoring and enforcement

Compliance monitoring is achieved by conducting audits, inspections, investigations and site visits on legal and illegal activities. During the past year, 66 cases of alleged illegal commencement of listed activities were investigated and 112 compliance notices or directives issued to alleged offenders. In addition 778 environmental decisions had been audited. Presently we have 34 environmental management inspectors and another 22 are being trained, to continue with efforts of compliance monitoring and enforcement.

Landcare

The Landcare programme is aimed at addressing the degradation of natural resources in agricultural zones. The focus for the 2010/11 financial year is to commence with the alignment of the Landcare Programme with the province’s priorities, namely, livestock, massification and land reform programmes.

This financial year, the programme will support a total of 40 production projects, of which 25 will be continuation projects and 15 new projects. The focus will be on alien weed control, grazing management, construction of conservation structures, wetland management and donga rehabilitation. It is envisaged that the programme will create 7 100 job opportunities. The department has set aside R8.7 million from the conditional grant and R18.4 million from the equitable share. It is envisaged that 2 320ha will be cleared of alien plants, while 280ha of this will be put back as productive agricultural land. One hundred (100) hectares of wetland will be rehabilitated and 700 project beneficiaries will receive skills to implement such projects.

Copenhagen climate change summit

The department participated in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (Cop15) held in Copenhagen in December 2009. This was funded by the Danish Development Agency through its Urban Environmental Programme of which our department is a participant.

The department also participated in the pre-COP15 exhibition at which provincial initiatives such as Provincial Emission Inventory and Carbon Foot Prints were showcased. A seminar on the Greening of the Moses Mabhida Stadium and other initiatives at eThekwini Municipality was also held at the Bella Centre in Copenhagen.

Greening for 2010 FIFA World Cup and beyond

The department has consciously gone about using the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup as a springboard to raise the awareness on the environment. The following are the highlights of the initiatives undertaken by the department and other state agencies:
  • Greening of low income homes and planting of 4 000 trees: The outcomes are multi-fold as trees will enhance the beauty of the surroundings; they will serve as a noise filter; provide shade during the province’s hot summers; and have the potential to absorb carbon emissions and a source of nutrition for the home owners who are largely in the low income group
  • Greening of public viewing areas: This involves educating and empowering the four municipalities to function efficiently in terms of waste, water and energy use
  • One Goal One Tree Campaign: There will be ceremonial tree planting at Moses Mabhida Stadium [or the adjacent Peace Park] to commemorate every goal scored during the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. A target of approximately 20 goals has been set whereby 20 indigenous trees with commemorative signs will be planted. This is the Legacy Project. We will also undertake this initiative at each of the provinces’ Public Viewing Areas (PVAs). The total number of goals scored during the FIFA World Cup will be divided among the PVAs
  • School Gardens: This entails the planting of vegetable gardens, fruit trees as well as shade trees. It will serve to educate learners on green initiatives and develop projects that become a legacy of the FIFA World Cup post-2010
  • Green Goal Cleanup Campaigns: Starting in March 2010, regular cleanup campaigns have taken place across the province. The idea is to have at least two Cleanup Campaigns in each district and four in coastal districts
  • Joint Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Committee: The work will include all the issues relating to waste management, monitoring the use of recreational areas as well as energy and water use.
Rural development

Rural development is a new mandate which was assigned to the department. This mandate is mainly coordination across all spheres and therefore speaks to all 12 outcomes of government. Honourable Speaker, as we focus on rural development, we are reminded of the fact that this is not a new concept. As different departments, we have in the past implemented rural development in an uncoordinated manner. This has resulted in a fruitless use of scarce resources.

The introduction of rural development as a new mandate is an attempt to ensure efficient and effective coordination of resources to improve the lives of rural communities. This mandate calls for greater coordination, to do more with less and make desired impacts. In partnership with the national Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, the Msinga, Nkandla and the surrounding areas have been identified as a Comprehensive Rural Development Programme pilot site to heed the President’s call to serve the rural communities with dignity and pride.

The department has developed an integrated rural development strategy, which was approved by Cabinet on 17 February 2010. The ultimate goal is to achieve economically, environmentally and socially sustainable integrated rural development.

Madam Speaker, we will launch rural development forums in May this year in all District Municipalities. These forums will assist us to identify the felt needs of our rural people and for them to partake in the implementation of our various government programmes. Integrated rural development will furthermore be mainstreamed within the Cabinet Cluster System.

We are also organising a Provincial Farm Workers Summit by the end of April this year. The aim of the summit is to share the plight of farm workers and to collectively seek for solutions to the most pressing needs of these people. To resolve the plight of farm workers, a harmonious environment must be created between the workers and their employers. Other provinces will be having similar provincial summits which will culminate in a National Farm Workers Summit later in the year, organised by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Ezemvelo KZN wildlife

Honourable Speaker, all our socio-economic development programmes and even our own existence would be at serious risk without sustainable resource use and management of our environment. While we all have a role to play in this regard, the function of EKZNW is also very crucial.

Review of the 2009/10 financial year

During 2009/10 a number of achievements, including new developments were made. Some of these initiatives and projects are:
  • The new Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) Board was appointed with effect from 1 December 2009
  • EKZNW embarked on marketing and branding campaigns to improve its image and to build public confidence here and abroad. This effort has yielded fruits. I am excited to announce that EKZNW has been invited to receive two awards in Europe, namely, the Golden Award for Tourist, Hotel and Catering Industry for 2010 and the 25th Annual Golden Europe Award for Quality
  • I am also pleased to report EKZNW achievements on its rural development initiatives
  • The Nselweni Bush Camp was officially handed over to the communities surrounding Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park (HIP) on 10 December 2009
  • In partnership with the Al Baraka Bank, EKZNW donated a fully furnished computer centre to Thibani School situated in the Hlathikhulu area near the Giants Castle Resort
  • EKZNW continued to support Sokhulu Mussel Harvesting Project in its 13th year. This project contributes to food security to some 1 168 women of Sokhulu community who harvest some 16 700 tons of mussels annually
  • Ntsikeni Vlei has recently been registered as a RAMSAR site
  • A counter active anti-poaching strategy is in place to curb the surge of rhino poaching in the province
  • For the 2010 FIFA World Cup, R20 million was spent on upgrading our tourists facilities. A further R26 million was spent on the improvement of roads that leads to such facilities. This will improve revenue generation and create more job opportunities.
Outlook for 2010/11
  • EKZNW will support community conservation areas to be involved in a professional hunting industry
  • It will hand over community levy projects including Ozabeni Primary School, Mtshengwane Water Project, Vukuzakhe Crèche and Sthanduxolo Community Hall
EKZNW will also reach out to current and potential customers through the use of various advertising campaigns

Presentation of the budget by programme

Madam Speaker, having outlined the outlook for 2010/11, allows me to table the budget allocation per programme:
  • Programme 1: Administration: 269 996 000,00
  • Programme 2: Agricultural Development Support Services: R1 290 737 000,00
  • Programme 3: Environmental Services: R206 145 000,00
  • Programme 4: Conservation: R421 459 000,00
This brings the total budget of the department to: R2 188 337 000,00

Conclusion

In conclusion, I wish to convey our heartfelt gratitude to the Honourable Premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize, for his outstanding leadership. I also would like to thank my colleagues in the executive and the Honourable members of the house for your support. Many thanks to the members of our Portfolio Committees for your support and guidance and we look forward to your cooperation and contribution again this year.

Let me also thank the senior managers and the staff of the department for their dedication and continued efforts towards ensuring the fulfilment of our mandate. Thanks to all our stakeholders and partners who are in attendance, members of the public in the gallery and the listeners at home who have been following this presentation through the radio broadcast. With this being a year of action, we strongly urge you to partner with us in promoting agriculture and we say “Asibuyele emasimini”.

I thank you.

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