16 February 2018
AFASA congratulates Mr Cyril Ramaphosa as newly elected President
The African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA) congratulates Mr Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa as the newly elected President of the Republic of South Africa.
AFASA President, Dr Vuyo Mahlati, said AFASA is confident that President Ramaphosa, a successful farmer in his own right, has the capabilities and expertise to lead the country while ensuring economic growth to deal decisively with poverty and high unemployment rate.
AFASA urges Mr Ramaphosa to expedite government’s agenda on radical economic transformation, especially in the agricultural sector where transformation is moving at a snail pace. “The issue of land should be addressed urgently as to allow transformation to happen quicker. Hence AFASA, during its recent National Executive Council meeting, resolved in supporting the ruling party’s resolution of land expropriation without compensation,” Dr Mahlati explained. “The farmers believe that until the land issue is dealt with decisively, transformation in the sector will not happen. Farmers also emphasized responsible handling of this resolution and the importance of consultation with farmers in the feasibility phases”.
Dr Mahlati also urged President Ramaphosa to support AFASA’s Local Farmer Enablement Programme designed to accelerate the effective commercialisation of black farmers. Last year, following AFASA’s plea for the provision of support to smallholder farmers, government declared 2017 the year of the commercialisation of the black smallholder farmers. Government committed itself to support the commercialisation programme for 450 black smallholder farmers per year. “We request President Ramaphosa to fast-track the Commercialisation Programme. AFASA’s Local Farmer Enablement Programme is designed to ensure that commercialisation happens at the grassroots level where farmers have access to infrastructure, land and water rights, finance and markets,” explained Dr Mahlati.
AFASA wishes President Ramaphosa well as he takes on this mammoth task, starting with his maiden State of the Nation Address this evening.
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