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The Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Mcebisi Skwatsha and Premier of the North West Province, S.R.O Mahumapelo on their visit to De Paarl

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DEPUTY MINISTER SKWATSHA ADDRESSES CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE
26 JUNE 2017

The Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Mr Mcebisi Skwatsha says land is a fundamental asset to change the lives of people for the better. The minister made these remarks in his keynote address during a two day stakeholders consultative Conference at Birchwood Hotel, in Boksburg which ended on Saturday 24 June.

Addressing delegates who included traditional leaders, members of Trusts and Traditional Councils, District Land Reform Committees, and other structures in municipalities, the Deputy Minister reminded the gathering that the land question was a fundamental cause of liberation struggles over the years.

He added that the proposed programmes and policies that were being consulted upon sought to facilitate what should be done in rural areas to improve the lives of people, whom he said cannot go to bed hungry when there is land in abundance.

“We are determine to overcome the legacy of inequality and injustice created by Colonialism and Apartheid, in a swift, progressive and principled way and to develop a sustainable economy and state infrastructure that will progressively improve the quality of life of all South Africans” said the Deputy Minister.

Deputy Minister Skwatsha, said government wants to change lives of ordinary South African and was therefore following the path of radical socio- economic transformation. “We realised that communities do not always have the necessary tools to deal with challenges they are facing regarding their land” he continued.

“As government we are in pursuit of an inclusive economy. Our aim is to turn South Africa into a construction site”, the deputy minister added.

Delegates at the conference deliberated on programs, proposed legislation and policies of the department including the An Agri-park programme. The programme is a networked innovation system of agro-production, processing, logistics, marketing, training and extension services, located in District Municipalities. As a network it enables a market-driven combination and integration of various agricultural activities and rural transformation services.

The establishment of Agri-Parks in all 44 district municipalities in South Africa is set to transform the rural economy by among others, creating a market and support for small holder farmers, creating employment opportunities for rural communities, infrastructure development and revitalizing the agriculture and agro-processing value chain.

Delegates were divided into commissions which deliberate on five thematic areas:
 Objective and principals of communal land tenure bill,
 conferral of land rights (Conversion, transfer, and registration),
 institutional roles and role relationships,
 communal land management,
 and award of comparable redress.

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