Whoever thinks that President Zuma has not governed a productive administration might be making a mistake because South Africa’s number one citizen is convinced that he has achieved much since 1994.
Addressing the traditional leaders in parliament at the opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders, President Zuma urged them not be distracted by oppositions, who wish to paint his administration black.
All may not be perfect in South Africa, but according to Zuma, his 22-year-governance has really consolidated democracy and is on the move towards making life better for every citizen. He drove home his assertions by making a list of the numerous programmes his administration has put in place since 1994.
Zuma therefore urged all and sundry to shun all forms of violence, racism and chaos because together, South Africa can roll away her economic problems. He added that these problems are not new in the country because they also ‘exist’ in other developing countries.
“I am convinced that working together again we can overcome the economic headwinds we face‚ we need to recognize that while working hard to fix the problems that exist‚ which exist in all developing countries‚” he added.
Moving away from that, Zuma addressed State land reform. He recapitulated that he would often stand on his message – traditional leaders should pull their weight and ideas together and re-claim lands of their community members, that were forcefully seized.
Zuma maintained that putting such strides in place would help rather than flooding government’s drawers with land complaints.
“I have been informed that some work in this regard has started‚ championed by the National House of Traditional Leaders.
“I strongly believe that access to land and security of land tenure are key to development‚ especially agricultural development…I urge traditional leaders to thoughtfully and actively engage with the matter of land reform on behalf of the communities they lead.
“I am raising this as we can talk about agriculture and food security but without access to land‚ our people cannot plough and feed themselves or contribute to economic growth,” he said.
The president also revealed strategic business plans are being fine-tuned by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform in order to establish agricultural parks, known as Agri-parks for all the 44 districts in the state.
According to Zuma, one of the strategic goals of the Agri-parks is to face-lift under-utilised land‚ especially in Communal Areas‚ into full production within three years and enlarge irrigated agriculture.
“We have noted that some of the productive communal land under traditional councils remains inadequately utilised.
“I urge traditional leaders to encourage communities to plough and till the productive land so that they can produce healthy food for their families and reduce the levels of food insecurity and poverty that are so prevalent,” he said.
In conclusion, Zuma posited that government has also set up an Agricultural Policy Action Plan charged with food production and security at household level.
This feat would be effectively achieved by utilizing one million hectares of the communal land for food production.