Department of Rural Development on its 4 Quarter 2014/15 & 1st quarter 2015/16 performance & Financial and Fiscal Commission analysis
The Committee was briefed by the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) on the expenditure trends and performance of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) and its entities for 2014/15 and the first quarter of the 2015/16 financial year.
The FFC said the rural share of poverty fell from 70% in 1993 to 57% in 2008 as a result of an improvement in household welfare due to social grant expenditure and migration to urban areas.
The National Development Plan (NDP) had identified key strategies to develop rural economic opportunities and ensure food security. These included job creation through land reform and agricultural development by promoting small scale irrigated farming; investment in infrastructure and support services; the Agricultural Policy Action Plan (APAP); and efforts by the Departments of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to collaborate in implementing the APAP.
While there had been good progress in developing infrastructure in rural areas, there were still significant backlogs which could slow down rural development. Land reform beneficiaries faced a number of challenges, such as access to credit, equipment and technical assistance that made it difficult to convert land acquired into productive use.
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