Peter Setou, from Vumelana says land reform should remain a priority of the government as it is a fundamental part of the economy.

10 February 2023: Land reform – Following the delivery of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) last night, non-profit organisation, Vumelana Advisory Fund, has noted that this year’s SONA did not provide any details on how challenges associated with land reform including funding land provision of post-settlement support for land reform beneficiaries will be addressed.

Vumelana is non-profit organisation that helps beneficiaries of the land reform programme to put their land to profitable use by facilitating commercially viable partnerships between land reform beneficiary communities and private investors.

Peter Setou, Chief Executive of the Vumelana Advisory Fund says, “Land reform should remain a priority government imperative, as it is a fundamental part of the economy and prerequisite element to addressing South Africa’s history of land dispossession and the subsequent challenges that the country currently faces.”

“We have noted the president’s positive announcements regarding support for small-scale farmers, including the supply of input vouchers for seeds, fertiliser, and equipment to 140 000 farmers to boost food security and agricultural reform on over 640 000 hectares of land owned by women,” Setou says.

“Further, we note that 250 000 more vouchers will be distributed to small-scale farmers this year. We also note the government’s commitment to addressing regulations that inhibit the cultivation of certain crops to allow outdoor cultivation and harvesting by traditional farmers, which will help boost the rural economy; as will the commitment to improve rural road infrastructure and build bridges to enhance village life. However, for land reform to be effective, there is a need for much more resourcing and funding of post-settlement support for land reform beneficiaries.”

According to the Vumelana Advisory Fund, the government needs to be intentional in driving a collaborative approach to land reform with beneficiaries of the land reform programme and the private investors, supported by the State, for the country’s land reform programme to attract more investments from the private sector.

The Vumelana Advisory Fund has noted  the commitment to resolve the energy crises as it impacts on all sectors of the economy. We hope that the impending budget speech will provide some pointers on government’s plans with supporting land reform. The conclusion of a social compact involving key stakeholders is supported. This is what is required if we are to address the challenges facing us as a country. Our experience as Vumelana has demonstrated that collaborative approaches can make a huge impact in addressing land reform challenges.

About the Vumelana Advisory Fund

The Vumelana Advisory Fund is a non-profit organisation that was established in 2012 to help beneficiaries of the land reform programme put their land to profitable use by establishing commercially viable partnerships between communities and investors. Through its Communal Private Partnership (CPP) model, which brings together communities that acquire access to land under the land reform programme and private investors, Vumelana has facilitated 26 partnerships between communities and investors, putting approximately 76 000 hectares of land to productive use, and benefitting nearly 16 000 beneficiary households.

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