South African’s National Liberation Movement

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Policy Documents

ANC Agricultural Policy

31 May 1994



Mission statement and objectives


  • Food Security and Food Policy
  • Agricultural Marketing and Pricing
  • Agricultural Co-operatives
  • Rural Finance and Credit
  • Farmworkers
  • Drought Management and Relief
  • Agricultural Extension Services
  • Agricultural Research
  • Animal Health and Production
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Forestry
  • Fisheries


  1. Rural Development
  2. Land Restitution


A new era has been ushered in by the people of South Africa. In electing the
African National Congress they have voted overwhelmingly in favour of democracy
and development.

The Land and Agriculture Desk of the ANC’s Department of Economic Planning
has over the past four years been preparing a range of land and agricultural
policies. Aspects of this policy work have been incorporated into the
Reconstruction and Development Programme. The ANC would like to extend its
thanks to the many individuals and institutions who have contributed to the
development of the ANC’s agricultural policy.

Much of this document is based on research conducted under the auspices of
the Land and Agriculture Policy Centre. Background research material is
available on request from the LAPC.

The ANC’s agricultural policy will continue to be developed in response to
changes in our society and economy. Comments on this document – whether critical
or favourable – are welcomed.


The agricultural mission of the African National Congress is to achieve
equitable access to and optimal use of agricultural resources to ensure:

  • affordable and sufficient food and fibre for all South Africans;
  • a life of dignity for all on the land;
  • sustainable rural development;
  • the creation of employment and the elimination of rural poverty;
  • just reward for skills, energy and enterprise;
  • full realization of agriculture’s contribution to economic development;
  • conservation of our natural resources for the benefit of future


Within the programme of Reconstruction and Development, the ANC agricultural
policy will:

  • Ensure that all rural people in South Africa are able to establish and
    maintain a life of quality by improving access to sufficient food,
    infrastructure, services, resources for production and jobs with equitable
    conditions of employment and to resources for production.
  • Restructure biased agricultural support to eliminate discrimination
    created by inequitable and inappropriate subsidisation.
  • Open up opportunities and broaden the base of agricultural
  • Introduce policies designed to support the establishment of a small farmer
    sector that will provide access to land and agricultural resources for those
    historically excluded, with appropriate training and extension.
  • Reform agricultural marketing systems to ensure that small and medium
    enterprises and new entrants to agriculture, have reasonable access to
    market and credits, and can participate fully in national and international
  • Ensure that farming systems, and the incentives that drive them, are
    economically and socially sustainable and based on sound environmental
  • Implement participatory land use planning to ensure optimal urban and
    rural land allocation, with due consideration for high quality arable land
    and soil conservation.
  • Ensure equitable and efficient water conservation and water resource
    planning, management, development, apportionment and rights.
  • Establish a regulatory framework which protects the health, safety and
    information requirements of consumers, producers and workers without
    imposing unnecessary controls and restrictions on producers.
  • Encourage organisation of workers, small farmers and other rural people at
    local, regional and national level to ensure they have a voice in policies
    affecting them.
  • Recognise and develop the contribution workers make to agriculture,
    forestry and fisheries and establish and provide for the protection of their
    basic rights and liberties.
  • Promote regional and international trade cooperation for the benefit of
    the Southern African region.

This policy will be implemented in the context of a programme of land reform
and rural development designed to redistribute land to alleviate landlessness,
land hunger and apartheid dispossession and to stimulate development.


The ANC views the agricultural sector as being of crucial importance to the
country for the following reasons:

  • it is the primary source of food and fibre for the nation;
  • it is an important source of income and contributor to household food
    security for millions of the poorest South Africans;
  • it provides employment to over 1.2 million farmworkers, and a source of
    livelihood to their families;
  • through linkages with manufacturing industry and agricultural supply and
    service sectors, it makes a greater contribution to the economy than
    suggested by its share of GDP;
  • it is an important earner of foreign exchange, both through exports of
    primary products, and through the export of manufactured agricultural

While the ANC recognises the role that commercial agriculture has played in
meeting the food and fibre needs of the country, the policies applied to achieve
this have been at high cost to both the tax payer and consumer, have resulted in
a high level of indebtedness and caused considerable environmental damage in
some parts of the country. In addition, the sector has been characterised by
gross inequalities in access to resources, especially land and water for
production. The way that government has provided services and incentives has
also been biased in favour of large-scale farmers. Black rural people have
systematically been deprived of access to land and agricultural support
services. Farm workers enjoy scant legal protection, while rural women are the
most exploited segment in South African society.

Agricultural policies of the apartheid government promoted capital intensive
forms of agriculture in the presence of widespread rural unemployment, leading
to a significant reduction in employment in the sector. Subsidies, marketing
controls and excessive protection against imports had a negative effect on the
competitiveness of the sector.

The Reconstruction and Development Programme acknowledges the importance of
rural and agricultural development in terms of creating sustainable growth, and
reducing poverty, unemployment and inequality in South Africa. Within this
framework, the ANC’s agricultural policy will be directed at improving support
for the neglected small-scale farming sector, promoting household food security
rather than national food self-sufficiency, boosting rural employment, and
promoting more sustainable farming practices.

The proposals contained in this Agricultural Policy Document are also
designed to complement and support a programme of land reform. This programme
will involve both the restitution of land to the victims of forced removals
since 1913 through a Land Claims Court and a process of land redistribution to
assist those with limited means who were denied access to land under apartheid

Food Security

Most people in urban and rural South Africa are net food purchasers –
policies ensuring affordable and stable food prices are therefore crucial. The
pursuit of self sufficiency has failed to end hunger and malnutrition, with over
2 million South Africans classified as malnourished. In future, food and
agricultural policy will seek to ensure that national food requirements are met
by the most efficient combination of domestic production and trade that is
consistent with broader targets for economic growth, employment and agricultural
restructuring. Household food security will be enhanced by a range of measures
to improve the affordability of food. These include VAT exemption on basic
foods, as well as measures to raise incomes such as public works programmes,
improved welfare provision, and the development of a thriving rural economy.

Rural Employment and Investment

Agriculture’s contribution to GDP is more than doubled when manufacturing
linkages are taken into account. A policy of targeting investment at the
agro-industrial sector would both expand wage employment and raise the incomes
of poor and black households – in turn strengthening demand for agricultural
products. The ANC will prioritise investment in labour-intensive agricultural
sectors, including investment in infrastructural projects such as the creation
of roads and irrigation systems using labour-intensive technology. Such
investment would be concentrated in regions with the greatest farming potential.
This policy would seek to improve agricultural output and efficiency, directing
production towards areas of long-term comparative advantage and away from the
wasteful deployment of natural resources for the production of large volumes of
staples for which there is no market.

Small-Scale Farming

At present, South Africa’s 55,000 commercial farmers are the main users of
agricultural support services. Thirty percent of these are responsible for 80
percent of the country’s agricultural output. There is consensus that past
policies have neglected or undermined small-scale farming, and one of the key
elements of ANC agricultural policy is the creation of a more diversified
farming community by supporting small-scale farming. Such a sector can make an
important contribution to the efficiency and sustainability of agriculture and
to employment creation. Agricultural credit policies will be modified to support
small-scale farmers, and in particular women. The ANC will also review the role
of the Land Bank, and especially the Agricultural Credit Board, with a view to
changing the way new farmers are helped to enter the land market and engage in

Pricing And Marketing

The ANC broadly supports the deregulation of agricultural marketing through
the removal of most of the remaining statutory powers of the control boards. A
less restricted marketing environment will promote greater efficiency and work
to the advantage of both commercial and developing sectors. Prices will become
more closely linked to international prices, and uniform pricing will
effectively disappear. Macro-economic policies, particularly those that affect
the exchange rate and interest rate, will be critical in determining the
competitiveness of the sector. The removal of statutory controls does not
preclude state support for market development, and the state will continue to
have a role to play to ensure that broader food security objectives are
achieved, and that historically disadvantaged groups are able to participate in
agricultural production, processing and trade.

Support Services and Research

Support services, currently divided between the large-scale commercial sector
and producers in the “homelands”, will be consolidated into provincial
agricultural support services. These will focus on providing integrated
agricultural support to small farmers and new entrants to farming. The new
services will move away from the current emphasis on technology transfer towards
a more participatory model. They will also provide support services to deficit
producers in urban, peri-urban and especially rural areas, where production
primarily improves the household food supply. This will require significant
retraining of existing staff, and improved education for future staff. In the
research area, far greater stress is needed on integrated agricultural research,
and in particular on farm system research and extension. Resources are currently
available for farmer training and education through high schools, colleges and
universities. Education and training needs to provide for educationally
disadvantaged communities and integrated with basic literacy programmes integral
to the RDP. Training must meet the needs of new entrants to farming, and access
to training institutions must be broadened where necessary through such measures
as bridging programmes.

Health and Consumer Protection

ANC policy will seek to protect consumers and the public from public health
hazards, without creating unnecessarily stringent regulations which would
hamper, in particular, small agricultural production and marketing. An ANC
government will ensure the means to enforce regulations, including those made in
terms of international agreements.

The Environment

A key concern of the ANC is environmental protection and the sustainable use
of natural resources. Recently redrafted, the Conservation of Agricultural
Resources Act provides a reasonable framework for natural resource management.
However, implementation has been ineffective. In future the enforcement of
conservation measures will have to be carried out in close collaboration with
the Department of Environmental Affairs, which oversees more general
environmental legislation. Commercial farming in South Africa has been conducted
in such a way that it has caused soil erosion and depleted scarce water
resources. The Water Act will have to be modified so that real costs are
reflected in user charges. Better mediation of competing water interests is also
required. Agricultural policies which have an effect on natural resource
management, will have to be thoroughly reviewed to ensure that they are not in
conflict with objectives of sustainable development as is the case at present.

1. Food Security and Food Policy

Food and agricultural policy in South Africa has historically placed national
self-sufficiency as the central objective, in part because of the threat of
sanctions. The objective was largely achieved, but at considerable economic and
environmental cost. Since the late 1970s, however, there has been growing
international recognition that a concern with food supplies without
consideration of incomes and demand will not necessarily end hunger and
malnutrition. In South Africa, poverty and hunger continue despite national
self-sufficiency or surpluses of most basic foodstuffs.

An estimated 16.4-million South Africans – 45 percent of the population –
were living on incomes below the minimum subsistence level in 1989, 93 percent
of them black and about 80 percent in rural areas. About 2.3-million children
under 12, and pregnant and lactating mothers, 87 percent of them black, may be
defined as nutritionally needy. There is considerable evidence to show that the
majority of rural households buy rather than produce most of their food.

The ANC is committed to ending poverty and malnutrition and to ending
policies which have failed to meet the nutritional needs of the majority.
Emphasis will be placed on ensuring low and stable prices of basic foods of
low-income consumers. The basic aim will be to ensure household food security –
access for all people at all times to enough food for an active and healthy

1.1 Domestic Production and Trade Policy

A high degree of self-sufficiency in South Africa has largely been achieved
through high price incentives and input subsidies to agricultural producers
behind protective import barriers, at an estimated annual cost to the consumer
and taxpayer of around R2-billion a year. National food security objectives need
to be achieved through the most efficient combination of domestic production,
stocks and trade that is consistent with broader targets for economic growth,
employment, and agricultural restructuring.

While world prices remain depressed, the case for reducing levels of
protection as part of a broad food policy remains strong. Some tariff reduction
may also encourage an expansion of activity and employment in those sectors
benefiting from lower input costs. However, the possibility that world prices
will rise as a result of the GATT Uruguay Round, and the possibility of a
further depreciation of the Rand justify some caution in the reduction of tariff

ANC trade policy will be designed and implemented within the framework of the
GATT Uruguay Round, which the ANC broadly supports. Tariffs will replace
quantitative import controls as the main instrument of protection. Tariffs will
serve to protect producers from unfair dumping, provide some transitional
protection from the effects of international competition and may be used to
achieve domestic price stabilisation. However, the ANC favours the long-term
phased reduction of tariff protection, subject to a careful assessment of the
effects on employment, output growth and inter-sectoral linkages.

1.2 Public Sector Stocking Policy and Price Stabilisation

Climatic variation could lead to highly unstable prices for both the producer
and consumer in the absence of some form of intervention. The holding of reserve
stocks can be used to achieve certain food security and price stabilisation
objectives. The ANC will re-examine the size of such stocks in the light of
price stabilisation objectives and strategic reserve requirements, taking into
consideration the high costs of stockholding, the role of the private sector and
the costs and potential benefits of alternative means of achieving these food
security objectives.

In addition to an active state role in storage, with purchases and releases
aimed at counteracting rapid price changes, other measures to stabilise prices
will be needed. These include variations in the tariff level, both to absorb the
effects of the unstable world prices and to influence import levels in the event
of climatically-induced variations in domestic production, and a range of
subsidy and price control measures described below.

1.3 Food Subsidies, Taxes and Income Support

Direct state intervention to improve and stabilise the purchasing power of
the mass of South Africans and improve food security will be essential. The ANC
is committed to exempting all basic foods from VAT as a particularly effective
means of reducing the cost of food. The ANC also favours the introduction of
multiple VAT rates, with higher rates on luxury products. VAT relief may also be
directed at promoting the consumption of certain foodstuffs with important
nutritional benefits. An important consideration is that VAT relief does not
discriminate against informal markets or inhibit competition, unlike subsidies
implemented through established marketing channels.

Additional food subsidies will be considered, taking into account the risk of
leakage to better-off households, the costs of administration, and the impact on
informal markets. Interventions will focus on products primarily consumed by the
poor. Maize- meal and bread are the two most important foodstuffs in this

The ANC will also investigate targeted direct income transfers in the form of
food stamps or vouchers, or social security benefits in cash. In particular, the
ANC is committed to extending the coverage of pensions and maintaining or
increasing their value in real terms over time.

The ANC will give public works programmes much higher priority, as a means of
providing income support and enhancing food security. As well as creating
valuable infrastructure, such programmes can stabilise purchasing power during
times of temporary food insecurity, due for example to drought. Cash for work
programmes are preferred to food for work, to avoid disruption to existing
marketing channels and to leave people free to choose what their greatest needs

For the poor and vulnerable, including pregnant women and young children, the
ANC will endeavour to improve the targeting and efficiency of present feeding

1.4 Marketing, Price Controls and Competition

Marketing margins – the gap between the farm-gate price and retail
prices – have steadily grown in recent years as a result of reduced subsidies,
declining productivity, the imposition of VAT on many foods, monopoly power in
the processing, distribution and retailing industries, inefficiencies at the
retail level, the scarcity of retail outlets in the townships because of
violence and boycotts, and the unwillingness of financial institutions to lend
for the establishment of such enterprises.

The ANC therefore aims to reduce marketing margins through a strong
competition policy that will include anti-trust and monopoly legislation, and
other regulatory mechanisms. This will actively encourage new entrants at each
stage of the marketing chain. The use or threat of selective price and margin
controls will be considered until a more competitive environment is created. The
re-introduction of controls on bread will be specifically investigated.

A retailing strategy will also be developed to promote a more balanced
distribution of retail outlets and to address inefficiencies in the delivery
chain and the impact of high rents.

1.5 Stimulating the Rural Economy

Food insecurity is most prevalent in rural areas, highlighting the need for
improving production and income-generating activities. The inability of the
majority of rural people to produce a marketed surplus, or even meet their
subsistence needs, is a reflection of their limited access to land, water,
credit and markets, and the failure of research and extension services to
provide appropriate technologies.

The ANC will introduce measures to improve rights to land and access to
credit and other resources to improve smallholder productivity and food
security. Research and extension expenditures will be redirected towards
improving technologies for labour-intensive production and on-farm storage. More
generally, the ANC will devise a rural development strategy which maximises
employment and income-generating activities in the rural economy as a whole.
This would involve the development of rural industry, tourism and other
activities as well as agriculture.

1.6 Consumer Protection

Food security also requires that the consumer be protected from excessive
levels of pesticides and toxins applied to most foods both on the farm and in
storage. Nevertheless, the ANC believes that it would be inappropriate to impose
excessive regulations that would prevent the informal marketing of cheap
produce, as has happened in the past. But legislation will be enacted to ensure
that basic safety and hygiene standards are strictly enforced. Similar measures
are required to protect consumers from being sold sub- standard or underweight

1.7 Health, Child Care and the Environment

Household food security is a necessary but not a sufficient condition
for eliminating hunger and malnutrition within the household. Other important
aspects which the ANC will address include sanitation and access to clean water,
as well as care of children and access to health facilities.

1.8 Monitoring Food Security

A comprehensive programme to collect and monitor key socio-economic
data, focusing on food prices and nutritional status, climatic conditions, crop
forecasts and production statistics will be established, to be the
responsibility of a specialist department or agency. Emphasis will be placed on
collecting and analysing information from rural areas where the existing data
base is very weak. This will provide the capacity to analyze the food security
status of all population groups on a permanent basis, and will provide early
warning indicators to prepare for food crises caused, for example, by drought.

2. Agricultural Marketing and Pricing Policy

The South African state has intervened extensively in agricultural pricing
and marketing for many years. The exercise of statutory controls and the
allocation of subsidies has favoured powerful interest groups such as certain
larger commercial farmers, agricultural processors and the agricultural
bureaucracy. The needs of low-income consumers and of small farmers in the
homelands have been neglected, while employment in the agricultural sector has
declined. State intervention has had a significant economic cost, resulting from
the high levels of protection to producers, uniform pricing, and the lack of
competition in marketing and processing. Encouragement of the expansion of
monocropped cereals into marginal areas has also incurred high environmental

There has already been some limited deregulation of marketing controls and a
shift to more market-based pricing systems, together with a reduction of
subsidies and protection. However, the resulting falls in real producer prices
have generally not been passed on to consumer food prices, which have tended to
increase faster than the general rate of inflation.

The ANC broadly supports the deregulation of agricultural marketing. However,
the extent, pace and sequencing of reform needs to be examined on a case-by-case
basis, and must be carefully and democratically managed. There remains a need
for some intervention in agricultural marketing and pricing to ensure that
broader food security objectives are achieved, and that historically
disadvantaged groups are enabled to participate in agricultural production,
processing and trade.

To correct the inefficiencies and injustices of the past, the ANC will seek
to ensure affordable and stable prices for the basic foods of low-income
consumers as part of broader food security objectives; to ensure that incentives
to agriculture promote the efficient allocation and use of agricultural
resources and promote patterns of production that ensure growth in employment;
to promote wider access to services, and broader participation in agricultural
production, processing and trade; to promote the growth of export revenues and
the domestic agro-processing industry; to ensure that agricultural development
occurs in a way that is environmentally sustainable; and to create a favourable
environment for the beneficiaries of land reform.

2.1 The Role of the State

Government intervention in agricultural marketing may be justified to
correct the failure of markets to operate competitively, and to compensate for
the effects of unconstrained market forces on patterns of production,
consumption, and assetand income distribution which are socially unacceptable.

International experience has shown that direct marketing and pricing controls
and state procurement frequently have unintended side-effects and can be too
costly to sustain. On the other hand, it is also clear that unrestrained market
forces cause instability and do little to redress the imbalances caused by past
policies. Consequently, alternative forms of intervention are required.

The ANC believes that the state has a vital role to play in upgrading rural
infrastructure to facilitate access to markets (especially in disadvantaged
areas), guaranteeing a floor price for certain strategic commodities, monitoring
and publishing market information and statistics, establishing and enforcing
laws to regulate trade (including enforceable contracts and standard weights and
measures), taking strong action against monopolistic or discriminatory
practices, improving access to credit, training (for example, in small business
and financial management, and co-operative formation), and intervening where the
private sector fails to achieve certain public interest objectives, such as
holding strategic grain reserves and stabilising prices.

Government intervention will therefore be directed at correcting market
failure and enhancing market efficiency. Actions to promote smallholder market
participation and access to services will be implemented as part of a broader
development strategy aimed at redressing the inequities of the past. Where a
need for government funding of marketing service provision for smallholders is
identified, the most efficient and effective delivery agency will be used, not
necessarily a government agency.

2.2 The Future of Marketing Controls and Institutions

The ANC will reform the legislative framework to provide a uniform regulatory
and legislative system for marketing throughout South Africa. The improved
provision of marketing services for smallholders does not depend on the
maintenance of controls or of a single-channel marketing system, although state
assistance for market development may still be required.

Smallholders are probably best served by encouraging a diversity of marketing
channels, and small-scale agricultural trading has important employment-creation
possibilities as well as providing the most efficient and flexible marketing
system for smallholder agriculture. The need to raise smallholder productivity
will be addressed by improving the availability of resources and services
(including land), rather than through generalised output or input subsidies. A
freer marketing environment is also likely to benefit the majority of existing
commercial farmers.

The removal of statutory controls does not preclude state support for
marketing development, or prevent government from influencing prices. However,
this support will be directed at the development of efficient marketing systems,
rather than at the control and suppression or displacement of alternative
marketing channels. More direct government involvement in or regulation of
certain commodities, at least on a transitional basis, may be justified on the
grounds of the size of the industry, the existence of monopoly power within the
marketing system, the commodity’s importance for food security, the nature of
world markets, or to promote agro-industrial linkages. It will therefore be
important to consider marketing and pricing interventions on a case-by-case

The ANC therefore intends to remove most of the remaining statutory powers of
all control boards. Export marketing reforms will be directed at allowing new
entrants to the market, enhancing competition and promoting marketing
efficiency. If producers and other industry participants wish to retain the
services of a marketing agency, this should be on a voluntary basis. Certain
statutory controls will need to be maintained for reasons of health and hygiene
and to enable the collection of data.

Uniform national pricing will effectively disappear, while a greater emphasis
will be placed on market forces, bringing domestic producer prices more in line
with international markets. For the more strategic commodities such as maize, a
state-supported marketing agency will be required to serve as the buyer of last
resort through the operation of a floor price system. The floor price would be
pitched at a low level, only slightly above export parity.

Additional functions of such a marketing agency would be to participate
actively in the market to provide competition with the private sector and
stabilise prices where necessary, to hold strategic reserves where appropriate,
and to perform market development activities to promote market access in
previously disadvantaged and neglected areas.

The composition of the National Marketing Board and individual control boards
will be made more representative of all interest groups in order to curtail the
institutionalised lobbying powers of producers.

2.3 Agricultural Marketing and Food Security

The ANC is committed to ensuring affordable and stable prices for the
basic foods of low income consumers as part of broader food security objectives
(See chapter on food security and food policy). With regard to agricultural
marketing and pricing, the ANC will enforce a strong competition policy to
counter the high degree of concentration in the marketing, processing and
retailing industries, and to ensure that public monopolies are not simply
replaced by private monopolies as the powers of the control boards are reduced.

The prices of certain strategic commodities will be closely monitored. Price
and margin controls will be considered to prevent abuse of monopoly power, but
attention will be focused on encouraging new entrants and competition.

2.4 Agricultural Marketing and Trade Policy

Most agricultural products in South Africa are protected by import
restrictions or prohibitive tariffs, such that domestic prices are typically
higher than world prices. The ANC favours the tariffication of import quotas to
encourage a more efficient structure of production, and to make the effects of
protection more transparent. The ANC also supports the long-term, phased
reduction of tariff protection, subject to a careful assessment of the effects
on employment, output growth and inter-sectoral linkages, in order to promote
greater competition and to encourage lower food prices. There will have to be an
accompanying process of tariff reduction and a relaxation of controls on the
importation of agricultural inputs.

The agricultural sector has considerable potential to generate export
revenues. Export incentives, limited to a specific time period and related to
performance, will be used to encourage such exports. Emphasis will be given to
processed agricultural commodities with higher degrees of value added.

Macro-economic policy will also be important to avoid sustained currency
over-valuation and to promote the competitiveness of South African agriculture.
A regional trade strategy for agriculture will be formulated in a way that is
sensitive to the needs and concerns of South Africa’s neighbours.

3. Agricultural Co-Operatives

Black farmers have historically been discriminated against both in terms of
formal and informal access to agricultural co-operatives, established in terms
of the Co-operatives Act of 1981 and the legislation that the Act repealed,
which in the commercial farming areas have served the interests of the white
commercial farming constituency.

Co-operatives have been featherbedded with soft loans, favourable tax
treatment and other statutory supports. White farmers enjoyed financing on
favourable terms from the Land Bank and the Agricultural Credit Board, much of
which was supported and channelled by co-operatives. Their function was to serve
as agents for some of the Control Boards as marketing organisations in their own
right, and as a channel for agricultural credit. Co-operatives are also fully
represented in the South African Agricultural Union.

The founding ideas of co-operative ownership, production, control, credit,
access to information, access to skills and markets for the mutual benefit of
members have generally fallen away. Co-operatives are big business and the 249
currently in existence have come to form a crucial part of South Africa’s
commercial agricultural economy. Their assets total some R14-billion, while
debts owed to them amounted to R3.9-billion, or 23 percent of total agricultural

Since 1976 there have been no statutory bars to black membership of
co-operatives,but the Land Acts, Agricultural Credit Board Act, and
discriminatory practices have largely excluded them. There are a number of
agricultural co-operatives in the homelands, but these are generally weak
institutions set up by government or parastatal agencies.

The ANC’s policy on commercial agricultural co-operatives is dependent on the
broader sectoral policies and practices with regard to farmers unions,
marketing, provision of agricultural support and agricultural credit/finance.
The ANC acknowledges the important structural position of agricultural
co-operatives in the rural economy in general and the agricultural sector in

The ANC is committed to encouraging the formation of co-operative structures
by enacting facilitating legislation and providing support services. Current
co-operatives established in terms of the Co-operatives Act of 1981 are a major
economic force in the agrarian economy, but have been built on apartheid
practices. If co-operatives continue in their present form, the status quo in
the rural areas will remain unchanged.

3.1 Access To Co-Operatives

In terms of the Act, agricultural co-operatives are administered and
run by the boards elected by their membership. The ANC will ensure that
co-operatives with racist or sexist membership criteria are prohibited from
receiving state assistance. People who have been discriminated against in the
past should gain membership of co-operatives on terms that will enable them to
make meaningful input into co-operative policy, management and administrative

The ANC will pass legislation making it easier for small farmers to create
co-operatives. These could involve formalities similar to those of close
corporations, giving them possible credit and bulk purchasing advantages. In
general, the present legislative and social environment does not encourage the
formation of diverse co-operative institutional forms. There is a vibrant
international experience, and literature that exists on co-operatives. The ANC
will provide research back-up for new co-operative forms in South Africa, as
well as giving them infrastructural, organisational and management support.

3.2 Co-Operatives as Non-Agricultural Businesses

In terms of the Co-operatives Amendment Act of 1993, a co-operative may act
as an agent for its members with respect to insurance; establish, take over or
acquire interests in companies; hire, buy, produce, let, sell or otherwise
supply any article of consumption; and render others services, including those
relating to buying, selling and leasing of agricultural property. Special
privileges enjoyed by agricultural co-operatives that have diversified beyond
the agricultural sector must be re-examined. The ANC believes that where
agricultural co-operatives have diversified beyond the agricultural sector, the
provisions of the Companies Act should apply to their structure and business
rather than provisions intended for co-operative agricultural organisation.

At present, co-operatives are precluded from acting as banks or as agents for
commercial banks, although a number of co-operatives have sufficient internal
assets to act as banks in their own right. The ANC believes the drift of
agricultural co-operatives towards banking must be subjected to the closest

The Land Bank and the Agricultural Credit Board, as lenders, enjoy
preferential rights as creditors if farmers or co-operatives are in financial
difficulty. This has the effect of limiting private sector involvement in
financing small and developing agriculture, and will have to be reviewed.

3.3 Marketing

The ANC’s policy is that the single-channel marketing systems that
have dominated agriculture, must go. Under the present marketing system
co-operatives act as the agents of a control board. The relaxation of marketing
controls will mean that other players will be able to freely compete with the

3.4 Secondary Production and Retailing

Co-operatives have acted as secondary producers, such as millers, for some
time. Some act as major rural supermarkets with the power to negotiate enormous
bulk discounts, and have merged as local monopolies in both supply and
purchasing. This may adversely affect small rural businesses including
co-operatives set up by emergent farmers. The monopolistic position, practices
and regulation that the co-operatives presently enjoy in regard to credit,
marketing and financial guarantees will be reviewed to encourage open economic

3.5 Assets

Certain of the assets of co-operatives were developed through state subsidies
and represent a public good, yet privately held. The ANC will formulate
appropriate policies in this regard.

3.6 Co-Operative Development

The ANC recognises the crucial importance of appropriate co-operative
structures that will assist in the creation of sustainable urban and rural
development. The emergence of co-operative organisation within housing,
production, trading, credit and service delivery will be facilitated. The policy
of the ANC is to encourage the formation of co-operative structures by enacting
facilitating legislation and providing support services.

4. Rural Finance and Credit

As land title is the most commonly accepted form of collateral, access to
formal credit has been extremely difficult to obtain for black people, who have
been historically disqualified from owning agricultural, residential or business
land. Transmission facilities for rural people are generally expensive and
unreliable, while saving facilities and instruments have not been mobilised that
recognise their unique needs.

White agriculture has been cossetted by grants, subsidies and cheap credit
provided by the state. These benefits have distorted the spatial profile of
rural areas, the form of rural towns, rural job opportunities and agricultural
production to their present unsustainable forms. State credit has funnelled huge
amounts of taxpayers’ money mostly to subsidise well-off borrowers, and to
induce them to take dubious farming decisions. From 1970 to 1986, when white
farmers borrowed at lower than the inflation rate, these subsidies encouraged
borrowing and increased financial vulnerability. Through the mechanisms of the
Marketing Control Boards, the Agricultural Credit Boards and other statutory
creations, black people were effectively excluded from involvement in
co-operatives and lost access to rich sources of agricultural finance.
Agricultural credit legislation protects farm borrowers from certain of their
creditors, making commercial banks reluctant to lend money to all but the bigger
farmers who fulfil their rigid collateral requirements.

Non-government organisations have recently started to offer various forms of
rural finance, but many are blocked by banking and deposit-taking legislation
designed to accommodate large corporations rather than a multiplicity of
targeted service providers. Stokvels, informal lenders and community-based
organisations lack financial skills and/or are too few or too small to fill the
gaps left by the formal sector. However, these financial actors play an
important role as part of the fabric of rural financial markets.

The ANC believes that finance in the form of both grants and credit is
necessary if spirals of rural poverty are to be broken. Financial instruments
are needed to enable farmers to obtain land, seasonal inputs, and farm capital;
rural entrepreneurs to engage in secondary production and the delivery of
services; rural people to buy, construct and improve their homes, to deal with
everyday expenditure and to cope with unforseen emergencies; and for the
delivery of natural disaster aid. Poor rural women in particular, should be
targeted as recipient of grants and credit, and mechanisms appropriate to their
needs should be developed. The implementation of the ANC’s RDP involves a huge
shift in production assistance to the rural poor. This programme will be
financed on the basis of sound fiscal policies to enable sustainable rural
financial institutions to emerge.

4.1 The Role of the State

The state should provide leadership and coordination for widely based
rural development and intervene directly in key areas. State resources and
skills will be needed for the imperatives identified by the RDP.

The state’s role in the financing of agriculture and rural development will
go beyond the creation of a favourable context within which the private sector
and other service providers can perform. The state must make available
information which will assist financial institutions and others to make rational
business decisions in rural areas. In addition, the state must focus its
attention on the developing farming sector. This does not imply neglect of large
farmers, which may benefit from the creation of an environment which helps the
developing sector. Financial policies are needed that will create an environment
in which enterprise, choice, the restructuring of agriculture and land
allocation will flourish.

The state will guide financiers of agriculture, create a stable lending
environment and enact legislation that will encourage new forms of rural
financing to emerge. State guarantee schemes will be developed to provide
finance to resource poor farmers.

4.2 Financial Services

The ANC believes that the emphasis must shift from the provision of
agricultural credit only to the provision of broad financial services in rural
areas. Credit will form an important part of state assistance to rural people
because it encourages productive resource use, gears up the state’s limited
financial capacity and gives the state leverage over the implementation of rural
development. Under the land reform programme, tens of thousands of rural people
will gain access to land. The poorest will receive grant and credit support to
gain access to land and working capital. Poor farmers also need grants and
credit for inputs, infrastructure and marketing capacity. The ratio of grant to
credit will be determined by careful evaluation of realisable debt servicing
levels. The RDP acknowledges the importance of both grants and credit as
development tools.

Experience has shown that “the formal financial sector” often fails
to provide sufficient loans to poor farmers, even for economically viable
operations. Subsidised rural credit goes to the larger farmers, fostering
dependency, default, bankrupted lending agencies, corruption and disturbed
patterns of farm and non-farm business. The ANC is committed to ending this
practice. Artificially cheap credit also greatly increases the demand for land,
raising its prices and making land reforms more expensive. Agricultural
subsidies should aim at improving access to resources. Criteria for
beneficiaries qualifying for grants should be transparent and widely publicised.
Financing should be structured in such a way that it does not fuel inflation.

Credit should be supplied at market-related interest rates, with limited
differentials and recognising those most in need of assistance. Public money
should be channelled, via appropriately regulated and competitive
intermediaries, to support acquisition and productive management of assets by
the rural poor. Such people often lack collateral. The experience of a wide
range of institutions locally and internationally indicates that very good loan
recovery is possible even where the beneficiary asset base is very small.
Collateral for small farmers might best be provided by an assessment of the
ability to repay, access to future loans and the borrowers’ integrity. The most
successful local intermediaries – and umbrella institutions – emphasise that
borrowers must also be helped to be savers and provided with a range of
financial services. Rural people need timely and fuss-free credit, delivered at
speed, and with repayment guaranteed. Conventional collateral, which they often
lack, should be replaced by a system structured for repayment and by efficient
administration and recovery procedures. Peer support in borrower groups is
important to secure benefits to, and repayments by, the rural poor. Incentive
measures for both borrowers and lending agency staff should encourage the
repayment of loans and the mobilisation of savings. Transaction costs in rural
areas are high in the formal sector and relatively low in the informal sector.

Meaningful partnerships might be entered into by linking the formal and
informal sectors to improve access to data and information, to share facilities
and resources. Savings must be viewed as an integral part of rural finance
policy. Savings create community ownership and control, generate data on
possible credit clients and provide an alternative base for funds. These savings
might be mobilised as deposits through appropriate and accessible instruments.
This should form part of a package of financial services, also including credit
and transmission facilities. Care should be taken to ensure that where savings
are primarily in ownership of cattle, that liquidating these assets does not
eliminate the major source of working capital. A two-way exchange of information
between borrowers and lenders should be encouraged so that potential customers
might be made aware of the total range of available financial services, while
entrepreneurs and business should be in a position to make rational business
decisions rather then decisions based on fear and prejudice.

4.3 Appropriate forms of Rural Finance

South Africans must develop their own models of rural financing based
on local, district, regional and national practices and economic conditions. All
existing and any proposed credit, market and input subsidies will have to be
reviewed in the light of the conventions of the Uruguay round of the General
Agreement of Trade and Tariffs.

4.4 Institutions

The roles of the Land Bank, the Agricultural Credit Board, the Development
Bank of Southern Africa, the Independent Development Trust, the Regional
Development Corporations, regional agricultural banks and other public sector
financiers, together with their enabling legislation, regulations and practices,
will be evaluated in terms of the above principles. The imperatives of the
credit policy are clear. Credit subsidies and bail-outs to help commercial
farmers retain land must stop. Public finance institutions should rapidly begin
to redirect grants and lending towards poor farmers, including part-time
farmers, in consultation with local communities.

4.5 A Rural Finance Enquiry

The ANC is committed to ensuring adequate and efficient flows of credit of
all farms and other rural enterprises in order to develop livelihoods, jobs and
agricultural production.

The present rural credit system is both inequitable and inefficient. There is
an urgent need to restructure and broaden the existing finance network to allow
both small and large farmers, other enterprises and individuals adequate and
efficient access to financial services. The ANC will set up a Rural Finance
Enquiry within the first 100 days. It will contain specialists from South Africa
and advisors from abroad. The Enquiry will be mandated to submit a report, to
the Government and for full publication, within six months of appointment. This
report will inform the structure and policies of the Government of National

5. Farmworkers

South Africa’s estimated 1.2-million farmworkers, 64,000 forestry workers and
26,000 fishery workers and their families make up about 20 percent of the South
African population. State policy must take account of their interests and
contribute to securing a better life for them. The ANC aims to harness
farmworkers’ full potential in the agricultural, forestry and fisheries sectors
and society at large, while striving towards equity in access to power and
resources. The ANC will encourage the increased and meaningful participation of
farm workers in management, as well as in local, provincial and national
decision-making structures and processes. It will protect farmworkers’ rights
and foster the growth of their organisations, widen the focus of extension work
to improve their skills and knowledge, promote improved labour practices by
farmers, and address their needs for secure housing, services and access to land
for independent production.

5.1 A Farmworkers’ Office

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries must aim to achieve the
objectives set out above. To achieve this, the ANC believes a Farmworkers’
Office should be established to co-ordinate the Ministry’s efforts and to liaise
with other ministries. In the absence of diverse institutions in the rural
areas, and because the workplace is central to farmworkers’ lives, the Ministry
has an important responsibility for ensuring a better life for farmworkers.

5.2 Extension And Training

Agricultural extension has in the past focused on the upper management on
farms. This focus must be widened to include extension to farmworkers and should
include information on their labour and organisational rights. In providing
extension to farmers, attention must be given to proper labour relations
practices as well as labour, health and safety legislation. Education and
training will raise productivity, raise workers’ bargaining power and open new
opportunities for them. Training facilities for farmworkers and the content of
training programmes will be improved, as well as access to training. The state
must intervene at a national and local level to achieve this. Such training
programmes must be complementary and integrated into the national education and
training system. The ANC will ensure that farmworkers have a realisable right of
access to technical training. Because literacy is so important in achieving
improved training, the Ministry should liaise with the education ministry to
ensure that in its basic adult education programme, farmworkers are targeted.

5.3 Housing and Land

Policy on housing and land reform must address farmworkers’ right to decent
housing, services and security of tenure, fair housing practices enforceable by
law and assistance in establishing farmworkers’ rights to land. The ANC believes
that farmers have had to carry too heavy a burden in providing social and
housing services, and that the state must assist. More specifically, all
farmworker households should have the right to secure tenure to residential
sites and land for household food security, such as vegetable plots and grazing
land. In the context of a national housing policy, urgent attention must be
given to the establishment of villages, wherever viable, with secure tenure for
people engaged in farm labour. In this process, it must be ensured that existing
rights of farmworkers are not undermined. To achieve these aims, farmworkers
must gain rights to land. This could be achieved through direct agreements
between farmers and farmworkers, through negotiation between the government and
farmers or through expropriation, where necessary. The Ministry should liaise
with the housing ministry to ensure that sufficient housing funds are allocated
for the implementation of this policy. Farmers’ control over farm dwellers’
private lives, including who may live with them and who may have access to them,
will be restricted. Legislation will prohibit farmers from requiring work from
any person sharing a house with a farmworker, and will render such provisions in
agreements of no force and effect. In the implementation of the land reform
policy, the position of farmworkers must be considered. As potential
beneficiaries, labour tenants and evicted labour tenants will be given priority.
Land reform legislation should also require that, where farmworkers are
adversely affected, they are given an opportunity to put their views before
final decisions are taken and be compensated where equity demands it.

5.4 Labour and Organisation Rights

In allocating state resources or benefits to farmers, large and small,
their compliance with labour and other social legislation and their record on
treatment of farmworkers’ unions will be considered. However, the primary
responsibility for establishing and enforcing labour and organisational rights
for workers lies with the Ministry of Labour. The Agriculture Ministry must
liaise with the Ministry of Labour to ensure that farmworkers’ rights, as set
out in ANC policy, are entrenched in law and effectively enforced. Effective
organisation is the main guarantee of rights, and is essential for achieving
social and political participation by rural people. To achieve the ANC’s
objective of a flowering of independent rural and farmworkers’ organisations,
the Agriculture Ministry will ensure that representatives of farmworkers’
organisations sit on relevant structures for which the Agriculture Ministry is
responsible, encourage participatory planning and implementation with rural
people in a way that will give them a real voice, actively encourage the
organisation of farmworkers and other rural people, contribute to building the
capacity of farmworker organisations, encourage the manpower department to
commit resources to this, and ensure the co-ordination of state support to
organisations of farmworkers and rural people, possibly through a special

5.5 Health and Safety

Health and Safety regulations applicable to farms must be reviewed jointly by
the ministries of manpower, agriculture, forestry and fisheries to ensure that
protection is afforded, and is appropriate and user-friendly. The necessary
resources and staff should be provided to enforce safety regulations.

5.6 Social Services

A comprehensive range of social services must be provided for farmworkers
equivalent to those for other South Africans. The Ministry should ensure that
rural public works programmes to address structural and seasonal unemployment,
and develop rural infrastructure and services where most needed by farmworkers.
This requires consultation and participation of farmworkers.

6. Drought Management and Relief

The drought policy of the government has historically been to protect the
productive capacity of large-scale farmers. Very little has been done to assist
rural people affected by drought. After the severe drought of 1991/92, for
example, R3.5-billion was provided to help large farmers, of which R130-million
was earmarked for agriculture and employment projects in the homelands. The poor
are most vulnerable to drought, as they cannot obtain food if their crops fail
or if they lose farm work. Water shortages also affect them most deeply.

To reduce their exposure to drought in the long term, rural development will
be needed to raise employment and productivity. In the short term the ANC will
have to improve the relief programmes available to poor people affected by
drought. In addition, large farmers assured of drought relief have done little
to ensure they farm in a sustainable manner, taking risks by planting unsuitable
crops or failing to destock. This has led to over-cultivation and degradation of
land. It has also led to excessive dependence of the sector on the state, and
has undermined the financial viability of many farmers.

Little has been done to deal with the water problems of rural people. In the
1992 drought, water shortages were the most serious difficulty facing large
numbers of homeland residents in the Transvaal, Natal and the Eastern Cape. The
ANC believes that with the proper management of water supplies, and development
efforts aimed at increasing productive employment and reducing poverty,
vulnerability to drought can be greatly reduced.

With well-designed monitoring and appropriate relief services that reinforce
the coping strategies of the poor and support their long-term livelihoods, we
can ensure that those still affected by drought can be identified and helped.
The ANC is committed to developing coherent water policies based on the right of
all people to secure and clean water supplies in all years. Drought is the norm
rather than the exception in South Africa. Relief programmes should be
permanently in place and expanded at times of special hardship. Standing systems
are needed to help us know who is affected by drought, and whether they need

6.1 An Early Warning System

A system similar to those in Botswana and Zimbabwe, and linked to them, must
be installed in South Africa to monitor the effects of adverse weather
conditions and other factors on crop and livestock conditions, rural incomes and
land utilisation and degradation. No such system currently exists in the
homelands. Information on rainfall levels, satellite imagery, farm dam levels,
veld and livestock condition, crop forecasts, food and livestock prices and
agricultural reports from around the country would also be useful. Poverty must
also be monitored, as well as how the poor are affected by drought and other
factors, such as recession and lay-offs in the mining sector. Nutrition
statistics will be essential. Water needs and local supplies in all parts of the
country must also be monitored on a continuous basis. Such monitoring will help
in the targeting of relief programmes, thus reducing their cost. It is
recommended that the Early Warning System (EWS) be placed within the Directorate
of Rural Development within the Ministry of Local Government, Planning and
Development at both national and regional levels. This would also be the
appropriate location for drought relief co-ordination. The EWS unit should
remain small, since all data will be secured from the appropriate ministerial
information systems.

6.2 Appropriate Relief Programmes

In 1993, the government admitted that the National Nutrition and Development
Programme (NNSDP) was not working. Because of corruption, food often goes to the
less needy; in 1992/93 most of the NNSDP food went to people in urban areas. And
because there is no Early Warning System, food relief is usually badly targeted.
Food relief which is not coupled to development also leads to dependency, and in
remote areas, has encouraged people not to buy from local stores, which risk
bankruptcy. These stores are needed for quick recovery after drought. Rather
than providing food, the ANC believes that it is better to provide jobs and
incomes to the poor.

Until the recovery of the economy, which may take some years, the best way to
do this is through public works programmes, such as the provision of rural
infrastructure. Works programmes can also be used to improve conservation and
environmental protection, both at a communal level and at farm level to
encourage water harvesting. Community participation in the management of
projects will help ensure that diversification of incomes, which is often the
major coping strategy of the poor, is not threatened. Villagers, for example,
may prefer to work half days for reduced incomes, allowing for other productive

6.3 Access to Water

Sixteen million rural South Africans are estimated to be without operative
water supplies. Yet farmers are permitted to draw as much water as they like
from dams and boreholes without paying for it, depleting underground and river
supplies. Also problematic has been the poor maintenance of water resources and
equipment in the homelands by the various homeland departments of water affairs.
The result has been perpetual crisis management, such as the costly
transportation of water to villages in tankers.

The South African Department of Water Affairs is mainly concerned to provide
water to the cities. Considerable public funds have been used on dams and
infrastructure so that water can be drawn from as far as the Free State, Natal,
(and soon Lesotho) to the PWV, bypassing those who live in those areas and lack
adequate water. In addition, there has been little attempt to monitor villages
whose water resources have dried up. Because the Drought Forum was not able to
obtain information on where the major problems were in 1992, it spent several
months conducting surveys before starting relief.

A major review of the criteria by which areas will be categorised as drought
stricken is urgently required. The ANC considers access by all people to minimum
levels of clean water a basic right, and in its Reconstruction and Development
Programme has outlined comprehensive plans for meeting needs for water and
sanitation in all areas in all years. Further planning is required to create
structures in rural areas that will allow rural people more control of the
planning, and to ensure that the Department of Water Affairs improves its
monitoring system so that it can respond to water losses during the dry season
and droughts.

6.4 Drought Management in Agriculture

The arguments of large scale commercial farmers for subsidies during drought
to protect “productive assets” should be treated with scepticism.
Drought subsidies have contributed to inappropriate farm practices in many areas
which are destructive of the environment and have increased the vulnerability of
farms to drought. Farmers must be encouraged to farm more judiciously and
without massive cost to the state within the real conditions of their
environment, and this requires removal of all direct subsidisation. This does
not remove the onus on the state to provide assistance to those affected by
natural and other disasters.

In the large-scale farming sector, the removal of subsidies is likely to lead
to less intensive technologies, in line with international trends, which will
reduce the damage to the environment. The ANC is committed to advising farmers
on the best use of their land according to the seasonal weather forecasts.
Rainfall is the most important determinant of farm productivity in South Africa.
Much can be done by government to improve both the meteorological forecasts,
which are currently provided in a confusing manner by competing academic
establishments using different models. Agro-meteorological advice offered to
farmers, still very limited in South Africa, can also be improved.

The ANC will also support conservationist techniques through the careful
choice of public works programmes that support improved water and land use, and
possibly also through subsidisation of on-farm conservationist activities,
particularly in drought years. The small farm sector will be greatly assisted by
the integration of agricultural markets throughout the country, in line with ANC

7. Agricultural Extension Services

Since 1910, government policy has systematically marginalised black farmers
by depriving them of land and denying them the state services and financial
assistance extended to white farmers. Apartheid policies reinforced this by
maintaining the homelands as labour reserves for white industrial and
agricultural employers. As a result, agriculture is not a primary source of
income for rural blacks. Traditional systems of production have been degraded
and destroyed, and agricultural skills have been lost. Farming methods promoted
by the government for blacks have been simplistic, limiting and destructive of
the resource base and rural society.

The ANC believes that rural people themselves must be responsible for the
effective management of their land, and that it is their democratic right to
determine what forms of agricultural enterprise to engage in. The role of the
state should be to establish a policy framework within which services to
farmers, and incentives for them, support wise decision-making about the use of
resources for agricultural production. It should not impose economic models and
systems of production.

The ANC’s land reform programme will enable many people to return to the land
– but if resettled farmers do not have access to a range of support services,
they will not survive. Extension services will have a key role to play,
providing farmers not only with technical advice, but helping them plan,
co-operate and gain access to the resources they need. It is often assumed that
the “emergent farmers” – typically male, wealthier than their
neighbours and well placed to capture resources – are the logical target of
agricultural assistance, and that the state’s role should be to advance them
from subsistence to commercial farming. This constituency should be served, but
not at the expense of other, less prominent producers.

The conventional idea of extension is that the fruits of science should be
extended to the farmer, who is not formally educated and therefore ignorant. It
is assumed that outsiders know both the farmer’s problems and their solutions.
Internationally, such extension approaches have not been successful – leading to
more people-centred methods being adopted into extension programmes. In a
democratic South Africa, the aim should be to ensure effective service delivery
while giving more power and greater equality to rural people. The present
agricultural service approach is paternalistic, and needs to be changed.
Democratic government will bring traumatic change to the agricultural service
sector. In each new province the resources of national and homeland departments
of agriculture will be united in new regional agriculture departments. The staff
of these new departments will have to be re-orientated, presenting unique
opportunities for reform.

7.1 A New Approach to Extension Services

The ANC believes that a farmer-driven, as opposed to state-driven approach
must be central to new policy. Services should seek to build on people’s
knowledge and work with them to find locally acceptable and sustainable
solutions. Communities must be involved in assessing their needs and analysing
ways in which constraints can be overcome with the resources available to them.

Under the ANC’s Reconstruction and Development Programme, many of the
problems faced by rural people will be tackled for the first time. To maximise
the benefits and minimise costs, rural development will have to be co-ordinated
at the national, provincial and local levels. Priorities for research programmes
should be set in consultation with farmers, rather than by the research
institutes, as has historically been the case. Support will be given to the
development of farmer-orientated research programmes, and programmes should
include on-farm work with small farmers. Training programmes in participatory
development must be started at all levels. And to boost the training capacity of
the provinces, a small, mobile national resource institution must be

To reduce costs and improve the learning environment, services should be
given to groups of farmers within a community. “Cadres” of Community
Agricultural Facilitators should be set up and trained to provide accessible and
locally accountable advice to their communities. Ideally chosen in conjunction
with the communities they will serve, they should be people with their own
farming enterprises able to offer services on a part-time basis. It is vital
that extension officers should serve in their primary role as advisers and
facilitators, and that they should not perform other functions of agriculture
departments in rural communities, such as providing inputs and enforcing laws.

7.2 Accountability and Management

Farmer organisation is only strong among white farmers, who have been able to
exercise influence far beyond their numbers. The ANC believes organisation among
black farmers must be promoted and supported. The ANC also believes that Local
Agricultural Councils (LACs) must be established and developed with
institutional support to co-ordinate farming activities within their areas of
jurisdiction and thus control extension services. These should comprise
representatives of farmer associations, provincial department of agriculture
staff, staff of the Directorate of Rural Development and elected representatives
of local government, and should include other players in the local government
area such as researchers, private sector extension workers and the staff of
agricultural NGOs. Institutional support for the setting up and development of
LACs could come from the relevant department of agriculture or the staff of the
Directorate of Rural Development.

The role of the national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
will be one of creating an “enabling environment” for the provision of
appropriate services in the provinces. Among other things, it must ensure that
resources are available for training and the development of policy within
provincial governments and departments. At provincial level, responsibility for
providing extension services must rest with the provincial department of
agriculture and environmental conservation. This department should also be
responsible for research. Each department must ensure that LACs are functioning
effectively; that training in technical skills and participatory agricultural
development is available to the department staff, village extension workers and
farmers; and that specialist resources of the department such as research
findings are effectively used to meet the needs identified by LACs. Community
Agricultural Facilitators should be accountable only to the Department of
Agriculture through the local LAC.

Extensive training and retraining of existing extension staff will be
undertaken to improve their skills and change their attitudes, so that they can
operate effectively under a democratic government. Training will emphasise the
change from “top-down” service provision to a “bottom-up”
approach in which farmers themselves set the agenda. Training should also
include traditional, low-input methods of production.

7.3 Gender

Most agricultural producers are women, but their role has not been recognised
or supported. The ANC believes that the role of women within the rural economy
must be boosted, and that extension programmes must be sensitive to their needs.
Affirmative action will be needed within agriculture departments to ensure that
extension officers and senior department staff reflect the number of women
producers. All agricultural personnel will need to undergo training to help them
appreciate the special problems of rural women, both in production and in
obtaining training and information.

7.4 Finances

The total budget for extension services in the 1994 financial year may
have to be increased so that effective services can be rendered to previously
disadvantaged small-scale farmers, in line with the RDP. It is envisaged that
large-scale farmers will increasingly be served by the private sector, but the
state will have a role to play in this regard.

7.5 Other Aspects

The ANC sees a role for non-government organisations as providers of
lower-cost, “people-centred” farming development. Policy must enable
local government institutions to contract their services. The ANC also believes
that a national think-tank should be created to develop agricultural policy in
general and extension policy in particular. This would formulate policy in
collaboration with farmer organisations and be linked with provincial
governments and their departments.

8. Agricultural Research

South Africa boasts Africa’s best agricultural research system, best
scientific standards, the highest returns relative to money spent, and the most
stable and best motivated staff. Yet that research system, which is 70 percent
funded by taxpayers and which absorbs over a quarter of public research funding,
is almost entirely geared to the needs of the richest five percent of white
commercial farmers, is unaccountable to its clients, especially its poor
clients, for its plans, work or results, and is closed to public scrutiny in the
way it uses resources and sets priorities.

The “economic rate of return ” of all agricultural research in
South Africa since the mid-1970s has been at least 50 percent. In other words,
every R100 spent on agricultural research is offset by at least R500 of extra
net farm output. Research needs to be re-orientated to serve the 95 percent of
farmers who are poor, black, mostly part-time, and often women, farming small
areas of land, as well as poor and undernourished consumers of food and fibres
and those in rural employment, or seeking it. This turn-around needs to be
achieved while preserving, or even improving, the high scientific and economic
quality of research in both university and private sector research and training
institutions and the institutions of the Agricultural Research Council, which
carry out 60 percent of the country’s research work.

The ANC believes that agricultural research must be redirected towards
improving returns and reducing risk for the production methods and farming
systems feasible for small farmers. At present, only 2.5 percent of publicly
funded research is directed to the needs of deficit and emerging farmers,
farmworkers and undernourished people. The ANC intends to raise this figure to
50 percent by the year 2000. This means that about half our publicly funded
research will continue to support commercial farming and long-term strategic and
environmental research. However, commercial farmers already pay for
private-sector research. The ANC endorses proposals to recover costs of about 30
percent of public-sector research – that is, about 60 percent of research costs
for commercial farmers – by 2000. Long-term strategic and environmental research
will continue to require taxpayers’ support, as will most research for small and
poor farmers.

8.1 The Agricultural Research Council

The Agricultural Research council will be reconstituted by March 1995
to represent the interests of major clients, in order to indicate,and support
with incentive funds, research strategies and priorities for all publicly
supported research, rather than exclusively those of its “member”
institutes. Such institutes, and other clients for public research money, will
increasingly have to compete for public funds administered by ARC. The ANC
proposes that a proportion of ARC funding, to increase from 10 percent in
1996/97 to 33 percent in 2000, will be opened to competitive tender by
universities, private researchers, and ARC and other institutes. The ARC will
publish criteria for awarding these research grants, which will take into
account the views of poor farmers, workers and consumers.

The reconstituted council will represent small farmers and farmworkers, as
well as commercial farmers, grass-roots organisations, relevant sections of
government, and experts in the nutritional, socio-economic and agro-scientific
areas. The reconstituted council will appoint a reconstituted management
committee chaired by the president, to include directors of all the ARC
institutes, as well as an eminent black researcher or agriculturist from outside
to advise on small farm issues. This should be broadened to include a rural
sociologist and an active FSR-E worker. This committee will review funding,
research and management priorities, draft ARC strategic plans, and report to the

Each ARC institute shall appoint a Director’s Advisory Group to be chaired by
the institute director, representing poor and other clients as well as relevant
experts, to advise on research strategy. The council and its member institutes
should spell out their strategies, priories, and targets in published,
“rolling” five-year plans, and should be subject to five-year outside
evaluations, as is normal for other national and international agricultural
research institutes. The preparation and monitoring of plans, and supporting
budget applications, should be guided by Director’s Advisory Groups.

8.2 Rationalisation

To rationalise ARC institutes, the ANC proposes to conduct feasibility
studies into the possible merger of the Potchefstroom centres of the Grain Crop
Research Institute, as well as the Roodeplaat Grasslands Institute and the Irene
Animal Production Institute. The ANC will also investigate increasing
cost-recovery and/or outside funding of the Tobacco and Cotton Research
Institute to 79 percent by the end of 1995/96, as well as the re-ordering,
combining and relocating of its numerous sub-stations to predominantly black
farming areas, and the relocation of most of the statisticians in agricultural
research institutes.

To integrate agricultural research, each ARC institute requires at least one
economist, one rural sociologist and several require a nutritionist, an
agricultural engineer, or a hydrologist. The separate research facilities in the
Department of Agriculture – in which, by historical accident, these specialist
are now confined and isolated – will be integrated with the ARC institutes.

8.3 Affirmative Action

To strengthen and democratise agricultural research, the ANC proposes
a steady increase in black professionals in the ARC system, from the current
three to 100 by the year 2000. This will require the strengthening of black
research representation in both historically white universities, which must
learn much more about small farming, and historically black universities, which
will need more resources for research and training researchers. We propose a
three-way alliance between each black university, a corresponding white
university, and a foreign university to achieve these ends. Language
requirements for entry to the white universities needs review. By 1996/7, no
student, if proficient in any South African national language, should be refused
entry to a degree course.

8.4 Research Priorities

Research in future should also concentrate rain harvesting, water
capture and the efficient use of water, especially in small-scale farming; and
land and water-mapping and farm output data for areas now farmed mainly by
blacks. Also required are a more systems-orientated, participatory approach;
screening of existing research results, especially through on-farm trials;
research on the sustainability of small farmer systems, mixed crops, sheep and
goats; on the constraints and opportunities of communal tenure; on the special
needs of women; on peri-urban farms; and on urban agriculture.

8.5 Research-Extension Linkages

To ensure effective technology delivery systems, procedural and structural
linkage mechanisms need to be established at national and provincial level.
Provision for this should be included in the ARC five-year rolling strategic

9. Animal Health and Production

The composition and function of the animal health and production services in
South Africa reflect the legacy of apartheid. Services have been almost wholly
confined to serving white commercial farmers and domestic pet owners in white
areas. In addition, the veterinary profession has largely worked in isolation
from other disciplines – notably the agricultural and medical professions.
Animal production by commercial farmers is average to poor, and lags behind
those of developing countries. Disease and production services need to be seen
not merely as curative, but as a comprehensive package aimed at production
stimulation, disease control, epidemiological monitoring and the alleviation of
hunger and poverty. This dictates a multidisciplinary approach, and in
particular close co-operation between the animal health and production
profession and the human health profession. The veterinary and animal health and
production professions can contribute to increased production of food and fibre,
socio-economic upliftment and job creation. The ANC will ensure the necessary
infrastructural and budgetary adjustments to make this possible.

9.1 The Environment

Animal production is the major form of land use in rural South Africa.
As part of the Reconstruction and Development Programme, the ANC’s veterinary
and animal production policy aims to promote sustainable land use. Animal health
and production services must therefore treat as a priority their role in
livestock health, production and management, which all directly influence land
use and conservation. The ANC will support the formulation of policy and
legislation that encourage a holistic approach to resource management. These
policies will govern the State Veterinary Service, guide private practitioners
and animal producers, and encourage the establishment of rural veterinary

9.2 Livestock Production and Marketing Services

The State Veterinary Service has been responsible for exercising
regulatory control over notifiable livestock diseases in South Africa. In
developed areas of the country, it has been very successful in controlling and,
in some cases, eradicating dangerous diseases. The State Veterinary Services
have also assisted with the provision of services which have enhanced production
in developed areas. However, in the underdeveloped areas of South Africa there
is inadequate control of disease due to a shortage of animal health and
production personnel, poor extension programmes and inadequate resources. The
ANC wants to see the maintenance and expansion of livestock production and the
establishment of an appropriate marketing system. But the biggest challenge will
be to ensure expanded livestock production by small-scale farmers and in
underdeveloped areas, which will bring advantages in increasing total production
of food and fibre, and higher incomes for livestock owners. This will mean the
creation of more posts for full-time and part-time state veterinarians and
animal health officers, both on a fulltime and part-time basis.

9.3 Utility and Domestic Animals

The ANC believes primary health care for animals must be cheap and
accessible. Such a health care programme should be linked to an educational
programme. The provision of sophisticated clinical services and diagnostic
laboratory services should be the responsibility of the private sector and the
full costs of such services should be borne by the owner. The state will,
however provide essential diagnostic services. Companion animals are kept as
pets in the upper and middle-income sectors of society, and private
veterinarians should be able to provide for pet owners’ needs. In lower-income
groups companion animals are often kept for more strictly utilitarian purposes,
for example to protect property. The absence or inadequacy of cheap and
accessible primary health care services for companion animals pose a number of
problems: a zoonotic threat; a negative impact on livestock production
(particularly with respect to diseases of economic importance in which dogs and
cats form part of the cycle of infection); and an overpopulation of dogs and
cats, which places a burden on limited food supplies.

9.4 Public Health

Veterinary public health activities in South Africa are
underdeveloped, and the ANC believes that the knowledge, expertise and resources
of the animal health and production profession can be better used to protect and
improve human health. In particular, veterinary public health personnel should
form part of a multidisciplinary team whose main aim should be the control and
eradication of diseases spread by animals, the monitoring of food hygiene
processes and the securing of safe water resources for human and animal
consumption and the production and processing of food. In particular, the
provision of food safe for human consumption requires the co-operation of the
medical profession and animal health services. Legislation controlling public
health is fragmented and needs re-organisation. Certain regulations are
impractical, given conditions in poor communities, while others are insufficient
and/or inadequately implemented.

9.5 Veterinary Pharmaceuticals

The ANC supports the control of veterinary pharmaceuticals by a single
body, namely the Department of Agriculture. Pharmaceutical products posing an
environmental or human health hazard should be administered and monitored by
animal health officers in co-operation with other professions. Some of these
products are basic health care products, meaning that such services should be
cheap and accessible. The availability of highly scheduled pharmaceuticals to
farmers must be controlled.

9.6 Research

The ANC’s view is that the priorities of research should include all aspects
of economic food production, all aspects of food safety and quality, and the
protection of human health. To allow research to make the greatest possible
contribution to socio-economic upliftment, consideration will be given to the
expansion of appropriate research work, particularly at local level and within a
multi-disciplinary framework. The ANC believes that the beneficiaries of
research must be involved in its planning and implementation from the outset.
Epidemiology and the socio-economic realities of our country should have a
strong influence in setting priorities for research. This must also be placed in
the context of national research initiatives.

9.7 Training

The ANC believes the training of veterinarians and animal health and
production workers must meet local needs, as well as being sustainable,
cost-effective and of the highest standard. The number of animal health and
production workers must be greatly increased, so that basic animal health
services are provided at local level. The ANC supports the view that
post-graduate training should form the basis of specialisation and involve a
research component.

9.8 Infrastructure

The ANC will encourage the expansion of primary veterinary services.
It is envisaged that veterinary personnel will be integrated into the existing
structures of the Department of Agriculture, and will be part of
multidisciplinary teams at local level which will address the needs of
particular communities and play a role in the socio-economic upliftment of
deprived groups.

10. Natural Resource Management

In South Africa, natural resources needed for agriculture – land and water –
are very unevenly distributed. Less than 10 percent of land is of high potential
for arable farming, and less than three percent of arable land is irrigable.
Some 80 percent of all agricultural production comes from fewer than 25 percent
of farms in the country, largely reflecting the distribution of natural
resources. Land reform will be an important mechanism to ensure that land is
utilised to meet the agricultural and forestry needs of the country. South
Africa’s environment is harsh and requires careful management, and policy and
farming practice has caused large-scale environmental damage. Overgrazing and
the over-utilisation of indigenous forests for fuelwood in the homelands, the
result of apartheid policies, have produced significant degradation. On
commercial farms, severe degradation has resulted from injudicious land-use
planning. Pricing policies providing incentives to produce in the absence of a
market for the product, ill-considered subsidies, monocultures, and the overuse
of fertilisers and pesticides, have all resulted in widespread degradation and
higher production costs over time. Large areas of natural grazing in South
Africa can also be considered degraded. Tenure systems are not the issue. In the
Karoo, for example, private property has fuelled degradation in an environment
where open-range management may be more suitable. In the homelands, there is no
strong evidence to indicate a causal relationship between tribal or communal
land management and degradation. Agriculture has degraded many sensitive
environmental resources such as wetlands, indigenous bush along water courses,
or the edges of river banks, even though these play a crucial role in
maintaining the quality and stability of agricultural land. Recognising that
conservation is an important state function, past governments have adopted some
well-meaning policies, including support to commercial farmers for conservation
works, “betterment” programmes in the homelands and policies to
increase farm sizes as a way of improving land-use practices. But policy has
often been contradictory and ineffective. In general, natural resource
conservation has tended to focus too strongly on conservation works and not
enough on improving land use practices and farming systems.

The ANC believes that future policy must protect the environment while
treating farmers and land-users, whether private farmers or communities on
tribal lands, as custodians of the land. To this end, improved extension
services are needed, as well as a shift away from technical solutions to ones
which involve the direct participation of farming communities. The department of
Water Affairs and Forestry, Environmental Affairs and the Parks Boards, and the
Department of Agriculture all have some role in resource conservation.
Legislation administered by the departments is fragmented and unco-ordinated,
and an ANC government will seek to correct this. Natural resource management
policy must seek to ensure that the quality and potential of natural resources
is maintained, and that current users maintain or improve their quality. An ANC
government will adopt an integrated approach to rural land-use management, with
a view to achieving the optimal use of agricultural land in the context of an
equitable distribution of resources, efficient use and environmental
sustainability. The approach should form part of a general land reform and rural
development strategy. To implement policy at local level, the ANC will
investigate the formation of a system of local catchment committees as a key
institution for natural resource management. The committees will be assisted by
a national catchment management commission.

10.1 An Integrated Strategy

Greater interdepartmental exchange between the departments of water,
forestry, agriculture and environment will be enforced so that environmental
matters may be viewed holistically. In addition, the Department of Environment
will be granted greater constitutional powers to ensure that natural resources
under the supervision of the respective departments are managed in an
environmentally sustainable way. Agriculture, forestry and nature conservation
will be part of an integrated land use management strategy to promote rural
economic upliftment. All natural resource management should be conducted on the
basis of broad consultative forums.

10.2 Land Tenure And Conservation

THE ANC will ensure secure land tenure, in order to encourage
sustainable land use practice. It will establish a national data base on the
extent of land degradation and will remove subsidies that encourage unfavourable
land use patterns. The Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (43 of 1983)
is fairly extensive as a piece of legislation aimed at protecting valuable soil.
However, it lacks enforcement powers and has on many occasions failed to bring
offenders to book. The ANC will correct this. It will also examine conservation
law to ensure that it addresses the needs not only of large-scale commercial
farmers, but the needs of all land users. The ANC will also investigate the
annual loss of some 20,000 ha of arable land to urban sprawl. Also in urgent
need of attention is non-point pollution associated with improper irrigation and
fertilisation practices, which are rapidly impoverishing valuable agricultural
land, soil and nutrients. Extension services will encourage production through
conservation programmes, thereby adopting a holistic approach to agriculture and

10.3 Water Regulation

Water, a scarce resource in South Africa, will require greater state
intervention to ensure that basic needs of the poor are met. Furthermore, water
resource management in southern Africa is a trans-national issue and will
require the involvement of South Africa in future water protocols in the region.
The efficient use of water will be of benefit to the region as a whole. Current
water law favours riparian and private water rights – 65 percent of water in
South Africa is in private hands. In addition, the Water Act favours the
development of commercial irrigation without due consideration for the needs of
small-scale farmers and rural communities. The Water Act will be reviewed to
ensure greater equity in the distribution of water. Current water rights will be
replaced with a water licensing system. The ANC will re-examine water rights in
land title deeds. The ANC will also investigate improved monitoring of the
quality and quantity of water. Under the Water Act, the state is only able to
carry out this task on what are loosely defined as “public streams”.
The ANC will also review water subsidies in the form of reduced water supply
tariffs, which have encouraged over-irrigation and deterred research into
alternative crops with low water demands. Water subsidies will be structured to
ensure that the misuse of water is not encouraged. Of concern to the ANC is the
fact that about 30 percent of irrigation water used in agriculture is lost
before it reaches irrigable land. A mere one percent of this would suffice to
meet the basic needs of nine million people.

10.4 Forestry

At present commercial and social forestry are separate entities in
terms of their institutional arrangements. To create a fairer balance, the ANC
will bring both under a national forestry plan. Afforestation schemes have major
implications for water catchment areas, as trees are efficient users of water.
Commercial forestry has also been implicated in increased soil erosion, soil
compaction and acidification. The ANC will ensure that the environmental cost of
commercial forestry is audited to ensure that practice is in line with a
national resource management strategy. Current afforestation permit allocations
will be reviewed. Forestry can play an important role in the introduction of
multi-purpose land use schemes, which suit the needs of small farming units.
Social forestry and agroforestry will be promoted to meet rural development
needs and as part of a multi-landuse practice. Paper mills associated with
forestry schemes emit uncontrolled levels of pollution. The ANC believes
monitoring should be tightened and fines more strictly enforced.

10.5 Nature Conservation

Nature conservation has historically entailed the exclusion of
indigenous people from conservation areas, while conservation bodies have a
record of “top-down” decision-making. Conservation should be linked to
regional or local development, and conservation parks should be viable economic
entities, managed jointly with neighbouring communities. Parks should not be
seen to be “elite preserves”, but should be accessible to all
communities as a way of promoting greater respect for the natural environment.
The ANC will bring National Parks policy under review at the national,
provincial and local level. It will seek to ensure that the National Parks
Board, which is autonomous from the state, is more representative of the broader
communities living in conservation areas. A more integrated policy, taking
account of community interests, will be pursued. National parks could be an
important source of income, water, grazing land, food and fuel for black people
in the vicinity. The participation of local communities in developing ecotourism
will ensure that direct benefits flow to them. Access to these resources should
be arranged in consultation with communities to facilitate proper management and

11. Forestry

For many decades, government policy has favoured the commercial forestry
sector, by assisting it with land-use planning, training extension officers, and
providing financial support as well as research and development services.
Commercial forestry has often been to the detriment of black people in rural
areas, as plantations have generally involved forced removals. The potential
benefits in terms of fuelwood supplies, watershed management and the prevention
of soil erosion, as well as other industries tree-planting could stimulate, have
been overlooked. Forestry research has failed to focus on tree varieties which
could be used for the purposes of social forestry.

Commercial forestry is dominated by Sappi and Mondi (55 percent), HL&H,
Hans Merensky Holdings and the South African Forestry Company Limited (SAFCOL)
(19.3 percent), which has taken over state plantations. Commercial forestry
interests are represented through the Forest Owners Association, which is highly
influential in setting policies for the industry. These corporate interests
control almost all the processing capacity, leading to price distortions which
are detrimental to other timber producers. Commercial plantations cover
1.2-million ha – one percent of South Africa’s land surface, as against the 0.14
percent covered by indigenous forest. The growth of the industry, four percent a
year, poses potential problems in regard to its future land demands. Conflict
may arise over plantations on South African Development Trust Land and if
companies move on to land owned by former labour tenants.

Forestry also has environmental implications in terms of soil degradation and
the depletion of water supplies. Overall responsibility for forestry has shifted
from the Department of Water and Forestry to the Department of Environmental
Affairs and back again – symbolising the conflict over where it belongs. The
picture is complicated in the homelands, where forestry has generally been under
departments of agriculture, and by the fact that most government plantations are
now commercialised. Commercial forestry is a major provider of employment –
128,000 jobs in primary and secondary industry – and of foreign exchange. But
forestry practice as a whole should contribute to greater economic wellbeing
among South Africa’s people and the judicious use of scarce natural resources.

11.1 A National Forestry Plan

The ANC believes forestry can play an essential role in rural
development through social forestry programmes. The design and implementation of
these would be devised in collaboration with rural communities, and would seek
to satisfy social, economic and environmental needs. Social forestry would be an
integral part of a national forestry plan, which would ensure that the needs of
commercial and social forestry converge.

The institutional framework for promoting social forestry programmes will
have to change, and policy will be directed at improving linkages between the
relevant government, research and training bodies. The role of government will
be to direct financial and technical support, and other incentives, towards
achieving social forestry objectives. Sustainable forestry practices will be

11.2 The Environment

Forestry can be beneficial to the environment. Young plantations or
forests, for example, become sinks holding carbon dioxide; they can be used to
rehabilitate soils, protect watersheds and maintain biodiversity. But
monocultural afforestation schemes have adverse effects on the water supply, and
cause soil compaction and acidification. The ANC believes the entire
afforestation permit system should come under review until such time as proper
water control and plantation management schemes are introduced.

The effects of forestry on water and other resources within each catchment
should be taken into account before deciding which trees may be planted.
Afforestation permits should be issued only after full environmental audits of
plantation projects. A better catchment management system involving farmers,
government and communities will have to be initiated. Guided by the principles
of consultation and community participation, this will serve to monitor the
condition of the catchment, the allocation of resources and deal with conflict
resolution within the catchment.

11.3 Institutional Arrangements

Institutional arrangements need to be better co-ordinated, so that
agricultural and forestry planning can be done within the ambit of a single
department. This would facilitate rational land use planning, research and
extension work. The ANC favours shifting the Department of Forestry to that of
Agriculture. At a national level, forestry, including social forestry, would
have a clear identity, but the division between forestry and other sectors would
become less defined at the regional and local level. Forestry policy needs to
emphasise the management and conservation of natural woodland, especially on
communal lands, as a means of meeting needs for fuelwood and other resources. In
Zimbabwe, this is central to policy.

11.4 Extension Services And Research

Extension services in general have produced mixed results in South
Africa, calling for a review of extension training in government institutes. By
and large, services have been provided only to the commercial forestry and
agriculture sector. The ANC believes more holistic extension programmes need to
be provided, creating expertise that can deal with agriculture, forestry and
other rural development needs in a more multidisciplinary fashion. In general
the state will have to play an important role in directing research funding to
alternate forestry practice, such as agroforestry, farm forestry and reclamation

Agroforestry and reclamation forestry in particular have the potential of
protecting fragile natural environments. No research has been conducted into
tree varieties that could meet the needs of social forestry and agroforestry.
The role of trees in sustainable agriculture will be a major focus of research
and extension for agricultural production, while forestry research and extension
will need to develop efficient production systems based on multi-species

11.5 Land Use

The primary role of forestry will be to meet the needs of the people
of South Africa. The current trend towards massive production for export will be
reviewed in the light of broadening access to land, as well as of the effects on
the catchment area and economic considerations. The ANC is committed to
redressing the current imbalance between commercial and social forestry. Land
reform programmes will be a key instrument in bringing about this shift. The ANC
is committed to ensuring security of land tenure, especially for women, as a way
of promoting agriculture and forestry. The possibility of establishing some
state forests on communally owned land will be investigated.

The current Homeland Departments of Forestry will only be integrated into
SAFCOL if community benefits can be maximised by this process. The role of
forestry on marginal land needs to be carefully assessed. On the one hand, some
marginal forestry provides income and employment; on the other, if forestry is
to be a strictly commercial enterprise, some plantations are not viable. A state
company like SAFCOL, or forestry as a whole, has to define the extent of
forestry on marginal lands.

11.6 Other Aspects

The involvement of small growers will enable disadvantaged sectors to
benefit from the highly monopolised forestry industry. Sappi and Mondi have
established small grower schemes, but the industry remains highly regulated by
the chief industrial players. The ANC believes government should provide
assistance by ensuring that small growers have easy access to credit, better
pricing policies, research, extension support and security of tenure. Potential
for ecotourism in the sector also needs to be enhanced, in particular in
indigenous forests, by providing recreational facilities and enhancing the
aesthetic qualities of the landscape. Efforts to increase timber production in
the future should be directed to improving timber production efficiency in
existing plantations, and promoting afforestation in small blocks through small
grower schemes and mixed land-use systems in commercial agriculture, rather than
through enlargement of the plantation system. The ANC will also promote job
creation programmes, which will work towards long-term sustainable resource

12. Fisheries

The ANC believes that the natural resources of South Africa – including
marine resources – belong to all the people of the country, and should be
managed and developed to the benefit of the country as a whole. South Africa’s
rich marine resources could make a major contribution to alleviating poverty in
coastal communities.

The ANC will seek to improve the quality of life in coastal communities by
restoring rights of access to marine resources, where feasible; by increasing
employment opportunities; and by improving health conditions in the industry,
particularly with regard to income, health and safety and job security. The ANC
will also seek the further development of South Africa’s marine resources with a
view to enhancing the country’s status as a fish exporter, increasing the
contribution of fisheries to the GDP and providing an cheap source of food.

Current management strategies – which for the major sectors are based
primarily on a mix of limits on catch (the TAC, or Total Allowable Catch,
restricted seasons and closed areas) have, in some sectors, shown an improvement
over past strategies. For example, the strategy adopted for the hake fishery has
allowed a gradual rebuilding of stocks. On the other hand, there are indications
that some stocks have been overexploited. Off the Namaqualand coast, for
example, lobster catches are currently some four to five percent of what they
were in the late 1960s.

12.1 Reconstruction Of The Industry

The ANC intends to rebuild the industry and the institutions managing
marine resources to achieve its policy objectives. Ownership of marine resources
will be vested in the state as their custodian for South Africa’s people, and
the rights to utilise the resource will be equitably allocated. The ANC will
encourage the sustainable use of the resource to ensure optimal, long-term
social and economic benefits. The fishing sector will be developed as an
integral component of a general development strategy for coastal areas. The ANC
will also seek the transparent and accountable administration of marine

12.2 Reallocation Of Rights

Discussions on the redistribution of fishing rights are already under
way in the Fishing Forum which has been established in the Western Cape. These
discussions should continue with the aim of achieving consensus on re-allocation
within a year. In principle, access rights should be allocated as closely as
possible to those actually doing the fishing. The ANC recognises its economic
importance of recreational fishing in terms of the demand and jobs it creates,
and its tourist potential. However, the current licensing system (for example
the A and B Line fishing licences) is highly problematic, in that it has granted
many commercial and semi-commercial licences to a privileged few who are to all
intents and purposes recreational fisherman, not dependent on fishing for a
livelihood. These “weekenders” sell their catch at way below the going
rate, thereby affecting the returns of genuine fisherman. While allowance must
be made for recreational fishing, the licensing system must be replaced by one
that protects the interests of those who make their daily living from fishing.

12.3 Access Rights

To promote stability in the industry, access rights should be
allocated for longer periods – five to 10 years for offshore quota species, and
on a semi-permanent basis where coastal communities are involved. These rights
should be conditional on the fulfilment of specified social responsibilities,
and should only be introduced after the industry has been restructured. The
process would be similar to the two-tier system introduced in Namibia,
incorporating annual quotas with the monitoring of performance and the
allocation of longer-term quotas depending on performance. To ensure the optimal
utilisation of marine resources, long-term quotas should be allocated
proportionally, as a percentage of the TAC rather than as a tonnage value.

12.4 Institutional Structures

The management of marine resources is primarily the responsibility of
the Chief Directorate of the Sea Fisheries Administration of the Department of
Environmental Affairs. The primary legislation is the Sea Fishery Act of 1988 as
amended, and the regulations government the fishing industry are enforced by an
inspectorate employed by the provincial administrations. In addition, there are
two statutory bodies set up in terms of the Act: the Sea Fishery Advisory
Committee (SFAC), appointed by the Minister to advise him on the Total Allowable
Catch (TAC) and other regulatory measures; and the Quota board, appointed by the
Minister to recommend guidelines for quota allocation and to allocate quotas
from within the TAC to specific companies on an annual basis.

A number of problems are associated with this system. The Minister has wide
discretionary powers in setting the TAC and in appointing members of the SFAC
and the Quota Board, and there is a lack of transparency in the way their
decisions are reached. This has allowed political interference in the management
of marine resources, in particular in the allocation of fishing rights, leading
to the concentration of the industry in the hands of a few major companies and
the removal of marine resources from traditional fishing communities. Seventy
percent of the hake catch, for example, is allocated to only two companies.
Companies own not only the harvesting rights, but also the processing and
marketing concerns. In general, wages paid by these companies are low, the work
is often dangerous and there is little job security.

The management of marine resources will be transferred from the Department of
Environment Affairs to a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Within
this Ministry, the Department of Fisheries would administer the fishing industry
and oversee permitting, through the Sea Fisheries Administration; undertake
research for the effective management of fish stocks, through the Sea Fisheries
Research Institute; and promote the development of the fisheries sector, through
a newly created Fisheries Development Unit and a Fisheries Extension Service.
The latter would be situated in regional offices of the ministry. In addition to
broadening the role of the department to include a developmental function, these
structures should serve to promote co-operation between the department,
industry, the unions and fishing communities.

The ANC would also establish a legally constituted body or bodies to continue
discussions initiated in the Fishing Forum and to take on the revised functions
of the SFAC and Quota Board. Membership of such a body/bodies would comprise
representatives of the department, the Sea Fisheries Research Institute,
independent scientists, the fishing industry and trade unions, together with
sectoral representatives, where relevant. Meetings should be open to observers
and reasons given for any decisions taken. In addition, the discretionary powers
of the Minister and government officials in the setting of the TAC will be
limited. Where such discretion continues, it should be fully accountable.

12.5 Control And Enforcement

For the monitoring of inshore fisheries and of catches, there should
be greater community involvement – an approach which would be facilitated by the
allocation of quotas and rights to these communities. In regard to offshore
resources, the ANC recommends the creation of a regional “Coast Guard”
involving the SADC countries. The monitoring function could in part be carried
out using existing defence force vessels and aircraft, as well as the vessels
and aircraft currently used to patrol the coast for oil pollution.

12.6 Worker Rights

The rights of fishing workers will to a large extent be addressed by
general labour legislation. However, the ANC recognises that fishers may need
additional laws and regulations to afford protection against working conditions
specifically in the fishing industry. The Department must ensure that such
legislation is adopted, and that a code of conduct for employers is developed.
In addition, conditions which include social aspects will be attached to the
allocation of fishing rights, and a mechanism will be established to ensure that
these conditions are enforceable.

12.7 Stock Management

To achieve the aim of optimal sustainable utilisation, a management
plan – including a harvesting strategy – should be urgently developed for each
fishery. Developed in consultation with all interested parties, each plan should
aim to achieve a relatively stable catch while recognising the inherent
stability of fish stocks. Where necessary, the plan should include a rebuilding
strategy to allow for the rehabilitation of over-exploited stocks. Each plan
should be published in the Government Gazette and become binding on all parties,
with the proviso that legislated procedures should allow for amendments by

The harvesting strategy for each major fishery should, as far as possible, be
based on the socio-economic needs within the sector, the pattern of allocation,
an estimate of the quantity of resources, biological information such as
reproductive patterns, lifespan and mortality and an estimate of optimal
sustainable yield. Where there is insufficient information, an interim strategy
should be adopted. The harvesting strategy should aim to stabilise the TAC. The
management plan should include supporting information, for example where there
is a need for habitat protection.

12.8 Research And Development

Research by the Sea Fisheries Research Institute is currently limited
to the scientific management of fish stocks. The ANC believes that in the short
term, research should focus on the development of management plans. In future,
however, it should focus on the socio-economic aspects of the fishing industry
and the development of additional resources. These include the development of
coastal tourism. Research should be conducted in a more participatory manner,
with both communities and the industry. Through the Fisheries Development Unit,
the department should play a role in the development of small-scale fishing and
processing enterprises, as well as the infrastructure needed to support such
ventures – for example, the development of fishing harbours.

Appendix: A

Rural Development

To tackle poverty, correct historical imbalances and revitalise the rural
economy, an ANC government will redirect spending towards the upliftment of
rural people. The agro-industrial complex is an important component of the GNP
and employs large numbers of workers. The revitalisation of agriculture, and
increased employment and wages, could increase effective demand throughout the
economy. Funds for this reorientation could be found first by redirecting
spending on the inequitable and inefficient subsidisation of the large farm

Large-scale farming will continue to have a vital role, but its access to
land will be reduced with land distribution to smallholders. It must learn to
cope without government subsidies, and in an environment of full legal rights
for farmworkers. For effective rural development, a statistical base will be
required for the whole country, providing data on employment, incomes, output,
access to services and malnutrition.

The state must provide much of the funding for rural development, but the
setting of priorities and control of funds should devolve to local communities.
Structures must be set up in such a way that different groups can lobby for
different ways of using the funds available. The state will support part-time
activities, such as small-scale farming, where great productive gains can be
made, and which, through higher incomes, raise household food security. In
particular, the economic difficulties of rural households headed by women must
be recognised.

A.1 Services

A range of services should be provided within striking distance of all rural
communities. These include health and nutrition support; water services; farmer
support services; entrepreneurial support, including access to financial
services and training; infrastructure (roads, electricity, telecommunications,
post offices, resource centres, civic/community/tribal-cultural offices); and
both formal and informal education; welfare services, including public works
schemes which improve community infrastructure; and policing and judicial

Decisions about the provision of services should be made by the communities
themselves, rather than by the state. Local government structures will ensure
that decision-making is as decentralised as possible, while taking place within
the framework of government policy.

The way in which services are provided will have to change. Civil servants
will have to evaluate the needs of rural households with household members.
Communities should have the right to decide that non-state organisations can
provide services, using state resources. Non-governmental organisations, for
example, could provide farmer support services and local companies water

The state will be responsible for providing information to communities on
available resources and spending options. This will require a staff of community
development officers. The state will also ensure that state and non-state bodies
provide a proper service and are legally accountable to communities. An ANC
government will pass legislation demarcating cities, towns and villages, and
setting out the services that should be available at each level.

A.2 Land Use

Rural producers will need easier access to land to boost rural incomes and
encourage rural investment. Resources must be made available to ensure that
those acquiring land use it in a productive and sustainable manner. The state
must recognise that its policies, especially those relating to land ownership
patterns, affect the way people use and value the land. Over-cultivation of the
land by black farmers, for example, was forced on them by removals to the
overcrowded homelands. Crop cultivation throughout the agricultural sector, on
the other hand, has led to immeasurable degradation and soil loss. Much of this
has been due to poor state policy. Public works programmes could make a valuable
contribution to soil conservation.

Appendix B:

Land Restitution

The constitution provides for the introduction of a Restitution Act to
redress the grievances of people who lost land under apartheid. Claims will be
dealt with by a newly created commission that will recommend awards to the court
for endorsement, disputes will be resolved by the Land Claims Court. Because of
the urgency, need and emotion attached to claims, the ANC will propose
legislation in the first session of the new parliament. The ANC’s policy is that
the land restitution process must be quick, effective and accessible. It cannot
be allowed to hang over property rights and the land market indefinitely.

The Act will provide that all claims must be lodged within three years of the
start of the process. Claims will initially be lodged with the Land Claims
Commission, which will investigate claims, by securing access to information,
proposing solutions and trying to negotiate and mediate settlements. To prevent
overloading of the court, all cases will first go to the commission, and will be
referred to the court only to ratify agreements reached or in the event of
complex and disputed cases. The commission and the court will operate in all
parts of the country. The commission will have offices in all provinces and the
court will have judges and a panel of assessors and will operate as a circuit
court. The court will be a court of law at the level of the Supreme Court and
appeals from its decisions will be to the Constitutional Court. To give effect
to restoration awards, the court will have the power to order the transfer of
state land, and the expropriation or purchase of land which subsequently passed
into private ownership. Provision will be made for the award of alternative
land, just compensation and alternative remedies depending on the circumstances
of the case. Awards will take into account compensation paid at the time of the
dispossession, the principle being that such compensation be deducted from the
award. Cases presently before the existing Commission on Land Allocation will
automatically be transferred to the new commission and court once they come into

b.1 A Court of Limited Scope

The Land Rights Restitution Act and the commission/court process is
intended to deal only with claims arising out of past dispossession of land. Its
main focus will be forced removals, and only those who can prove specific claims
will have them addressed. For those suffering from past exclusion and the
general absence of land rights, any court – including this court – is not an
effective way to secure future rights. Thus to secure these rights, a political
policy of land redistribution through accessible administrative institutions and
financing mechanisms is required.

b.2 A Conservative Approach to Land Claims

In other parts of the world, owners have tried to thwart and undermine land
claim court processes by evicting claimants, selling the land, or stalling and
obstructing the court process. The ANC’s process is designed to encourage local
settlements based on reasonable and constructive participation by the parties
involved. At the same time, attempts to evict claimants or sell land will result
in contempt of court orders. Court awards will take into account the behaviour
of parties who refuse to negotiate, or who try to obstruct settlements in the
commission. In many instances land claims will follow ordinary administrative
procedures, such as protecting leases and upgrading rights. But if current
owners take pre-emptive action, the resulting disputes will inevitably bring the
claims under the ambit of the Land Claims Court.