Agri SA has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address delivered Thursday evening, 7 February. However, it remains concerned that the policy uncertainty about land, rural safety and the drought crisis has not been addressed.
"The president's commitment to steer the South African ship out of difficult waters can be praised," said Dan Kriek, Agri SA's president. "The State of the Nation Address must be seen against the backdrop of large-scale corruption, a weakened economy, the dismantling of institutions and the dire state of semi-state institutions such as Eskom that have characterised South Africa for years. Now is the time to take hands and work together.”
"It is worrying that he did not mention the severe and ongoing drought that affects several provinces and made no mention of the increasing violent crime in rural areas," Kriek said. “Farmers are under pressure due to policy uncertainty and the effect of criminality and drought. The president must give the sector the support to be sustainable," said Kriek.
Ramaphosa did recognise the agricultural sector and its contribution to the economy, saying the sector is well-developed, resilient and diversified, and that it can serve as a basis for growing agriculture and the economy.