North West Development Corporation not fit to oversee Agriculture
12 September 2018
The Democratic Alliance in North West has written to Premier Job Mokgoro, requesting him to urgently investigate the appointment of North West Development Corporation (NWDC) as the implementing agency for agricultural development programmes in the province.
NWDC was appointed after the controversial AgriDelight’s contract expired in 2017, but with the cloud of corruption and fraud hanging over this entity, the DA believes this decision to be ill-considered.
It is no secret that former premier, Supra Mahumapelo moved NWDC from the Department of Finance, Economy and Enterprise Development (FEED) to the Premier's Office in an attempt to funnel funds by way of subsidiaries such as Tokiso Security Services. The NWDC has also been implicated in a money laundering scheme involving a laundry services application (app) for phones whereby R49 million was paid to Pule Mabe. This app never materialised.
During the Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ) Committee meeting last week, it was revealed that the Department of READ only spent 17% of their total quarterly budget, of which sustainable resource management (6%), rural development coordination (9%) and farmer support and development (10%) were among the worst performing programmes.
The MEC for Department of READ, Manketsi Tlhape, stated that the NWDC is incapable to take on the role of implementing agent for agricultural development, clearly indicating NWDC’s inability to provide the necessary assistance to the Department’s agricultural support programmes.
Agriculture is the main contributor to the GDP of our province and creates employment. We need a new generation of farmers who can be equipped to contribute to the food security in our country.
The ongoing training of farmers, particularly women, is important as this assists with poverty alleviation and empowerment, which in turn will help improve food security in the province. We need our emerging farmers to have access to intensive skills programmes to empower them and to build a new generation of future farmers and we do not believe that the NWDC can provide this.
The people of North West need a supportive government, a government with economic development and food production in mind. Under a DA-led government, agriculture will be utilised to ensure food security and improve the quality of life for all.
Issued by Jacqueline Theologo, DA North West Spokesperson for Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development, 12 Spetember 2018