The Guard

The Truth On Board

Thabo Mofutsanyana embraces Bill

By Libuseng Nyaka

QWAQWA – A majority of community members have thrown their weight behind the Preservation of Development and Agriculture (Amendment) Bill, which they described as long overdue.
This they said during a public hearing by the Free State Legislature at Phuthaditjhaba mult purpose hall on Tuesday.

Supporting the Bill, Mosala Skhosana from Ficksburg said, “I support this bill because it is educating our people about the importance of land. Land first others will follow. But it is very sad because a lot of time has been wasted; it was supposed to have been introduced in 1994 if our country had not been in the hands of wrong people.”

Another community member Lehlohonolo Mabaso has proposed that traditional leaders be invited when discussing issues pertaining to land because some residential sites are allocated by them.

“It is very important that our royal houses are invited to event like this where land matters are discussed, because they are also custodians of the land. However, I support the Bill.”

They were reacting to the national department of agriculture and rural development’s Gabriel Kgapola after describing the intention of the Preservation and Development of Agriculture Bill as a means of controlling the use of agricultural land, from being used for residential and business purposes as that affects food production negatively and as a result impacts on employment and economy.

Agriculture and rural development officer Gabriel Kgapola addressing Thabo Mofutsanyana district municipality residents.

When the bill is signed into law it will promote the preservation and sustainable development of agricultural land.
“Evaluation and classification for agricultural land will be established, as well as demarcation and protection against non-agricultural uses in order to promote long term agricultural production.”

He said the Act will apply to all agricultural land within South Africa and will bind all organs of state to ensure that provincial agricultural plans are hamornized.

“The purpose of a provincial agriculture sector plan are to coordinate and harmonize agricultural land use policies, plan programmes and decision of organs of state aimed at promoting, achieving and preserving a sustainable agricultural environment.”