“[The] government of South Africa has failed to use almost 20 years of democratic dispensation to address and redress the land question,” said spokesman Floyd Shivambu.
“Our people remain in squatter camps, informal settlements, and non-arable rural communities with no forms of subsistence because they do not have access to land.”
Wednesday marked 100 years since the promulgation of the Natives Land Act of 1913 which dispossessed indigenous Africans of land.
Shivambu said government had to pay particular attention to the country’s food economy.
“Food production, packaging, transportation, marketing, advertising, retail, and trade should constitute one of South Africa’s biggest economic sectors,” Shivambu said.
South Africa needed to provide subsidies for small-scale farmers and open packaging and retail opportunities.
“The crisis faced by small-scale black chicken farmers in South Africa leads to a situation wherein they only contribute less than 30 million chickens of the one billion produced in South Africa annually.”
Shivambu said government should develop structural support mechanisms for small-scale chicken farmers to enter the formal retail market.
Furthermore, government should legislate that all food bought for hospitals, schools, and prisons be sourced from small food producers.
With interventions in the agricultural sector, South Africa could develop a food economy exceeding that of its Brics grouping partner, Brazil.
“This will add to [the] creation of sustainable jobs, not the kind of short-term jobs created through infrastructure development.”
The food economy would “save” South Africa’s social ills because it was not heavily affected by changes in global markets, as food demand was “essential and constant”.
He said the EFF would demand expropriation of land without compensation. – Sapa