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
- Drought Management and Relief
- Agricultural Extension Services
- Agricultural Research
- Animal Health and Production
- Natural Resource Management
- Rural Development
- 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; and
- conservation of our natural resources for the benefit of future generations.
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 decision-making.
- 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 markets.
- Ensure that farming systems, and the incentives that drive them, are economically and socially sustainable and based on sound environmental principles.
- 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 products.
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 laws.
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.
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 production.
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.
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 life.
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 protection.
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 regard.
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 are.
For the poor and vulnerable, including pregnant women and young children, the ANC will endeavour to improve the targeting and efficiency of present feeding schemes.
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 products.
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 costs.
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 basis.
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 debt.
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 particular.
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 structures.
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 scrutiny.
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.
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 co-operatives.
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 activity.
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.
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 Unity.
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 agency.
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 help.
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 activities.
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 policy.
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 established.
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.
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.
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 council.
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.
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 plan.
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 practices.
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.
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.
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.
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 conservation.
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.
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 conflict-resolution.
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 encouraged.
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 forestry.
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 forests.
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 management.
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 resources.
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 agreement.
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.
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 sector.
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 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 services.
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 infrastructure.
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.
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 operation.
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.