The DA cannot support the budget that will see the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency, as an implementing agency of the Department, unable to operate. This agency is responsible for rural development in other departments as well. Its budget has been cut by 28% but the activities have been increased.
Thirty-eight percent of its activities are unfunded. The department is also top heavy with personnel. The allocation to Fort Cox College despite its well-known infrastructure challenges has also been decreased. This institution is expected to address the shortage of skills in the agricultural field.
The Eastern Cape Province is heavily dependent on agriculture for food security and its rural economic development.
This budget does not create opportunities for agricultural potential that the people of this province deserve. We cannot afford to support a budget that will undermine agricultural development in this province.
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