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All posts relating to Retief Odendaal, DA MPL in the Eastern Cape Legislature

Department fails to release drought documentation. What is the MEC hiding?

Serious questions need to be asked about what the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) and its MEC, Nomakhosazana Meth, are hiding with regards to the R74 million provincial drought relief aid made available for the Eastern Cape. Last month the Democratic Alliance launched a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application relating to drought relief efforts in the province, due to the high levels of uncertainty …


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Drought relief funding could lapse as Provincial Disaster Declaration about to expire

The Eastern Cape could lose out on any drought relief funding requested from the National Government, should premier Oscar Mabuyane not extend the provincial disaster declaration by Wednesday next week. I have therefore written to the premier to request that he extend the declaration, as per the Disaster Management Act. Download: Letter I have done so to prevent the ongoing chaos within the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, …


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Chaos and uncertainty reigns with distribution of drought relief funding

The Democratic Alliance is determined to fight for a vibrant commercial and emerging agricultural sector. This is why I have launched a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application relating to drought relief in the Eastern Cape. This has been done because of the great uncertainty over the distribution of critical drought aid to farming communities in the Eastern Cape. The Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) …


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Shocking livestock death toll on EC Govt’s experimental farms a grave concern

Shocking revelations that hundreds of animals have died at the Eastern Cape Government’s six experimental farming facilities, have come to light. This raises serious questions around the care and possible neglect at these facilities. The province currently has six experimental farms, focusing on animal, pasture and crop sciences, namely the Dohne A.D.I; Bathurst R.C; Adelaide R.F; Cradock R.C; Wolwehoek R.F; Jansenville R.F and the Mthatha Dam. All these facilities, except …


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Where is the Eastern Cape drought relief funding promised?

There is still no sign of the drought relief funding promised by the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR), with farmers in drought-stricken areas still in the dark as to whether their applications for assistance have been approved. If we are to save our rural economy and jobs, the funds need to start flowing as a matter of urgency. When the funding was announced, exactly a month ago …


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Concerns over New Rural Development HOD following theft allegations

The DA is shocked and outraged by the new appointment of the Head of Department for Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, Siphokazi Ndudane, after theft allegations have come to light against her. Ndudane, the former Deputy Director General of Fisheries at the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), was announced as one of four new HODs appointed by Premier Oscar Mabuyane earlier this week. It has now come …


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Farmers in crisis as goal posts shifted for drought relief applications

Farmers in desperate need of drought funding were dealt another blow this week, with the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) changing the criteria for drought relief applications midway through the application process. With the extended deadline for applications closing today, farmers are now in a panic that their applications might be rejected, as the supporting documentation required has been changed. The changes, which were communicated by DRDAR …


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The Eastern Cape gravy train still fully operational

The tabling of the Adjustment Appropriation Bill in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature today made it clear that the Eastern Cape Gravy Train is still fully operational, with no bold plans for cost cutting measures. The message was clear that it is still business as usual, with the acting MEC of Finance, Nonkqubela Pieters, not pronouncing on any stringent cost containment measures. The province continues to spend money on frivolous, …


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Eastern Cape government needs to cut costs to survive

There needs to be a strong focus on cost cutting measures and financial responsibility from the MEC for Finance, Mlungisi Mvoko, during the tabling of the Adjustment Appropriation Bill in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature tomorrow. Last month Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, made it clear that it cannot be business as usual, and that significant cost cutting across the board is in the pipeline. The Eastern Cape government needs …


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No comprehensive drought plan in place, response woefully inadequate

There is no comprehensive, interdepartmental plan in place to combat the crippling drought that has gripped the Eastern Cape, as the crisis affecting the province deepens. During a feedback session to the Rural Development and Agrarian Reform portfolio committee on Friday last week, it was revealed that the province has only applied for R643 million in drought assistance from National Treasury, of which R455,3 million has been requested for fodder. …


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