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Full steam ahead for EC Gravy Train, despite fiscal cliff

March 5th, 2020

The tabling of the Appropriation Bill in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature today made it abundantly clear that its full steam ahead for the Eastern Cape Gravy Train, even if the tracks are heading straight over the fiscal cliff. South Africa’s economy is in recession, with the weakest annual growth rate since the global financial crisis. The Eastern Cape is haemorrhaging jobs, with the highest unemployment rate in the country. …

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Eastern Cape budget must speak to current financial crisis we are facing

March 4th, 2020

The country is officially in recession and is fast running out money. The province is facing massive financial squeeze and we cannot waste a single cent on non-core business. Last year we heard a lot of promises about putting austerity measures in place, instead the government has found it impossible to save money or to reign in the spending of departments. Tomorrow’s budget speech by Finance MEC, Mlungisi Mvoko, must …

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Agricultural loans pose major threat to Department, must be investigated

March 2nd, 2020

Some of the agricultural and non-agricultural loans issued by the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ECRDA), which falls under the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR), could be considered reckless lending and place the department at risk. It is for this reason I have written to the chairperson of the Standing Committee of Public Accounts (SCOPA) Veliswa Mvenya, to request a full investigation into the lending practices of …

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

February 18th, 2020

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

January 24th, 2020

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

January 20th, 2020

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

January 16th, 2020

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?

December 11th, 2019

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

December 5th, 2019

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

November 22nd, 2019

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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