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What is needed from the budget for agriculture

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“A safe and conducive environment is necessary for the agricultural sector to flourish in the Free State and South Africa” says Francois Wilken, President of Free State Agriculture (FSA).

To date government has failed to provide this conducive environment, choosing instead to follow divergent and divisive political ideologies.

Without conditions conducive for productive commercial agriculture in the Free State, over 10 000 jobs could be lost, food security jeopardised and rural towns and their infrastructure will slip further into decay, trapping rural residents in a continued downward spiral of poverty.

An enabling budget aligning with the action plans presented at the SONA will bear credibility to the proposed plans. Will the Minister of Finance put the money where the Presidents mouth is? I.e. by tabling:

  • Enough Budget to improve rural safety and address the scourge of violent crime.
  • Allocation toward dignified job creation instead of grants increasing social dependency on the state.
  • Take steps to improve the employability and productivity of the entry level workers demanding increased national minimum wages.
  • Special Infrastructure project to fix desperately needed rural roads infrastructure.
  • Sufficient funds for purchasing enough land required for agricultural sector reforms and to meet the need for land for erecting own houses where municipal services can be provided.
  • Address the states’ salary bill of an ineffective bloated bureaucracy that years of cadre deployment has created.

These and other matters were included in a letter to the Minister commenting on his economic policy and as tips for the budget. A copy of this letter can be found on our website at

FSA sincerely hopes the minister is guided by sound economic reasoning and not political ideologies. Or worse, that the budget is directed to where the ANC can most easily have their last looting spree of the state coffers before we as a nation drop off the fiscal cliff to hit rock bottom!

As a nation we all were affected by COVID and all need to tighten our belts and make ends meet, cutting back on more highly taxed luxuries and getting down to get the economy going again and to create jobs and dignity.

“Agriculture has certainly proved its worth to the national economy through its resilience despite also battling the natural elements and hopes to be acknowledged as such in the forthcoming budget and further enabled to boost out economy instead of being milked dry through stifling taxation!” says Wilken.

Tax rebates for communities that are forced to fix public infrastructure or to incur expenses related to improving farm safety would be most welcome.