TLU SA hopes for a medium-term budget that promotes commercial food security

With only two days left until the medium-term budget speech, TLU SA is concerned that the Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana, may not give enough attention to proper planning and restructuring of the existing ailing economic policy environment. The implications of this on the agricultural sector and South African citizens remain worrisome.

“In any business, a budget is the projection made about how available funds will be spent to benefit the entity. It involves planning, which is heavily based on history and where certain adjustments need to be made to achieve goals. Another very important component of a budget is the management and control of expenses. In the latter, the South African government fails the country’s residents entirely,” said Mr Bennie van Zyl, General Manager TLU SA.

In a recent conversation with the Director-General of the Department of Agriculture, TLU SA emphasized the importance of commercial agriculture. Various decisions, proposals, and policies, as well as the non-implementation and deterioration of key agricultural services such as the Agricultural Research Council, veterinary services, and support for farmers during disasters by the Department of Agriculture, have caused significant uncertainty in the industry, eroded investment confidence, and increased costs for consumers.

TLU SA is further concerned about mismanagement and corruption that has a significant impact on the South African economy. “The allocation of budget funds needs to be thoroughly examined, as years of non-spending or misappropriation affect various budget lines and are often linked to tender fraud and widespread corruption. There is an annual gap between announcements and the reality of implementation. As long as the government persists on its path of cadre deployment and BEE and does not apply expertise alone as criteria in the appointment of positions, the budget may not necessarily benefit the people of South Africa,” said van Zyl.

The medium-term budget to be presented in Parliament on Wednesday is a critical financial document that outlines the allocation of resources to various sectors and creates the climate for economic growth, stability, and social development. TLU SA believes that the following critical issues need to be addressed:

  1. Transparency and Accountability: TLU SA requests the government to prioritize transparency and accountability in the allocation of funds. It is essential that budgeted funds are spent efficiently and in a manner that benefits all citizens. The ongoing issues of corruption, mismanagement, and irregular tender practices must be addressed to restore trust in government spending.
  2. Support for Agriculture: Commercial agriculture has consistently proven to be the backbone of our nation. Recent challenges, including devastating fires, floods, and droughts, have underscored the vital role of commercial agriculture in maintaining food security. We urge the government to allocate resources to support and strengthen the commercial agricultural sector to ensure it remains a stable and reliable source of food production.
  3. Education Standards: Education is a cornerstone of any country’s growth. TLU SA is deeply concerned about declining standards in South African education. The lack of adequately trained and motivated educators, as well as poor learning outcomes, hinder the development of the workforce needed for a thriving economy. It is crucial that the government reevaluates its education policies and invests in quality education to improve human capital.
  4. Economic Growth: A well-functioning economy is the lifeline of any country. TLU SA advocates for policies that promote economic growth, job creation, and free-market principles. The government should refrain from policies that hinder economic progress and work to create a favorable environment for businesses, especially in the agricultural sector.
  5. Affordable Food: TLU SA is committed to providing affordable food to South African citizens. As we analyze the budget, we hope to see policies that promote cost-effective food production and distribution. These policies will have a direct impact on the cost of living for impoverished South Africans.

We urge the government to seriously consider these issues, as the importance of a successful commercial agriculture industry and food security for the country can no longer be denied. TLU SA is committed to positive outcomes and to work to achieve these goals and ensure a better future for South Africa.

To support TLU SA in protecting the interests of farmers in the country, please consider becoming a member or supporter at this link: https://www.tlu.co.za/en/membership/

 

Photo: user6702303 | Freepik

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