South Africa: Magashule Free State’s Operation Hlasela flagship project sinks

Note to editors: Please find the audio clip of Dr. Roy Jankielsohn attached, see images here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

What was hailed as Operation Hlasela’s flagship project by former Free State Prime Minister Ace Magashule has finally sunk.

A monitoring visit to the approximately R150 million Diyatalawa Agri-Village project between Harrismith and Kestell in the Free State Province revealed the eventual destruction of the project. The people of the village began to try to survive on what could be salvaged for scrap metal. All the dairy and beef cattle purchased by the government for many years have been sold or eaten and the orchards are abandoned and dead. There remains the bare skeleton of a once fully equipped dairy, and the shed is empty of the farm equipment and vehicles it once housed.

While some people still reside in the 50 houses built for beneficiary families, and a school and nursery are still functional, hopes and dreams of an agricultural livelihood outside of poverty are shattered. The few crops planted for them by the government-sponsored Mokgolokoeng Agricultural Production Support Unit cannot support those left behind, and the current costs of inputs such as fuel will make planting new ones. unsustainable cultures.

Former President Jacob Zuma launched the Comprehensive Rural Development Project (CRDP) in 2009 and Diyatalawa was identified as one of the project’s pilot sites due to the extreme poverty of the people living there. The CRDP was the government’s socialist response to poverty and food insecurity, land redistribution, and the creation of business opportunities for rural women, youth, and people with disabilities. Zuma visited Diyatalawa in 2011 and the project was to be part of Siyahlola’s presidential surveillance program, which obviously failed.

Like most other agricultural projects in the Free State, this project was used, like the Vrede Dairy Project, as a vehicle for financial extraction to inflate prices and plunder at the expense of beneficiaries. This included the construction of infrastructure including a small guardhouse and gate at a cost of R600,000, cattle paid for with sick animals delivered and an apple orchard for which R10 million was spent, the expenses and the production being unsuccessful.

The DA of the Free State Legislature exposed the failure of collectivist projects as bad business models and vehicles of corruption for many years. It was only now that money was tight and the effects of corruption on the poor finally becoming a focus of public concern that the Free State Department of Agriculture began to acknowledge failure. ideologically based communist models.

The Free State DA believes that the only land reform models that will work are share ownership systems in existing viable businesses or investment and training in family farm production units.

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