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Free State Agriculture (FSA) aims to promote a safe and sustainable agricultural environment in the interest of agriculture in the Free State and works with all relevant parties to achieve this goal. In the light of this, the organisation is broadening its network of stakeholders through various initiatives to benefit its members.
Therefore the leaders of FSA, who is an apolitical organisation, accepted a meeting request from Mosiuoa Lekota, president of the Congress of the People (Cope), to engage on matters which concerns both parties.
Lekota and delegates from Cope visited the offices of FSA on 23 March 2018 to discuss issues of land and food security. This included the topic of land expropriation without compensation and the possible amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution of South Africa.
“We will take hands with anyone that share our views and if it benefits our members,” says Gerhard Kriel, Chief Executive Officer of FSA. He also referred to an initiative recently established by FSA called Friends of Free State Agriculture or Vriende van Vrystaat Landbou through which it wants to incorporate those outside the agricultural industry to support farmers.
According to Cope, the party and FSA share a collective duty towards building an inclusive South Africa, based on the rule of law and underpinned by the constitution. “The question is how do all of us, collectively and individually, contribute and uphold the constitution,” says Mzwandile Hleko, Cope Provincial Secretary.
According to Kriel, both parties also stand together in the fight against farm attacks and murders.
Cope says meaningful participation and contribution to the process of constitutional review as adopted by the National Assembly is needed. “With an already stated commitment to minimising disruption to the sector, cool heads are going to be needed if we are to jointly build a land reform programme that ramps up transformation and development in a meaningful way and that contributes to the sustainable growth of the sector,” says Hleko.
Source: Free State Agriculture