A new Department of Rural Development and Land Reform

President Jacob Zuma announced his new Cabinet yesterday including the formation of a new Department of Land and Rural Development to be headed by Minister Gugile Nkwinti a former Agriculture MEC in the Eastern Cape supported by Deputy Minister Joe Phaahla former DG heading the Government unit responsible for the 2010 world cup.

At the same time the Department of Agriculture has been restructured to combine agriculture, fisheries and forestry. Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson was previously the MEC for Agriculture in the Northern Cape. She will work with Dr Pieter Mulder, leader of the Freedom Front Plus, which is regarded as a bid to ensure that the voices of commercial farmers are heard within the Ministry.

There is clearly a great deal of work to be done to get these new structures up and running. Several challenges will need to be addressed including:

  • How the Department of Land Affairs will be able to grow into the new responsibilities which it has been given
  • How South Africa rapidly develops a coherent and practical rural development policy and strategy and develops the capability to implement this badly needed programme
  • How key intergovernmental relations will be managed to ensure programme alignment and effective implementation between the Departments of Land and Rural Development, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Water and Environmental Affairs and the newly badged Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs

Phuhlisani will be following these new developments closely. We will be looking to make a contribution to the development of a rural development strategy and its implementation.


Posted: 5/11/2009 (5:48:12 AM)

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