NewsNorthern Cape Agriculture Department - a message from MEC Manopole
─── 12:10 Tue, 18 May 2021Sponsored12:10 Tue, 18 May 2021
A brand new Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform begun its operations on the 1st April 2021.
The Premier, Dr. Zamani Saul, announced during his acceptance speech in 2019, that the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development will merged with the Department of Environment & Nature Conservation, to form a new Department.
In June 2020, a new name, the Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform was proclaimed.
In line with the Premier’s pronouncement in 2019, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has since been merged with the Department of Environment & Nature Conservation, to form a brand new Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform from the 1st of April 2021.
The establishment of the new Department is influenced by the need to rationalise Provincial Departments for better alignment and coordination for improved service delivery.
“I am aware that there have been a number of concerns from some of our employees, since the Premier, Dr. Zamani Saul announced the merger of this two departments two years ago,” says MEC, Mase Manopole.
She further explains as Dr. Saul undertook during his previous State of the Province Addresses, that no one would lose their jobs, and that all staff will retain their existing condition of service.
“I also want to reiterate that, we will continue to engage in a seamless and consultative process with employees, who will be placed and marched in various units in the new Department,” Manopole continues.
She states, however, because of its sensitivity, it is not going to be an easy process: “I will try my utmost best to ensure that whatever decision taken by department in placing and marching colleagues, will be in their best interest and that of the organisation and the people of the Northern Cape.”
Manopole adds the new department can present more opportunities and changes in terms of growth and stability.
“Let us embrace the change and look forward in enjoying our time in the new department by contributing our time, skills and knowledge, which will transcend in the growth of the economy of our province and a quality service delivery to our communities. At times, change can be scary and cause a lot of anxieties, however, at this point, it is necessary,” she continues.
Manopole explains the department’s mandate, among the many, is to ensure that rural communities, women and the youth become important role players in the Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development sector.
Through research and extension services farmers will be assisted to adopt sustainable methods of production that will enhance productivity and increase the contribution of the sector to the regional GDP. Households will be encouraged and supported to produce their own food as part of the food insecurity mitigation plan.
In addition, the new Department will provide leadership in environmental management, conservation and protection towards sustainability for the benefit of the people of Northern Cape and South Africans in general including the global community.
“Successful implementation of the above plans depends on the dedication of all officials in the department and the commitment of our stakeholders in the sector. Key to this is also continued collaborations with sister department, state institutions, the private sector and NGOs in the development of our economy alongside the protection of our environment, Manopole concludes.
Working together, we shall ensure that the vision of a Modern, Growing and Successful Province is realised.
Cyril Viljoen speaks to spokesperson for the Department Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform, Zandisile Luphahla: