Land reform is a central pillar of South Africa’s radical economic transformation programme.
President Jacob Zuma touched on this government imperative at the launch of the Operation Phakisa for agriculture, land reform and rural development in February.
“If we do not radically change the patterns of land ownership, control and management in South Africa, we will be creating problems for ourselves in future.
We need to take bold steps that will transform our economy, including land ownership, very fast.”
It is partly because of the urgency with which South African societies need to be transformed that, in July 2011, Operation Phakisa was introduced.
Known as the Big Fast Results Methodology, it was adapted from a similar programme in Malaysia.
Phakisa is a seSotho word which means “hurry up”. The methodology is used by government to focus intensively on the growth of a particular sector
and has successfully been implemented in education, health and the ocean economy.
Once it is kickstarted in the agriculture, rural development
and land reform sectors, it will be launched in the mining industry.
“Through the Operation Phakisa programme, we wish to hurry up the delivery of services to the people and the transformation of our society as a whole.”
It is through Phakisa that the Ideal Clinics were conceived and ICT in education received a boost.
Five weeks of focus Operation Phakisa saw government creating a platform of engagement for all stakeholders in the agriculture sector.
During a five-week laboratory process, challenges were discussed and solutions proposed.
President Zuma said 161 participants worked tirelessly to understand the obstacles to and find solutions for greater inclusivity in rural economies, and looked at ways to stimulate growth in the agricultural sector.
The deliberations of the lab participants were organised according to seven work streams:
land reform, producer support, livestock, grains, horticulture, labour and rural development.
The three commodity-based work streams, namely grains, livestock and horticulture, focused their initiatives on expanding the potential for trade in both domestic
and export markets, developing and strengthening value chains, sharpening research and innovation systems, and making the most of water resources.
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