18 July, 2013
Keynote Address by Dr. Nthabiseng Motete,
Deputy Director-General for Forestry and Natural Resources Management at the Forestry South Africa Annual General Meeting held on 16 May 2013, in Pietermaritzburg
Director of Forestry South
Africa, Mr Michael Pete
Guest Speaker, Mr. Julian Ozanne, CEO of The New Forests Company
Executive Committee and Members
and Gentlemen, warm greetings this afternoon
is the greatest honour and privilege for me to stand before you here today, and
to address the Annual General Meeting of Forestry South Africa on behalf of the
Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. As a new Deputy Director
General for Forestry and Natural Resources in the Department, there couldn't
have been a more welcoming reception by the forestry industry! And allow me to
thank you very much for that. To me, and to the leadership of the Department,
this gesture by Forestry South Africa indeed signifies a healthy working
relationship between the Department and the Forestry Industry. I am convinced
that this harmonious working relationship with the Department, extends to other
commodity groups as I confirmed by my observations during the recent gathering
of the CEOs Forum convened by the Department in Pretoria on the 24th April 2013. I
believe that the Department would like to grow this congenial working
relationship to even higher levels to ensure provision of continued support that
is required by the industry, for the greater good and benefit of the citizenry
and society at large. In this regard distinguished guests, ladies and
gentlemen, I am further grateful to the leadership of the Department for giving
me the opportunity to serve both industry and the public in the portfolio that
this point, I would like to share with you the Department's vision for Forestry
and Natural Resource Management for 2013/14. Our priorities are fore-grounded by government's broad development framework in terms of the
Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). Specifically, the Department focuses on
the implementation of three of the 12 outcomes of Government, namely Outcomes
4, 7 and 10. Briefly stated:-
Outcome 4 focuses on the creation
of decent employment through inclusive economic growth.
Outcome 7 focuses on creation and
establishment of vibrant, equitable, sustainable rural communities contributing
towards food security for all.
And Outcome 10 focuses on the protect
and enhancement of our environmental assets and natural resources
At a higher level, these priorities are guided by government's key
policies, in particular the National Development Plan (NDP), the New Growth
Path (NGP), the Industrial Policy Action Plan 2 (IPAP2) and the Presidential Infrastructure
Coordinating Commission (PICC).
Alignment of Departmental plans to these high level policies has
been done. For instance, the IPAP2 and New Growth Path find expression in the
Integrated Growth and Development Plan (IGDP) for agriculture, forestry and
fisheries which I believe you are familiar with. The goals of the Integrated Growth
and Development Plan of the Department include:-
(i) attaining equity and transformation
(ii) economic growth and
(iii) environmental sustainability
(iv) good governance.
current year (2013/14), Department's plans have been aligned to important programmes government such as:-
The Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC) informs the Department's role in the Strategic
Infrastructure Project (SIP) 11, which aims to
improve investment in infrastructure to support agricultural production,
employment (with the focus on forestry and fisheries), small-scale farming and
Other key priorities worth noting, especially as interventions to
address a number of the key challenges confronting the Agriculture, Forestry
and Fisheries sectors include the following:-
Extension Recovery Programme, which
aims to develop a national policy on extension and advisory services to, among
others, consider alternative extension methodologies, alternative institutional
arrangements for providing services and creating a professional body to advance
the extension profession.
National Mechanisation Programme,
initiated in 2010/11, will be revised to improve institutional arrangements
regarding the operation and maintenance of implements; ensure broader access;
and advance the shift towards agro-ecological agriculture.
Inland fisheries- develop further economic opportunities around generally existing
fish stock within freshwater bodies and rivers
Agro-ecological agriculture - DAFF is in discussions with the Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) of the UN, for assistance in developing a comprehensive
approach to agro-ecological agriculture.
commercial agriculture (loss of wage jobs on
commercial farms )- DAFF intends to develop a policy to render greater targeted
support to those commercial farms at the smaller end of the commercial spectrum.
Urban agriculture - there is a need to create an encompassing strategy on urban and
peri-urban agriculture with a particular focus to support residents of informal
settlements at the fringes of towns and cities.
To reflect in some details on our efforts on Outcome 4 towards job
creation, let me highlight the following initiatives:
Jobs and opportunities creation
by Working for Fisheries Programme, Land Use and Soil Management , and
refurbishment of Category B and C plantations
The LandCare Programme deploys
labour intensive mechanisms within its project implementation under the
SoilCare, VeldCare and WaterCare themes. The programme is targeting to achieve
874 000 job opportunities which is equal to 3 800 Full-time Equivalents (FTEs),
over four years
Through EPWP credit system an
estimated 7 500 jobs are to be created by the department over a period of five
years, the number of FTEs would increase to 3 750 over a period of five years.
Contribute towards poverty alleviation
through interventions that are public driven which will provide alternative
livelihood options for rural and coastal communities
Working for Fisheries Programme
provides alternative livelihood options for rural and coastal communities with
an estimated 3 450 job opportunities to be created over a period of three years
Our efforts towards protection of environment and enhancement of
our our biological assets I would like to reflect on our efforts towards:-
Protecting and coordinating
rehabilitation of degraded indigenous forests, woodland and agricultural land
and ensure sustainable management of forestry and natural resources
Rehabilitate 32 280 ha of
rangeland, cultivated land, weeds and invader plants through implementation of
protection and conservation measures
Support 1 300 small growers with
capacity-building interventions, including technical advice, training and
linking them to potential funders to improve production efficiency of forestry
and socio-economic livelihoods.
The department will work with stakeholders within the sector on
initiatives and interventions to increase production within the subsistence,
smallholder and commercial environments.
Implement Forestry Sector Charter undertakings in the value chain
to ensure renewed growth, transformation and sustainability throughout
Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) in economic, social and environmental
terms, will improve the lives of the poor.
Refurbish and maintain smallholder government irrigation schemes.
Develop, implement and monitor disaster risk reduction strategies
Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Plans
The above are the kind of
initiatives that are needed for the sustainability of the industry especially
the SMME's. These will also provide further support for the implementation of
the Forest Sector Charter which is currently under review. The review of the
Charter will deal with a number of obligations that have proven to be difficult
to achieve. I am therefore urging that we work together like we did during the
development of this Charter to ensure that the review process is fruitful.
One of the challenges that have been
presented to the Department is funding for research. As a Department we realise
that without research specifically focusing on our small growers, then it will
be impossible for them to grow. We are therefore working on the research fund
that will benefit the small growers and this will further be addressed during
the Charter review process.
Due to challenges that this sector
faces, I must mention just a few successes in the past year as these would not
have been possible without the working relationship between us and the sector.
sector has for a long time strived to get new afforestation started and I am
proud that at this stage the Eastern Cape Environmental Impact Assessments that
were done last year have yielded some fruits. This means that the Department of
Water Affairs will be issuing water licenses for the minimum of 5000ha that
have received Record of Decisions. One of the tools that was helpful during
this process were the Afforestation Protocols. I would like to thank the sector
through FSA that has supported the Department during the EIA process. It shows
that working together we can achieve and be able to grow the sector and improve
Transport Infrastructure study that was commissioned by the Department has led
to productive discussions with both the national Department of transport and
some of the provincial departments. There is still some work to be done in this
area to ensure that the Provinces plans road infrastructure upgrades are
aligned to the implementation plan of the study.
again we will be celebrating Arbor Week in September which will launched here
in KwaZulu-Natal. I encourage all of you as our stakeholders to partner with
the Department in showcasing the hard work that this sector does and contribute
to especially rural economy.
you may know, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and South Africa led
by DAFF will host the 14th World Forestry Congress in September 2015
here in KwaZulu-Natal. This will be the first time that Africa hosts this
congress and it will present an opportunity for Africa and South Africa to
showcase the progressive forestry polices, innovation and technologies that we
have collectively achieved. In preparation for the Congress, I would like to
invite the forestry industry and all our stakeholders to partner with us to
ensure its success. We will be appointing a Secretary General and the Assistant
Secretary General together with the FAO within the next few months and then the
planning and stakeholder meeting will take place. Invitations will be sent to
representatives of the industry for their participation.