Home News AFASA clears the air on Motsepe's farmers' fund

AFASA clears the air on Motsepe’s farmers’ fund

AFASA has cleared the air on Patrice Motsepe’s promised multi-billion rand fund for black farmers. This, as the mining billionaire is set to become the new CAF president

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While there is still no word from Patrice Motsepe about plans to continue with a fund for black farmers, AFASA chairperson Neo Masithela confirms that the association has not heard again from the mining billionaire.

Since Food For Mzansi first reported on uncertainty about the fund announced by Motsepe, farmers from across the country have been demanding answers.

SONA: AFASA Chairperson, Neo Masithela.
Afasa chairperson, Neo Masithela. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Motsepe announced the multi-billion rand fund in October 2019 at AFASA’s Agri-business Transformation Conference.

Motsepe’s seemingly broken promise was meant to be discussed at an AFASA executive meeting scheduled last week. Now Masithela tells Food For Mzansi that, like farmers, AFASA too is eager to hear from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s brother-in-law.

“Dr Motsepe made the announcement voluntary with the intention of helping the country and industry. Hence, as AFASA, we will keep engaging him or his foundation and other good people like him to continue helping the industry and the country,” says Masithela.

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Although Motsepe announced the fund at an AFASA event, they too were taken by surprise, says Masithela. “We were just as surprised by the announcement, like everyone else. It was the first time we at AFASA heard about it.

ALSO READ: Veil of secrecy over Motsepe’s billions for black farmers

According to Masithela, AFASA has also not heard a word from the Motsepe Foundation since the announcement. He tells Food For Mzansi, “He has not made any contact with AFASA regarding the fund after that.”

Broken promise to black farmers

Motsepe’s promised farmer billions made nationwide headlines. In October 2019, shortly after the announcement, Masithela told OFM’s Christal-Lize Muller that the billionaire would partner with AFASA to improve the livelihoods of black farmers over a period of ten years.

Meanwhile Motsepe will soon be crowned as the new Confederation of African Football (CAF) president. He will officially step into his new job on Friday, 12 March. This, after Jacques Anouma, Augustin Senghor and Ahmed Yahya withdrew from the race for the biggest football position on the continent.

Patrice Motsepe, one of Africa's richest men, has announced his intention to become the next president of the Confederation of African Football. Photo: Getty Images
Patrice Motsepe, one of Africa’s richest men, has announced his intention to become the next president of the Confederation of African Football. Photo: Getty Images

The victory also follows Motsepe’s ten-point action plan announced at the launch of his CAF presidential manifesto. Amid uncertainty about a so-called multi-billion rand fund for farmers, he vowed to increase prize money in major CAF competitions.

Masithela says it is unfortunate that nothing has come from Motsepe’s promise. “We were overjoyed when he made the announcement, and it was a great relief for black farmers because farmers need this kind of investment.”

In the last few weeks, Food For Mzansi has repeatedly reached out to the Motsepe Foundation and African Rainbow Minerals, chaired by Motsepe. They have not responded on any of our requests for comment on the matter.

ALSO READ: Motsepe, we’re asking nicely. Where are the farmer billions?

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Duncan Masiwa
Duncan Masiwa
DUNCAN MASIWA is a budding journalist with a passion for telling great agricultural stories. He hails from Macassar, close to Somerset West in the Western Cape, where he first started writing for the Helderberg Gazette community newspaper. Besides making a name for himself as a columnist, he is also an avid poet who has shared stages with artists like Mahalia Buchanan, Charisma Hanekam, Jesse Jordan and Motlatsi Mofatse.
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