Home News Motsepe, we’re asking nicely. Where are the farmer billions?

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

Patrice Motsepe, one of Africa’s richest men, has now also committed to funding CAF competitions. Farmers are still awaiting news about a multi-billion rand fund he promised in 2019, though. This is set to be discussed when AFASA’s top brass meet this week

Moments before Dr Patrice Motsepe, the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, announced a multi-billion rand fund for black farmers in October 2019. He is pictured with the late AFASA president Dr Vuyo Mahlati and chairperson Neo Masithela. Photo: Food For Mzansi

Amid uncertainty about a so-called multi-billion rand fund for farmers, mining magnate Patrice Motsepe has now also promised to increase prize money in major Confederation of African Football (CAF) competitions.

Motsepe, who is edging his way towards presidency of the football body, made the announcement during his ten-point action plan at the launch of his CAF presidential manifesto a few days ago.

In his opening speech, Motsepe said he was asked to run for CAF presidency several times.

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

“I said no because I’ve got enough challenges in my life. When I focus on doing something it requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice. More importantly it requires tangible, visible and assessable progress,” the billionaire businessman said.

Motsepe noted the importance of improving the efficiency‚ administration and organisation of CAF’S competitions and said they would significantly increase the prize money of competitions.

And the billions for farmers?

While Motsepe’s promise of financial support made football lovers happy, South African farmers remain anxious to hear whether the multi-billion rand fund he promised in October 2019 actually materialised.

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

Motsepe announced the farmers’ fund during his keynote address at AFASA’s Agri-business Transformation Conference in Bloemfontein.

During the announcement, the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals told attendees that farming was at a critical stage and noted that the involvement and participation of black people is important.

At the time, Motsepe said that details of the fund – a joint venture between the Motsepe Foundation and banks – would be announced soon.

Motsepe, the brother-in-law of President Cyril Ramaphosa, said that banks, agri-businesses and other industry role-players were joining forces to give black farmers access to finance and opportunities.

Sixteen months later and neither the Motsepe foundation, African Rainbow Minerals or  AFASA have confirmed whether the fund was actually launched, or just another broken promise to farmers.

AFASA top brass to discuss Motsepe fund

Meanwhile Food For Mzansi can confirm that AFASA is set to discuss Motsepe’s promise of a multi-billion rand farmers’ fund at their national executive council meeting this week.

When previously asked about the fund, AFASA’s newly elected president, A.J. Mthembu, told Food For Mzansi he had no knowledge about it.

Afasa president, A.J. Mthembu. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

“I do not have any idea as to how that multi-billion rand (fund) from the Motsepe Foundation was dealt with,” he said.

Mthembu commented that the AFASA chairperson Neo Masithela and late Dr Vuyo Mahlati, who was the associations previous president and chairperson of Ramaphosa’s panel on land reform and agriculture, “interacted with the project”.

Whether the money actually materialised or not, could not be confirmed at this point.

Food For Mzansi also reached out to Masithela, but he too has not responded on numerous enquiries about the much-anticipated multi-billion rand fund.

ALSO READ: Motsepe announces multi-billion rand fund for black farmers

Farmers who were among the nearly 200 delegates at AFASA’s three-day conference at Imvelo Safari, have told Food For Mzansi that the prevailing secrecy around the fund is rather weird.

A Gauteng-based farmer said, “Until today there has been nothing. The waiting has been too long. I don’t know what’s happening in this country.

“People talk about big budgets and then the money disappears. I don’t know what’s happening in this country.”

Furthermore, a Free State farmer called for transparency from both AFASA and Motsepe.

“Those who have been appointed to deal with the transformation and improvement of farmers must be held accountable.”

ALSO READ: AFASA confirms death of its president, Dr Vuyo Mahlati

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.
Exit mobile version