Welcome to the ninth month of the year, the official start of springtime and a busy day in agriculture, both on and off the land. High up on the agri agenda is a national Arbor Month campaign kicking off and a food security webinar.
Parliament has its plate full with the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development responding to public comments on the upgrading of land tenure rights amendment (ULTRA) bill and the portfolio committee on environment, forestry and fisheries receiving a response from the department on the budgetary review and recommendation report.
Then, it is off to a debate on farm attacks and murders by the national assembly and the select committee on land reform, environment, mineral resources and energy is briefed on poor air quality.
National #ArborMonth campaign kicks off
September is Arbor Month and this year’s national campaign will be coordinated under the theme “Forests and Biodiversity”. This signifies the importance of protecting and conserving our biodiversity as the backbone of our economy and livelihoods.
At 10:00 in Thaba Nchu in the Free State the deputy minister of environment, forestry and fisheries, Makhotso Sotyu, will launch a memorial garden. She will then make her way to Hillside View in Bloemfontein where a ceremony of planting indigenous trees is scheduled at 12:00.
Food security webinar: End poverty and inequality
The centre of excellence in food security takes a closer look at coping strategies around access to and choices about food adopted by South African communities during the national lockdown.
In a free webinar themed “Strengthening communities to end poverty and inequality” presenters will also share insights on various discussion points. This includes the implications for both policy implementation going forward and what can be done to mitigate the devastating impacts of a crisis. Interested individuals can register to join the webinar scheduled for 13:00 here.
Department responds to ‘issues’ raised on ULTRA bill
Today, the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development, will respond to issues raised by stakeholders during the five days of public hearings on the upgrading of land tenure rights amendment (ULTRA) bill.
Various organisations and community members have called for the upgrading of the bill to protect land tenants, especially women. However, according to the parliamentary monitoring group, mixed submissions was received on the bill.
Various organisations and community members supported the bill and said that it was a step in the right direction. Some, advocated for full ownership to be given to historically disadvantaged groups, including black farmers and women. While some preferred that land ownership be transferred to the communities and traditional authorities and not traditional leaders. The virtual meeting is scheduled for 09:00 to 12:00.
DEFF reacts to budgetary review
Also meeting at 09:00 for three hours is the portfolio committee on environment, forestry and fisheries. The committee will receive responses by the department on resolutions raised in the 2019-2020 budgetary review and recommendation report, and the implementation thereof.
Debate on farm attacks and murders
The national assembly will today at 14:00 hold a hybrid plenary sitting and debate, what has been deemed an urgent matter of national public importance. The debate themed “Recent scourge of farm attacks and murders of farm workers”, is open to members of the public. The sittings can be followed live on parliament TV (DSTV channel 408), or streamed via the parliament YouTube channel and Twitter page.
Measures to address poor air quality
The select committee on land reform, environment, mineral resources and energy will be briefed by the South African weather services and the central energy fund today.
The virtual briefing at 15:00 is centred around the impact of current measures to address poor air quality in identified priority areas. These include the efficacy of monitoring, and the impact of regulations on air quality status. The committee will also look at future plans for energy generation in provinces adversely affected by old generation coal power stations.