Home South African ‘John Steenhuisen understands the economics’: Farmers welcome new Agriculture minister

‘John Steenhuisen understands the economics’: Farmers welcome new Agriculture minister

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Commercial farmers union TLU SA has welcomed the appointment of DA leader John Steenhuisen as Minister of Agriculture in the seventh administration under the government of national unity led by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The new Minister of Agriculture, John Steenhuisen. Picture: Henk Kruger, Independent Newspapers

COMMERCIAL farmers union TLU SA has welcomed the appointment of DA leader John Steenhuisen as Minister of Agriculture in the seventh administration under the government of national unity led by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

On Sunday night, Ramaphosa, re-elected for a second term after the ANC lost its outright majority, unveiled his new Cabinet that consists of members of the DA and various other political parties who have signed on to be part of the government of national unity (NGU).

In an interview with broadcaster Newzroom Afrika, Bennie van Zyl, the general manager of TLU SA, said the farmers’ organisation was surprised by the deployment of Steenhuisen to lead this critical sector.

“For us, that was quite a surprise. We were not sure who it was going to be, way back when the minister was not yet appointed. We actually asked the DA to fight for that position because we need a minister who does understand economics,” Van Zyl said.

“Agriculture is an economic process, it goes about profitability and sustainability. That is one basis for stabilisation in your country – food on the table. Therefore, we asked for that and we are quite happy that the outcome is of such a nature that we have a person who does understand the economics.

“You cannot play wrong with the principles of market forces and sustainability. That is crucial for food security in your country. So we are quite happy,” he added.

According to Van Zyl, the previous agriculture ministers were caught up in the ANC ideological approach, and at times that brought to the table some issues that were not grounded on market principles and profitability.

On Sunday night, the rand remained stable after Ramaphosa announced his new Cabinet for South Africa’s seventh administration. The new Cabinet includes ministers and deputy ministers from the the ANC, DA, Inkatha Freedom Party , Patriotic Alliance, GOOD, Al-Jama-ah, United Democratic Movement and Freedom Front Plus.

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