13 November 2023
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is deeply dismayed by baseless fearmongering by the Democratic Alliance (DA) on agricultural export license requirements to the European Union and Great Britain. The DA falsely claimed that government has imposed a new requirement that agricultural export licenses will only be issued to farms with an annual turnover of less than R10 million or who have been issued Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment compliance certificates and that this will pose a threat to all 800 000 agricultural jobs.
Tragically, these hysterical allegations by some obscure DA Member of Parliament (MP) are devoid of any relationship to facts or truth. We welcome the clarification provided by not only the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development but also by AgBiz on behalf industry that there are no such limitations to agricultural exports.
We understand that politicians from an opposition party will always be scrolling for a soundbite and a headline, more so in the run up to their parties’ selecting candidates for an election. But this desperation should not come at the expense of an already fragile economy struggling to boost and attract investors confidence, support battered sectors, reduce unemployment and boost state revenues. The action by a single misguided MP has done real damage to brand South Africa when we can least afford it.
Its important that the DA provide economics and communications courses for its public representatives and institute some quality control measures to avoid future reckless and ill considered statements causing further damage to local businesses, jobs and the economy. It will be a pity for our maturing constitutional democracy if we are compelled to reduce statements by the official opposition to the spam folder if they continue along this path of misinformation.
Issued by COSATU
For comment please contact:
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687