ANC national executive committee member, Ronald Lamola says that white farmers impede the success of black farmers who get land by closing them out on water rights.
Speaking during a week-long Women In Water Summit held in Mbombela, Lamola said full access to land the goes hand in hand with water rights.
He also said that women as the people who work the land, they must come up with innovative ways to save water and also better contribute to the economy.
“Our economy is growing at less than 2% and women who are the people working the land and they need to better contribute with innovative ways to save the water which helps to work the land. They need to equip themselves with skills,” he said.
“When it comes to land reform we need to give practical ownership of the land with water rights too. What we have noticed and our people are complaining about is that when they claim the land they do not get water rights in farms they claim.”
“You find out that whites are involved in a corrupt scheme to close out black farms from water, where the previous farm owner steal the water rights and give to his friends who happen to be neighbouring white farmers.”
“They price a farm (too high) to be given to blacks and when the farm is officially given to the blacks they don’t get the water rights which it’s clear that they are setting black farmers for failure,” said Lamola.
The chairperson of the Inkomati Usuthu Water Catchment Management agency, Thokozani Nyaka said there’s no way that farms can be given without water to people to farm, hence land and water goes together.
“We know that land and water issues goes together. You cannot have land without water for anything you opt to do with the land and remember these water catchments are on the some land and without water we are bound to fail in anything. Here we want women to come up with innovative ways to preserve water and deal with the climate change which makes our rivers and dams dry,” said Nyaka.