Rural development

An update on progress and achievements 2016/17
What does Government say about rural development?
Outcomes for rural development and land reform





An update on progress and achievements 2016/17

Assistance for rural communities

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) has established a  number of programmes to support rural communities:
The Agri-Parks programme will bring about economic transformation in rural areas and improve market access for smallholder farmers. Significant progress has been made with three Agri-Hubs at Ncora in the Eastern Cape, Springbokpan in North West and Brandvlei in Gauteng. 
The National Rural Youth Services Corps (NARYSEC) remains an important vehicle for the empowerment of the rural youth through skills development and employment. During 2016/17 2 711 youth were enrolled into the programme. The majority of the new recruits were young women.

Through the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP), people living in rural communities have been given the opportunity to overcome poverty. Some of the recent highlights under the programme include:

  • The DRDLR acquired and distributed 834 134 hectares of land throughout the country. To ensure sustained production, 712 067 smallholder farmers were supported through various initiatives including access to information.
  • Another 10 271 resources-poor historically disadvantaged producers were given support that enabled them to access water. More than 2 000 water-use licences were finalised, enabling the farmers to irrigate their land.
  • A total of 33 341 smallholder producers were assisted to access markets. To increase the farmers' competitiveness and help them to take  advantage of market opportunities 1 284 producer co-operatives and marketing depots were established.
  • More than one million household and institutional and community gardens were established.
  • Food was distributed to 2,8 million people through the Food for All Programme.
  • About nine million learners were provided with nutritious meals through the School Nutrition Programme.
  • Infrastructure development has contributed to 503 365 households gaining access to clean running water; about one million gaining access to sanitation and just above 11 million gaining access to electricity.

    >> South Africa Yearbook 2015/16, chapter on Rural development [PDF]

The department initiated a land development programme called One Household One Hectare in 2015 targeting state-owned farms, Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS) farms and communal land with the purpose of creating rural smallholder producers at household level to ensure food security, reduce poverty, create sustainable employment, broaden the skills base and support the Agri-parks Programme. A total of 158 sites benefiting 5 734 households across the country has been approved and six sites benefiting 689 households had been launched. The aim is to provide support to 5 000 households under the programme.  

More than 100 proposals have been received for the  Strengthening of Relative Rights (SRR) (50/50 Policy Framework) programme, of which 14 had been approved by the end of the 2016/17 financial year. An amount of R689 785 have been invested benefiting 4 450 beneficiaries.  

In the financial year 2017/18 the Department will invest an amount of R112 million in the acquisition of land for farm dwellers and labour tenants in order to entrench their security of tenure.

>> Deputy Minister Mcebisi Skwatsha: Rural Development and Land Reform Dept Budget Vote 2017/18

Land reform

The Commission for the Restitution of Land Rights has by the end of the 2016/17 financial year settled 790 212 of the land claims lodged by 31 December 1998, which translates to a total of 3.38 million hectares benefiting 408 231 households. 

>> Department of Rural Development and Land Reform Annual Report 2016/17

What does Government say about rural development?

Outcomes for rural development and land reform

The Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform and MECs have signed delivery agreements based on Outcome 7: Vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities with food security for all.

The Delivery agreement for outcome 7: Vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities and food security for all lists standards against which performance are measured.




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