House Chairperson, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is tasked with the mandate to ensure food security for all South Africans. The agriculture and fisheries communities therefore cannot continue to suffer because of a Minister who fails to take her job seriously. Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has continually been preoccupied with scandal after scandal instead of addressing the critical matters that impact significantly on our economy.
The department is a simple reflection of the disorganisation of its leadership. Too many questions remain unanswered regarding numerous matters. Firstly, the Minister insisted on funding the Black Association of the Wine and Spirits Industry, Bawsi, workers organisation responsible for fuelling the tragic farm workers' strike in the Western Cape last year.
During the 2010 Rift Valley fever outbreaks, the Minister did nothing to alleviate the situation of animal health and did not respond to the pleas from the farming community for assistance.
Recently, Minister Joemat-Pettersson's department spent R1,7 million on her Budget Vote party. She has also failed to manage the very crucial fleet needed for research in the fishing industry. The Minister must put the department and the people of South Africa first, not her personal political agendas.
I would like to hear what the ANC will have to say about this, because, just this morning, we discussed the Ncera Report, the Mafisa Report and the Mechanisation Report. We sent the department back home, because they could not tell this committee what they are doing with the funding that we give them every year. Thank you. [Applause.]