1. Constitutional mandates
The department of Agriculture is an integral part of the South African Public Service established in terms of section 197 of the Constitution and read with section 7(1) and 7(2) of the Public Services Act of 1994.
The Department derives its core mandate from the provisions of schedules 4 and 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and in accordance with section 104(1) b of the Constitution.
As a concurrent national and provincial legislative competency listed in schedule 4 of the Constitution, the Department of Agriculture, as part of the system of concurrent governance, derives its administrative mandate from both National Parliament and Provincial Legislature.
The Department of Agriculture’s mandate is currently vested mainly in the following statutes:
2. Legislative mandates
||Departmental key responsibilities|
|Agricultural Products Standards Acts, 1990 (Act No 199 of 1990)
||Through the Crop production and Agribusiness Development units, the department provides control over the sale and export of certain agricultural products and other related products with a view to the maintenance of certain standards regarding quality of products and packing, marking and labeling.|
|Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act No 35 of 1984)
||Through the Veterinary Services unit, the Department provides for control measures for the prevention of diseases and parasites and for schemes to promote animal health.|
|Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, 1983 (Act No 43 of 1983)
||Through the Natural Resource Management Unit, the department provides for control over the utilization of natural agricultural resources in order to promote the conservation of soil, water sources and vegetation, and the combating weeds and invader plants.|
|Meat Safety Act, 2000 (Act No. 40 of 2000)
||Through the Veterinary Services unit, the department provides of the maintenance of proper standards of hygiene in the slaughtering of animals and in handling of meat and animal products.|
|Marketing Act, 1968 (Act No 59 of 1968)
||Through the Agriplanning Development unit, the department support introduction of a system of control over the marketing of agricultural products and regulates the quantitative control over the import or export of these products.|
|Subdivision of Agricultural land Act, 1970 (Act No 70 of 1970)
||Through the Natural Resource Management unit, the department undertakes the investigations for the subdivision of agricultural land and its use for purpose other than agriculture.|
|Co-operatives Act, 1981 (Act No 91 of 1981)
||Through the Agribusiness Development unit, the department assist in the registration and formation of agricultural co-operatives|
3. Policy mandates
||Departmental key responsibilities|
|Mechanisation Revolving Credit Access Scheme, 2006
||Through Agribusiness Development unit, the department provides support for farmers to acquire mechanization equipment.|
|Crop Input Supply, 2007
||Through the Crop Production unit, the department provides crop production inputs for farmers.|
|Land and Agrarian Reform Programme
||The aim of the policy is to increase agricultural trade, increase agricultural production and provide universal access to agricultural support services for targeted groups sector.|
4. Relevant court rulings
Constitutional ruling on the Nyathi Case:
Nyathi vs MEC for Department of Health, Gauteng and Another 2008(5) SA 94(CC) (The ruling is applicable for all departments including department of Agriculture Limpopo)
- Section 3 of the State Liability Act No 20 of 1957, has been declared invalid and inconsistent with Constitution but declaration of validity has been suspended.
- Prescribed a process for enforcement of court order against the state for payment of money failing which the state property may be attached for execution.
- Effect: court orders must be paid within 30(thirty) working days of date of judgment.
5. Planned policy initiatives
The department plans to continue using the MERECAS, LARP and Crop Input Supply policy as the basis for improving appropriate support and service delivery.