Minister's speech on visit to Fort Hare
We are gathered here today to explore and engage in the endeavor by University of Fort Hare to expand on the scope of training offered in support of agriculture. This engagement happens when the latest data from Statistics SA, pertaining to the gross domestic product (GDP) shows that agriculture had by far the largest growth. The South African economy grew by 1,3% in 2017, exceeding National Treasury’s expectation of 1,0% growth.
The strengthening economic activity in 2017 was partly driven by the agriculture industry, bouncing back from one of the worst droughts in recent history. A bumper maize crop and recovery in other agricultural commodities saw agriculture production rise by 17,7% in 2017 compared with 2016. In the fourth quarter of 2017, a rise in the production of animal products saw the agriculture industry continue its buoyant performance, recording a 37,5% quarter-on-quarter rise in production. However, we are still experiencing drought in the Western Cape and parts of the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape.