Gauteng MEC for Agriculture, Morakane Mosupyoe, has handed over production support vouchers to farmers as the province continues the battle against coronavirus (COVID-19).

More than 15 000 farmers applied for assistance from the agriculture disaster relief fund.

Smallholder and communal farmers’ received a maximum of R50 000.

Some farmers did not qualify due to lack of documentation.

Twenty six-year-old female farmer Tebogo Mutabhatsindi says: ‘During the lockdown we faced a challenge of having a market. We couldn’t supply our produce. We donated some to NGOs and some we used for compost.”

“Now we do not qualify for the vouchers because of our lease agreements. We have short term leases. The application says you must at least have a five year lease agreement. This will however motivate us to get long term leases in the future,” she adds.

Mosupyoe says proof is required for people to receive the assistance.

“What we have done as a province in Gauteng was to reach out to all the farmers who did not qualify because we wanted to understand why.”

“When the minister announced this relief, she said that some of the farmers did not qualify because they did not provide all of the documentation.”

“We are doing that study to check why some of them did not qualify and see if there is any way we can assist them. We work within the confines of the law, if people want us to assist them, they must help us by doing things properly.”