7th January, 2016
ICSA rural development chairman Billy Gray today said that the delays on delivering national reserve payments and the young farmer top up were causing immense frustration among eligible farmers. He said that there was also frustration among a core of farmers who were still not paid ANC or BPS payments by the first days of January.
“ICSA accepts that there has been a lot of work with examining applications for the national reserve but it is surely now time to see delivery. Every effort must now be made to clear backlogs on all payments. Affected farmers are extremely frustrated by the lack of progress and there is huge annoyance that information is not being made available to them. Difficulties in getting through to the Department on the phone is adding to the frustration.”
“The Department needs to put extra staff on the phone lines to handle queries and provide some indication of when people will be paid. While the percentage of farmers paid ANC and BPS is high, this is no consolation to farmers who have got nothing yet and are under severe pressure. The Minister needs to look at staffing resources and deployment early in 2016 with a view to ensuring we do not have a repeat in 2016.”