In its efforts to empower young people, the Department of Water and Sanitation engaged young and emerging farmers in seminars that discussed various issues affecting them in the water sector.
The seminar was held at Burgers Park Hotel in Pretoria on Friday, 04 June 2021 and it was aimed at addressing issues such as Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Water Use Licensing Applications (WULA) which were identified as some of the hurdles that are experienced by both commercial and subsistence farmers.
Tsunduka Khoza, Acting Chief Director: Water Use License Management urged prospective applicants to ensure that their water use license applications are submitted online through the Water Use License Application and Authorisation System (e-WULAAS) which will assist in meeting the 90 days’ turnaround time.
He advised that applicants should contain technical documents such as Master layout plan, Agricultural activity report, Methods of irrigation, Groundwater report,
Plough certificate, Soil sustainability study, and Civil design drawings to ensure that they are fast tracked. ‘’We are in the teething process of implementing the 90 days’ turnaround time of issuing water use licenses, we are confident that with the assistant of Operation Vulindlela from the Presidency we will be able to issue those licenses within the stipulated time’’ said Mr Khoza.
The majority of young farmers described the process of acquiring water use license as excessively complicated administrative procedure which is an obstacle towards their growth and development.
‘’We can never become commercial farmers without EIA and WULA and those processes are too technical and take a great deal of time’’, said Kagiso Murwa, a livestock farmer from Youth in Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Department of Water and Sanitation acknowledged that agriculture and farming are the main economic drivers in the country and they need adequate water in order to flourish hence they initiated a conversation with the youths in the sector.