The national grazing strategy of the Republic of South Africa: Objectives, achievements and future challenges.

  • Du Toit P.F.
  • Aucamp A.J.
  • Bruwer J.J.

Abstract

The White Paper on Agricultural Policy, tabled in May 1984, made reference to the alarming deterioration of natural rangelands and led to the drawing up of the National Grazing Strategy (NGS), released to parliament in May 1985, which was endorsed by the Department of Agriculture and accepted in its entirety by the Government. The NGS committed authorities to reassess approaches to rangeland utilization in South Africa and to achieve a number of clearly-defined goals within a specified time frame. It is proposed that future implementation of the NGS should be augmented by some important second phase actions; Over the past few years various measures have been applied to address the problem of the retrogression of southern African rangelands. However, it has become apparent that many of these measures were ad hoc and not part of a long-term strategy aimed at fostering effective management of the rangeland resources. The White Paper on Agricultural Policy, tabled in May 1984, made reference to the alarming deterioration of natural rangelands and led to the drawing up of the National Grazing Strategy (NGS), released to Parliament in May 1985, which was endorsed by the Department of Agriculture and accepted in its entirety by the Government. The NGS committed authorities to reassess approaches to rangeland utilization in South Africa and to achieve a number of clearly-defined goals within a specified time frame. The implementation of the NGS has been carefully monitored. Despite some progress, few of the goals set have actually been achieved. However, various problems have arisen such as the need to: encourage the cooperation of all range users, develop informed public opinion, increase manpower and establish priorities, all of which must be taken into account when future rangeland strategies are devised. These strategies also need to recognize the dichotomy that exists between programmes aimed at the development of certain industries and those aimed at resource conservation. It is proposed that future implementation of the NGS should be augmented by some of the following important second phase actions: (i) The strategy should be converted into a policy to be applied to all Departmental institutions, (ii) policy makers and politicians must accept liability and must take the lead in the application of stringent measures aimed at agricultural resource conservation and utilization.Language: English

Keywords: Agricultural policies; Grazing; National Grazing Strategy; Natural rangelands; South Africa; agricultural policy; management; rangeland; rangeland utilization; resource conservation; grazing strategy; retrogression; utilization; conservation; rangelands; strategies; white paper; policies; agriculture; goals

Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1727-9380
print ISSN: 1022-0119