Pretoria: Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson in a statement on Monday said she had noted the “orchestrated and well-coordinated campaign aimed at spreading malicious gossip and blatant lies to discredit the Ministry” and her department.
The statement by the ministry was in response to recent newspaper reports related to the minister’s staff. In an article at the weekend, it was claimed that the minister had been accused of purging staff and replacing them with close confidants irregularly.
The ministry said Joemat-Pettersson was determined to get to the root of corruption in the department and ministry and would continue to do so despite efforts to derail the minister.
“Corruption leads to a lack of service delivery. It leads to broken promises and ultimately affects the poor among us. The mandate of the minister, as spelled out in her agreements with the President, requires her to ensure food security to households that currently do not enjoy this.
“The minister’s interventions with Walmart and especially within the small holder farming sector has given hope to farmers who otherwise would not have the skills or finances and markets to earn incomes. We will continue to work with rural women and households to ensure that the services reach them timeously,” it added.
Joemat-Pettersson and her staff would continue with efforts to deliver services to South Africans; work towards ensuring food security as food prices continue to increase and uplift the lives of the poor, the ministry said.