An investigation of the success factors of black commercial farmers in the North West Province
South Africa’s agriculture sector is characterised by two very different constituents: a small number of very modern mechanised commercial farmers and a much larger number of small-scale farmers. This dualism was a product of the Apartheid legacy that began with the controversial Natives Land Act (No 27) of 1913 followed by almost 70 years of Government policies and subsidies to advance white commercial agriculture on 84% of the land area. In contrast, black farmers were forced off their land and prohibited to farm on a large scale. The land issue in South Africa is sensitive and emotional and to add to this emotion in the current day, the land reform process in South Africa is slow to correct the unequal land distribution of the past. To ensure black commercial farmers are successful the government and the private sector should provide adequate support to improve their success rate and ultimately protect food security in South Africa. To understand what will constitute adequate support for these farmers, the role players in the industry should first understand what factors impacts on their success. The primary objective of this study is firstly to investigate the factors that influence the success of black commercial farmers in the North West Province and secondly to provide recommendations to industry role players and policy makers to ensure that their support structures will be suitable to increase the success of these farmers. In order to achieve the objective a semi-structured interview questionnaire was performed with 14 successful black commercial farmers in the North West Province. Conclusions were drawn from this study on the outcomes of the factors influencing the perceived success of black commercial farmers in the North West Province. Finally, a critical evaluation was done and practical recommendations are suggested to improve the success rate of black commercial farmers in South Africa.