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HOLLARD

  • Unequal access to land in South Africa continues to prevent citizens from enjoying human dignity, rights and security. The ongoing debates and recent public hearings about land reform policy in the country are therefore crucial from a justice and development perspective.

  • Billionaire businessman and philanthropist Patrice Motsepe says South African farmers, both black and white, need to be safe in the knowledge that their right to land and assets are protected.

  • TAU SA has taken note of media reports that the executive officer in the office of the valuer general has indicated that some properties belonging to the state and which could be utilised for land reform purposes, will not have any value at all.

  • Yes, land reform in South Africa is an urgent issue; the landless will almost certainly not be put off much longer for at least some movement in their direction.

  • The debate about the expropriation of white-owned land without compensation is about much more than the method of land reform.

  • Post-independence land restitution is a problem many African countries face. In South Africa, the Jacob Zuma-era governing African National Congress party took a decision to expropriate land without compensation.

  • The South African ruling party’s plans on land reform, which include expropriating land without compensation in certain circumstances, will ensure that property rights are safeguarded, its spokesman on the issue said.

    “This is not going to diminish or wipe out property rights,” Ronald Lamola, a member of the African National Congress’s National Executive Committee, said on Bloomberg TV Wednesday. “We’ve been very clear that we don’t want to” hurt confidence or collapse the economy, he said.

    Land Grab. More brilliant cartoon work available at www.zapiro.com.
    The ANC has called for changes to the constitution to clarify under which circumstances it can seize land without compensation to address racially skewed land-ownership patterns dating back to colonial and apartheid rule.

    Critics say it could erode property rights and fears of Zimbabwe-style land grabs have stoked investor concerns and helped weaken the rand. With general elections looming next year, President Cyril Ramaphosa has embraced expropriation without compensation, but insists there won’t be a state-sanctioned land grab.

    ‘Rule of Law’
    Land reform “will be done properly and through the rule of law,” Lamola said.

    Changing section 25 of the constitution isn’t the ANC’s only strategy to ensure land reform, Lamola said, adding that regardless of amendments, this law protects individual rights. The government is redrafting its Land Expropriation Bill that will define the circumstances under which land could be expropriated even if the move to change the constitution failed. The debate for constitutional changes will take time and is unlikely to be completed before the general elections, expected in about May. “I don’t see it being finished anytime soon,” he said in an interview at Bloomberg’s Johannesburg offices.

    There is consensus on the need to distribute land to the country’s black majorityto change racially skewed ownership patterns, Lamola said. “It is not about driving people to the sea,” he said.

    AgriSA, the nation’s biggest farming industry lobby group, said in August it will go to the country’s highest court to protect property rights.

    South Africa’s farmers are among the world’s biggest white corn, table-grape and citrus-fruit exporters, and are the second-largest producers of a wool variety used in clothing. A 2017 state-commissioned land audit shows that a third of the country’s rural land is owned by individuals and 72 percent of that is in white hands. Companies and trusts hold 43 percent of rural land, and the race of their beneficiaries and owners is difficult to determine.

    The populist Economic Freedom Fighters party, which has won support from young voters in impoverished townships, supports the change and wants all land nationalised, which the ANC is against.

    “We don’t support blanket nationalisation,” Lamola said. CHRIS BATEMAN

  • Land prices are "broadly stable" despite uncertainty as the ruling ANC moves to change the constitution to expropriate land without compensation, the Banking Association of South Africa.

  • There is a broad consensus that agricultural development is key to unlocking the economic possibilities of the communal areas in SA. The National Development Plan confirms as much.

  • The Western Cape has the most lucrative agricultural economy in South Africa, but has not been able to transform in order to allow equitable black participation.

  • South Africa’s land expropriation debate continues to roil everyone from farmers to foreign investors and financial institutions. What has the government done to address land reform?  

  • South Africa and neighbouring Namibia met to share notes, best practice and common interest in rural development and land reform.

  • A plan to expropriate land without compensation will benefit a small number of citizens if successfully implemented but will be disastrous for most people if it goes awry, the Institute of Race Relations warned.

  • Earlier this year, Nick Serfontein wrote an open letter to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa asking him to take the views of white farmers on board as the government considers expropriating land without compensation to reduce rural poverty.

  • American think-tank, the Cato Institute, recently published a warning of the possible effects that expropriating privately-owned farmland may have on South Africa.

  • An American research team set tongues wagging in South Africa this weekend when they called on South Africa to learn a lesson from the Robert Mugabe regime, in order to avoid becoming a “second Zimbabwe” when implementing land expropriation policies.

  • The government is open to negotiating with farm owners to find viable solutions to  land expropriation without compensation, says rural development & land reform minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. 

  • A final report on the land reform debate in South Africa is expected to be produced by Parliament come 15 November. However, seeing as the process has been dogged by delays and procedural missteps, South Africans shouldn’t hold their collective breaths. Whatever decision is made is likely to be highly controversial. But this below piece outlines some rational proposals to deal with land reform properly without wrecking the economy. –

  • The land reform debate in South Africa has become increasingly polarised since Parliament resolved to consider amending the country’s Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.

  • Agri SA confirms its position that expropriation without compensation (EWC) will have dire socio-economic impacts. The danger of EWC is especially pertinent as the constitutional review committee (CRC) is expected to finalise their recommendation on the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution this week.

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