Zuma proposes new land plan

2012-10-23 07:07

President Jacob Zuma has proposed a new land reform plan.

“This is an innovative proposal that needs to be tested,” he told the first yearly general meeting of the African Farmers’ Association of SA (Afasa) in Pretoria last night.

The plan proposed a district-based approach to land reform and its financing.

“It proposes that each district should establish a district land reform committee where all stakeholders are involved.

“This committee will be responsible for identifying 20% of the commercial agricultural land in the district and giving commercial farmers the option of assisting its transfer to black farmers.”

Implementation of this land reform proposal would include five steps.

Firstly, it would entail identifying land readily available from land already in the market; land where the farmer was under severe financial pressure; land held by an absentee landlord willing to exit; and land in a deceased estate.

“In this way, land can be found without distorting markets.”

Secondly, the state would buy the land at 50% of its market value. This, Zuma said, would be closer to its fair productive value.

The current owner’s shortfall would be made up by cash or in-kind contributions from the commercial farmers in the district who volunteered to participate.

Thirdly, in exchange, commercial farmers would be protected from losing their land and gain black economic empowerment status.
“This should remove the uncertainty and mistrust that surrounds land reform and the related loss of investor confidence.”

Fourthly, a stepped-up programme of financing would be created, Zuma said. This would involve the Treasury, the Land Bank, and established white farmers.

“The model envisages that the cost of land reform be spread between all stakeholders. It also envisages new financial instruments being designed for the purpose of facilitating land reform.”

These could include 40-year mortgages at preferential rates for new entrants into the markets, as well as land bonds that white farmers and others could invest in.

The fifth step was increasing investment in agricultural research and development.

Zuma said agriculture was crucial in the government’s drive to promote food security and economic growth.

“It is important to make people go back to the land, and not to view social grants, wage employment, and
non-agricultural informal activities as the only source of income for rural households than agricultural employment.”

While looking at the need to increase food production, the government was also prioritising transformation in the agricultural sector.

“The current state of affairs within the agricultural sector in South Africa is one where commercial and smallholder agriculture co-exist, the one sector being predominantly white and the other sector being predominantly black.”

Commercial agriculture is currently producing 90% of the agricultural output. It is estimated that it consists of about 37 000 members.

On the other hand 25 million people living in rural areas produce the remaining 10% through subsistence farming.

“More support for emerging farmers will enable us to improve the participation of black people, in particular Africans, in commercial agriculture.”

In attendance at the event were Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat-Pettersson, and pastor Ray McCauley.

Mokonyane called on farmers to work together to feed the country and the continent.

“Let us not only farm for us to go to bed with a meal.”

McCauley congratulated Afasa on its successful conference.

“Let me just say this in case you did not know this. God loves the farmer,” he said to the crowd’s appreciation.

“Eve was the first farmer. She tended to the apples.”

Joemat-Pettersson, who introduced Zuma, described him as a man of depth and the father of the nation.

“We support you and we will support you.”

She said no weapon formed against him would succeed as he had looked after each and every farmer.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.