R1.1bn for new land claims

By Drum Digital
22 October 2014

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has forecast R1.1 billion to be spent over the next three years on handling new land claims following the re-opening of the process in July.

However, the department of rural development and land reform will find the money by shifting funds already in its budget.

"Reprioritising funds already on its budget, the department of rural development and land reform is expected to allocate R1.1 billion over the spending period to manage and investigate these claims," Nene said in his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement.

The new five-year period for land claims will run until June 31, 2019.

Opposition parties have estimated that the process will cost the state nearly R180 billion.

The Adjusted Estimates of National Expenditure document shows that in the first six months of the current financial year, the department acquired roughly 43,000 hectares of land for land reform, out of an annual target of 390,000 hectares.

In the same period, it recapitalised 79 farms, out of a targeted 719 for the year. This goal has now been revised downwards to 330, as the department shifted its priorities from recapitalisation to funding rural infrastructure projects.

"The target for the number of socio-economic infrastructure projects co-ordinated and facilitated per year will increase from 31 to 200, due to the need to speed up the comprehensive rural development programme."

-SAPA

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