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Deon Grove
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Farms for all!

07 May 2014, 15:14

How much is R 700bn? What can be done with this amount of money? The reason I’m asking is that it was mentioned on Carte Blanche on Sunday, that this is the amount of money lost by our country due to corruption since 1994 !  Now I ask myself : “ How much better off would we have been if we had this money at our disposal ? “

Because of the burning land issue , I figure that to try and work out how much agricultural land can be purchased with this money must be a good start. Let’s forget things like inflation , interest lost on the money etc. etc. Let’s for just one moment assume that we had all this money for the sole purpose of buying land ….

First of all we need to determine an average price for land since 1994. Instead of going that route however , let’s work on current market related prices . Depending on which area of S.A  the land is bought in , it should be safe to work on an average price of R10 000/ hectare. I realise that it may be higher than this , but it sure makes the calculations a lot easier !

Government set themselves a target to transfer 30% of all available land to the previously disadvantaged by 2014. We all know this has not been achieved , but was it possible were it not for corruption ?

 During the early 1970s ‘white’ agricultural land covered an area of 91,790,414 hectares. Homeland consolidation during the 1970’s and 1980’s caused this figure to drop to 89 million hectares. (ThE JournaL of The Helen Suzman foundation | issue 70 | October 2013)

At an average price of R 10 000 / hectare we would be able to buy about 70 million hectares of land at market related prices ! That equates to 78.65% of all available land currently . Add to this the 6 million hectares that has already been transferred by government and you will find that 85.39% of all land would have been transferred by now at market related prices !

We could go deeper into this and see how inflation , interest rates etc. would have ensured that there would have been enough money left to actually manage these farms as well, but we won’t. The point I am trying to make is simply that through good governance the whole situation in S.A would have been different today. Let’s hope the next 20 years will be better!

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