Good governance key to land reform

2016-10-26 06:00

The commercial vi-ability of agricultural land transferred to communal property institutions (CPIs) Z beneficiaries of go-vernment’s land reform programme Z can be substantially improved if the targeted communities esta-blish structures that foster good corporate governance and improve individual entrepreneurship.

The land reform programme has been plagued by numerous challenges, including criticism that arable land transferred to beneficiaries of land repossession has not been used optimally and productively.

According to independent studies, there has been a 90% failure rate in the land reform programme.

“One of the biggest challenges that we have seen with these beneficiaries, and possibly a contributor to the high failure rate, are the low levels of compliance with basic requirements for good governance by CPIs who have benefitted,” says Peter Setou, chief executive, Vumelana Advisory Fund (VAF).

Setou adds that the failure of some of these farms may exa-cerbate poverty and unemployment and undermine the agra-rian land reform project, food production and other agricultural outputs.

About eight million hectares of the total of 86 million hectares of white-owned farmland have been transferred to black South Africans through land restitution and redistribution.

In order to improve good governance practices and create more commercially viable CPIs, the VAF recommends that steps are taken in assisting beneficiaries to set up good governance structures.

In 2014 the VAF launched the Vumelana Governance Awards to incentivise and reward good go-vernance practices by CPIs.

“The Vumelana Governance Awards give recognition where it is due. We also provide a cash prize that winning emer-ging farmers and trusts can use for further development and growth,” says Setou.

To enter the Vumelana Governance Award, complete the application form on www.vumelana.org. za, or send an email to
goodgovernance@ vumelana.org.za or to Lisa Herbst at lherbst@vumelana. org.za or contact VAF on 011-612-2000. The closing date for applications is Friday, 4 November.

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