Revealed: The government’s plan to expropriate more land

2015-05-08 17:08
Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti

Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti (GCIS)

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A proposal on land ceilings that seems to be a way for the government to acquire more farmland was revealed by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti in his budget speech in the National Assembly today.

Previously, he indicated that an overall land ceiling of 12 000 hectares would be put on farmland.

Today, he explained that the ceiling for small-scale commercial farm had been set at 1000 hectares, for a medium-scale commercial farm at 2500 hectares and a large-scale commercial farm 5000 hectares.

The 12 000 hectare ceiling was for a “special category” that was only aimed at forestry, game farms, and renewable energy farms.

Any surplus land between these categories would be expropriated and redistributed. Compensation would be paid according to the fair and equitable approach set out in the Constitution, Nkwinti said.

Pieter Groenewald, Freedom Front Plus member of Parliament, pointed out that the government actually wanted to expropriate more farmland than its initial 30% target.

“The government has now renounced its initial policy of redistributing 30% of farmland owned by white farmers to black farmers. I am disappointed in you, because the ANC can clearly not keep its word.

“Before the election, after you went down on your knees before the Economic Freedom Fighters, you came with the 50/50 split and said agricultural organisations had until the end of March to make suggestions, but then the president made an announcement about it.”

Groenewald said the government took this step to deny agricultural organisations the chance to make suggestions, and it would now be useless for them to do so.

Various stakeholders in the agricultural sector and even the banking sector warned the government that should its proposal of a land ceiling of 12 000 hectares be established, it would harm investor confidence.

“We are convinced that ... when [investors, foreigner or citizen]... understand what the policy is, they will adjust accordingly,” said Nkwinti.
Read more on:    farm  |  gugile nkwinti  |  land

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