DA: Land Green Paper will cause instability
Cape Town - The Green Paper on land reform fails to address the wrongs of the past and risks creating instability, the Democratic Alliance said on Monday.
"It offers no vision of how to substantially address the inequities bequeathed by apartheid in a coherent and sustainable way," the DA said in statement.
"If the Green Paper is implemented in its current form, the landless of South Africa will continue to feel the effects of the past."
DA spokesperson Lindiwe Mazibuko said the long-awaited Green Paper released last month focused too heavily on the three million people who live and work on privately owned farms and failed to address communal land tenure, which affects some 16 million people.
Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti has said the issue would be addressed in a separate policy statement.
Said Mazibuko: "What we are seeing here is a lack of political will to confer full land rights to people who live on communally-owned land.
"At least 4.5 million of these people are engaged in agricultural activity."
She said in order to ensure security of tenure for those living on communal land in the former homelands, a formal registration process of individual title deeds must be undertaken.
Mazibuko also criticised the proposed establishment of a land valuer general to set compensation in cases of expropriation and the establishment of a land management commission.
She said the powers of the latter to invalidate land ownership should be left with the courts. Likewise, compensation should be determined by the courts.
"Appointing a non-independent body to determine compensation will be open to abuse and [will] undermine the constitutional principle of willing-buyer-willing-seller.
"These measures will create instability and undermine confidence in South Africa's rural economy. This will have a detrimental impact on economic growth and job creation."
Nkwinti has responded to concerns about violating the willing-buyer-willing-seller principle by saying it has been problematic because "it distorts the market".
"The land valuer-general is designed to eliminate these vagaries," he said recently.