SACP wants faster land reform

2004-11-06 17:27

Pretoria - More than 1 000 members of the SACP marched to the offices of AgriSA in Pretoria on Saturday to call for accelerated land reform and an end to the exploitation of farm workers.

The march forms part of the SACP's 2004 Red October Campaign.

Members of the SACP say the main reason for the slow pace of land reform is the lack of commitment by predominantly white commercial agriculture.

Their demands are land for the poor, rights and basic services for farm workers and their families, and a national land summit by Nedlac within the next year.

"The fact that less than 3% of productive land over the last 10 years has been transferred to the majority of our people is proof enough that there is hardly any progress ... and that more than 80% of productive land in this country is in the hands of about 44 000 white individual farmers and corporate entities," said Blade Nzimande, the secretary-general of the SACP.

The SACP says it wants to ensure that the poor have access to productive land and that unused land belonging to absentee landlords, big farmers and national and provincial governments, be released to the poor.

Meanwhile Hans van der Merwe, the CEO of AgriSA, says they have put in motion plans to expedite the land reform process.

"Actually it must be done within the law, the principals of law, willing buyer willing seller principals must apply," he said.

A memorandum was handed to AgriSA and the SACP wants them to respond by December 15.