Farm productivity more important than land transfer – minister

2013-08-13 10:31

Farm productivity is considered by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti to be more important than ensuring 30% of agricultural land is black-owned by 2014.

Speaking at the launch of the Land Bank’s annual report on Monday, Nkwinti said his main goal was ensuring 100% productivity on land transferred in the reform programme, Beeld reported today.

Nkwinti said that, for government, the issue was not about the pursuit of targets, and he had not determined any target that 30% of the land should be in black hands by next year, the newspaper reported.

“It was a sentimental statement at that time. No one explained it to me and I am also not pursuing it.”

It was important to ensure that farms already transferred were productive, because this would help feed the country’s people and provide jobs.

For this reason, his department had spent about 25% of its budget on the recapitalisation of land.

He reportedly denied that the land reform programme had failed because not enough land had been transferred.

“We are moving from a quantitative approach to a qualitative one.”

Nkwinti said of the 79 000 land claims lodged so far, only about 6 000 claimants had indicated they would prefer land.

The rest stated that they would rather have the money as compensation.

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