Land ownership limits ‘as radical as giving 50% to farm workers’

2014-09-09 09:00

The government’s proposal to limit land ownership is a political charade, a business rights watchdog has said.

“The minister of rural development and land reform, Gugile Nkwinti’s latest proposal to limit land ownership is as radical as the proposal to redistribute 50% of land to farm workers,” AfriBusiness chief executive Cornelius Jansen van Rensburg said today.

“The proposal is a form of land-based affirmative action.”

He said if the proposal was approved and implemented, restrictions on land ownership would create a legal precedent.

“Such consent would leave room for the government to reduce these restrictions even further in future. Land owners would have no legal remedy, as they would already have agreed in principle to restricted property rights,” he said.

Nkwinti earlier in the month said private land ownership was a serious problem in South Africa.

He said there were people who owned more than 30 000 hectares of land in this country, spread across the country or concentrated in one area.

Jansen van Rensburg said the restriction of land ownership would jeopardise food security.

He said large agricultural companies such as ZZ2, McCains, and Cargill, would be forced to withdraw their investment in South Africa and ultimately lead to the country producing less food.

“The free market system should determine patterns of land ownership. A free market process will ensure that land ownership becomes accessible to all of those who can and want to own land,” Jansen van Rensburg said.

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