Land: plan to speed up reform announced

2010-12-10 00:00

THE Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has launched a new land strategy, the Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy (Plas), an initiative aimed at accelerating land redistribution.

The strategy also aims to ensure that acquired land with high agricultural potential is developed to help the country meet the objective of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA).

This proactive strategy sees the department leasing farms to emergent black farmers for a minimum of three years. After the trial period has expired the land can be sold to the same beneficiaries if they have been satisfactorily assessed by the department.

Of the entire purchase price, the beneficiaries pay six percent as rental fee for three years as part of the loan agreement with department.

Eddie Mohoebi, head of communications in the department, said the implementation of Plas will contribute to a higher growth, employment and equity by 2014 as AsgiSA accelerate land delivery.

He said the initiative is not beneficiary-demand driven, but rather state-driven.

“The strategy moves from a premise that there is a need or demand for land.

“The proactive approach allows the department to acquire land based on the selling price, expropriation or auction price without attaching beneficiaries to such land,” he said.

He said the initiative will help improve the identification and selection of beneficiaries and the planning of the land on which people would be settled and ensure its maximum productive use.

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