Transfer tribal land - Agri SA

2012-07-25 18:36

Johannesburg - Transferring land ownership from tribal authorities to the people who live there could help create wealth, Agri SA deputy president Theo de Jager said on Wednesday.

"More than 22 million people could [then] own something that they could develop and sell."

De Jager was speaking in Johannesburg at a discussion hosted by the FW de Klerk Foundation on the recent African National Congress policy conference.

Speaking later, he said there were about 22 million people living under tribal authority in areas formerly known as the homelands.

This was residential land and common use land - land used for cattle grazing for example.

"It will be an exercise in wealth creation."

De Jager said a debate was currently underway in African countries such as Malawi and Swaziland over whether the traditional system was necessary.

Malawi had decided that they would abandon traditional systems but Swaziland felt traditional systems would prevail.

"In South Africa that debate is not really mature yet," De Jager said.

He said former president Thabo Mbeki leaned towards the modern approach, but President Jacob Zuma appeared to prefer the traditional option.

Many people who currently live on land owned by a tribal authority felt it did not make sense to plant orchards because they did not own the land.

They also could not get capital from banks to develop the land because of this.

"That's why that land is in such a poor state," said De Jager, adding that some of the land was in the country's best farming areas.

At the same time, the government could not be a development financier -- hat should be the role of the banks.

De Jager cautioned the government against forming community trusts when carrying out land restitution.

"It is hard enough for a son and father to farm together. You put a whole community together... God forbid that you actually make a profit, then they actually fight," he said.

"This community farming does not work - nowhere in the world, nowhere in South Africa."

  • ken.rowe.509 - 2012-07-25 18:50

    And I, mine in Marburg.

  • Jymiro - 2012-07-25 18:55

    I never thought I will ever fine myself in agreement with Agri-SA. De Jager is spot on on this matter. We need to seriousl debate whether thetraditional setup works for us in this modern society instead of entrenching this sytem through the tradional Courts Bill. Just by distributing that land to the people you will create an instant potential wealth for millions of people. This can also curb the massive emigration to urban areas because this will unlock the economic value of that land. Those who want to farm can access finance to develop their land. Those whg want to do businesses can also do the same knowing that they own those properties.

      Malose-Nyatlo - 2012-07-25 20:27

      Fresh thinking indeed! Unfortunate South Africans are stuck in the race issue to extent healthy debates quickly degenerate into unintelligent rhetoric.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-25 21:19

      This same idea has been suggested over and over by Agri SA, I'm surprised it is only now mentioned in the media. I fear it is an idea that will fail, as it is not politically suitable for the ruling regime. They do not want to upset the chiefs, as they have too much power. Hence millions of people are deprived instant wealth - all just because of politics.

      rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-07-26 09:30

      and of course the main reason that the anc supports the traditional system is that the head man will ensure that everyone votes anc....or else!

      scebberish.umfazi - 2012-07-29 07:30

      22 million people living under tribal authority, thats half the nation. Its not even Tribal Leaders land, its Government land, the Tribal Leader is just a puppet. I have said many time this is the very reason why everyone votes ANC!!! They vote out of necessity, not out of choice. DONT VOTE WHAT THE TRIBAL LEADERS TELL YOU, YOU ARE HOMELESS! So of course Zuma prefers the "traditional" ways, that of king and subjugates!

      fanie.gerber1972 - 2013-09-12 07:39

      The traditional tribal landownership system does not work in a modern society -this system have gone of the books in the developed world a long time ago

  • rickvcooper - 2012-07-25 19:03

    'Transfer land from the tribal leaders to the people who live there' This will never happen. The ANC does not want to give land to 'the (black) people' They want to take land away from the white people.

      wim.kotze.9 - 2012-07-25 20:31

      Nor do they want to ease the strangle hold that the headmen and chiefs have on their voting stock.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-25 21:22

      They want to take land from white people as it is a populist move, nothing to do with uplifting anybody. You're quite correct. If the people were so desperate for land, they would have made some use of the 1000's of hectares already distributed to them. They don't.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-25 21:23

      Your point is exactly true as well wim. These people have too much power over the people they are meant to care for.

      Pacific.Barbarian - 2012-07-25 23:20

      Tribal land needs to be developed. Then they will have to spend money. They want already developed land!

  • wiebrand.herbershausen - 2012-07-25 19:11

    A coin has two sides. It is interesting to see the other side. This seems like a real solution. Let us hope that Mrs Joemat-Pietersen at least thinks about it.

      Alan Kennedy - 2014-01-14 11:02

      Tina has been made aware of this argument over the period of her mis-management - she has been ideologically duty-bound to ignore it...

  • nick.athinodorou - 2012-07-25 19:36

    A very very smart move! AgriSA must now highlight this to the highest levels.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-25 21:30

      This is not a new idea. They've been saying this for ages - those in the ruling party find it politically inconvenient to listen to them.

  • faizieishlah.shabalala - 2012-07-25 20:19

    King Goodwill wont like this dude

      pws69 - 2012-07-26 06:00


      press.enter.12 - 2012-07-26 09:36

      Neither will Induna Zuma . . .

      fanie.gerber1972 - 2013-09-12 07:40

      Bugger both of them

      Alan Kennedy - 2014-01-14 11:11

      Strange how Boooma claims to have a bond for Nkandla (?) Somebody looked the other way when he got finance for a rental property ... connections ...

  • Jymiro - 2012-07-25 20:56

    Its unfortunate that we cannot see a bigger picture from Mr deJager's proposition and decide to racialised and politise it. I agree with the present approach to land redistribution but the fact is that it is too costy for government to buy these land, that money could be used for other service delivery challenges. The land under the tribal authority belong to those people, what ou merely do is to give those people direct ownership. There is no cost to the state. We are missing a great opportunity to deal with a quarter of our problems with pouring too much money. I can assure this proposal will come up for debate ultimately, the problem is that it would be late to have resolved many problems. Aluta

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-07-25 21:45

      What I strongly believe is that this regime does not want the land issue dealt with, they want it there as a tool when the people turn against them for failed governance. (Zimbabwe?) They could easily have already bought 30% of the land on the open market for black farmers, without any lengthly and costly process like the current land reform is dealt with. All people forcibly removed from land should have recieved restitution (ie monetary compensation), as those people have proven they did not want the land to farm with - hence less than 5% of resdistributed land is productive today. It would also have helped immensely if the Land Affairs Dept had a proper work ethic, and was less corruptable. But its all about politics - the people are mere pawns to play with.

      hein.huyser - 2012-07-25 22:47

      @jymiro. I do not believe there is no money. The failed municipalities squandered 11 Billion rands in one financial year alone. Nope, there is money, just no political will. It is as if the gov wants the land issue to become an issue. How else can they keep the fires of race hate burning?

  • KCorsar - 2012-07-25 21:17

    What relevance does tribal land have? As government owned property then transferring this to the people is what should happen. This is government owned property so creating title and transferring is a workable solution for all

  • eduard.louw - 2012-07-25 21:31

    22 Million more people in south africa would be economically active. If only one in five become tax payers. There would be another 4.4 million tax payers. taxes could come down, more foreign and domestic investment. The millions of hectares laying fallow, because everyone owns it. Would have a chance of producing something. Prosperity for more. Relaxing the labour laws would add another 1 or 2 million tax-payers. But that would be asking too much. I think the black people living on the land of the chiefs must claim that land as their property. Claim from the land restitution commission. A lot of chiefs had special privileges during apartheid and allowed themselves to be bribed. The chiefs are perpetuating apartheid. Their people have no rights. They must subjugate themselves to the chief and the tribal justice. Apartheid means a double system, we still have two systems. Constitutional and tribal. In theory the Constitutive overrules the tribal. In practice the constitution is undermined in favour of the tribal. If the chiefs really cared about their people and not their own power and privilege they would have transferred ownership long ago.

  • robes.spear - 2012-07-25 22:09

    The ANC uses the tribal system to keep 22m people in bondage. The distribution of land will destroy the chiefs and the ANC support base. Can you imagine the money the chiefs/ANC have access to though the grants system. It will never happen.

  • danie.smit.587 - 2012-07-26 09:18

    Tragedy of the commons, a well known scientifically proven fact. Yest the ANC still believe they could change international proven scientific facts

      press.enter.12 - 2012-07-26 10:50

      Bit of s shallow argument going on here - if you convert the old homelands to commercial agriculture probably 10 thousand farmers can make a go at it (rest of country about 22ooo commercial farmers - so what is De Jagers "solution" to the about 22 million people that you will have to "move" and who currently subsist on this land to make way for 10000 families (with a very small multiplyer effect, perhaps 1:5 ?)c'mon man - think through the consequences of what deJager is arguing - he certainly is not . . . . And no the "tradgedy of the commons" is not a scientific fact.

      eduard.louw - 2012-07-26 13:22

      The people who do not want to farm can sell the land and go live in cities. Where education and basic services are better and cheaper. Subsistence farming never produces a surplus. A small farmer with a tractor can produce more than a 100 people can with shovels in the subsistence way. It is still happening all over the world. Farms have to get bigger and produce more to stay competitive. The people in the rural areas get poorer while those in the cities get richer.

  • nhlakanipho.maseko - 2012-07-26 10:52

    You're all blind to the fact the tribal leaders are no more than just administrators. They don't own land they are more like governors.This so-called transfer of land will not enrich rural communities, because most people in rural areas aren't interested in farming.This is just a ploy by this Boer group to cause won't work!!!

      eduard.louw - 2012-07-26 19:17

      Then Chiefs aren't really necessary because municipalities can do a better job and have to be audited yearly. There is no transparency in the tribal systems. If they are not interested in farming why are they living in rural areas, there is no jobs and no future.

      scebberish.umfazi - 2012-07-29 07:42

      maseko, while you are mostly right, dont always turn on the white man or boer and say they are causing unrest every time they try educate you.

  • johnathon.masters - 2012-07-26 10:53

    What stupid and discriminatory comments made by Theo de Jager. Just because the land is situated on some of the most fertile land in the country, it is completely undeveloped with regards to the establishment of well developed farms, complete with dams. fencing, irrigation systems, regularly fertilised land, which has been farmed in rotation to maintain its crop carrying capacity. These established farms are also fully equipped with all the machinery, houses, and farm building and structures required to operate a successful farm. The tribal lands I presume were never stolen from the people, but all viable and prospering white owned farms in the country, must be reagr5ded ad stolen from their rightful owners. These farms are the only land that they want, not the areas that have never been developed, even though they have been occupied by the previously disadvantage for centuries.

      press.enter.12 - 2012-07-26 10:59

      You are talking as much nonsense as de Jager.

  • jaun.lombard.9 - 2012-07-26 11:16

    haha LOL Poloy's comments was deleted!!! Sad uneducated fool!!

  • Bongani Nsele - 2013-09-12 08:14

    land is a race issue, please lets be serious about this amen

  • Alan Kennedy - 2014-01-14 10:59

    Something I've agreed with for years Free the people from positions of feudal vassals and give them title!

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