Alternatives to land issue needed - govt

2012-02-22 07:35

Johannesburg - Farmers must work with the government and come up with alternatives to the willing-buyer, willing-seller policy, Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Tuesday.

She acknowledged the policy was not working, but emphasised this did not mean she supported land nationalisation, her spokesperson Rams Mabote said.

He was commenting after she addressed an AgriSA policy conference in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape.

Mabote said the minister indicated she planned on raising the nationalisation issue at the African National Congress's policy conference in June.

In her address on Tuesday, Joemat-Pettersson also spoke of the importance of unity and clear communication between government and farmers, in order to stabilise the commercial farming sector.

  • Joe - 2012-02-22 07:48

    How about government concluding the thousands of approved transactions? How about government engaging with farmers that are willing to sell currently? Some of these people are more than willing to sell as long as their overheads are covered. How about government using the large tracts of land they already have? How about government looking into why it is that farms that were once productive and that have been taken over have become waste lands. How about fixing these things first before destabilising this country's food security?

      rickvcooper - 2012-02-22 08:16

      The common denominator to all the failures you list, Joe, would be the ANC.

      FlowingRivers - 2012-02-22 09:33

      NEW ANC SLOGAN SHOULD BE....................JUS TAKE IT!

      lindz.kok - 2012-02-22 10:17

      ah if it isnt racist boy stagnant stream...

      FlowingRivers - 2012-02-22 10:50

      I see retard boy,dumbKOK is back too.

      Brett - 2012-02-22 14:35

      I was born in SA, my ancestors were born in SA. Can I also claim ancestoral land for free or am I excluded because I am white?

  • Sariena - 2012-02-22 07:48

    Stop killing the farmers then....

      Poloyatonki - 2012-02-22 08:30

      I agree and they must also stop treating farm worker let cr@p. We must also not forget to honor the guy who brought the land issue to our plates, even if they chase Malema away but this land issues will stick out like a sore thumb.

      Francois - 2012-02-22 09:07

      Ployatonki - the land issue was not brought to the plate by Malema, it was brought to the plate by Mbeki and co who said that 1913 will be the settlement date and that 30% of land must have black owners by the principle of willing buyer willing seller. Malema said steal. Joemat Petterson is in fact saying that after 18 years of democracy this agreed principle failed. It simply failed, because of incompetent and corrupt people deailing with the issue (remember the whole department to deal with it had to be established in 1994) and it was not packed with competent people, but with cronies. Hon Minister of Agriculture - please have Prahvin allow transfer of farms to companies to be exempt of transfer duties. Then all PDIs can buy 30% of those farms (and pay the farmer for his skills) and if the market turns against the farms every shareholder in the farm will loose as they will win when it goes well for the farm. Then put down a 3 month limit for funds to be transferred to the farmer once a price have been reached - to wait 10 years like hon Manual said yesterday, says in fact that your party is lazy, incompetent and thieving, but we knew that. Sort out the ANC - don't come to the electorate to do your work. You are appointed by the electorate to work for them. This will stay as is, no matter in what larney guest house you stay. Oops that stay was the cost of a small holding or 5% of a very decent farm!

      Cracker - 2012-02-22 09:15

      @ Poloyatonki Malema already has at least one farm to his name. That's now in addition to other sources of income and other businesses. He is doing very well for himself. He doesn't seem like the sharing kind.

  • Andre - 2012-02-22 07:54

    farms can have shares, and the shares could be sold or be part of a farm workers pay etc. they can then gradually empower themselves, share both the risk and the reward of current farmers, and have incentive for doing more and making the farms more productive. That would be a win win win for everybody. at government level the state can help subsidize the growing pains. just handing over farms will just play into the hands of the west because we'd then swop gold and diamonds for flour and chicken feed. ... food for thought :)

      David - 2012-02-22 08:20

      @Andre. It sounds like unbundling of farms. Some publications tried it but failed. I understand woekers have little say in the decision making of the enterprise under such scheme and wonder whetehr it would not boil down to same under your suggestion? It looks good on paper but in practice, my fear is, a farmer (just like newspaper owners) might still want to be in control of the running of the enterprise. In my view, a solution would be total transfer of the farm to workers. The only role that the government or farm owners can play is teach new owners about how to run a successful commercial farming as they already have skills (since acquired over the years) on how to tilt the soil and which seeds to plant under which conditions.

      Wimpie.Haefele - 2012-02-22 08:42

      It works in the Western Cape, so why not in the rest of the country, this is the only way not to destroy to production of food.

      Cracker - 2012-02-22 09:33

      @ david.lebethe Are you saying that all farms, in other words also the farms in black ownership/occupation/possession, must also be transferred to the farm workers? And what about the rest of the population not so lucky to be farm workers? That's discrimination.

  • SARealist - 2012-02-22 07:57

    One would think that the willing-buyer, willing-seller policy is the only way to go and value/price with the value based on the "PROPERTY TAX REGISTER" values which were calculated by a professional and that the owner of the farm never registered an appeal top have the property re-evaluated either upwards or downwards. The "PROPERTY TAX" value was a "ANC GOVERNMENT" introduced system. So why is there always a fight over the value of the farm? The farmer was content to pay the "PROPERTY TAX" as per property evaluation calc by the "Government Appointed Proffessional"! So when is the Hon Minister going to re-visit all the Kalahari farmers who have offered their farms for sale and pay them for as per "PROPERTY TAX REGISTER". Her Dep Minister has many willing farmers [as per his statements] on record willing and wanting to sell. So what the hold up?

      Maximumstress - 2012-02-22 13:11

      I think you missing the point by a mile. Will you be willing to sell your house at the municipal valuation? No, you will try to sell your house for as much as you can get for it. Why should the owner of farm land not be allowed to do the same? There are two main problems with the way in which the land issue had been dealt with thus far: a) The government's insistence to try and buy land which is not for sale and the steadfast refusal to buy land that is for sale; and b) the failure to conclude transactions expeditiously. Many transactions that have been concluded drag along for years due to the Government's failure to pay for the land.

  • Simon - 2012-02-22 08:00

    Nationalisation could work. (A debatable issue) - Take all the land then lease / rent it back to those who want to farm it. If you own it already you get your first lease period 25 / 50 / 99 years for free. If you want to leave you are paid out your lease money. I know this is an oversimplification and that there are a lot of what ifs and buts. It ignores the emotional side of the issue (that needs to be put aside anyway). I own a farm, it has a land claim on it. I have colleagues who have already sold to Government / Emerging Farmers / other European farmers. Some lease back the farms they have sold. Others have left farming altogether. We are looking for closure to this whole scenario. No-one more than the farmers themselves need clarity as to which way we are headed. We need a decision on the question of tenure so that we can just get on and farm or take down our tent and press on.

      Andres - 2012-02-22 08:19

      Simon... we're going to nationalise your house and give you a 99 year lease on your home. It is not that simple! For example, people who have farms in the Western Cape have lived there, on family-run farms, since the 1700's. That's older than MOST cities and settlements in the United States. Could you tell Americans they must lease the land? Why do we think SA is any different. We need workable solutions to rectify land-ownership imbalances, nationalisation is not one of them.

      Simon - 2012-02-22 09:15

      Andres - I agree - this whole thing is not simple - as I said my intial comment is an oversimplification of the whole issue. What I have learned - I lost a farm in 1998 to land redistribution in Zim - I then leased one and lost that in 2000. I moved to SA in 2001 and bought a place which now has a land claim on it. For me its either 3rd time lucky or 3 strikes you're out. The emotion of owning land is gone. Owning land is not a big deal to me, a house or a farm. (These are my opinions and I am putting them out there - I do not consider that I am right - it is where I am after collecting a lifetime of experience) Andres you raise some very pertinent issues - bottom line - No simple solution - but where do we start to solve the problem?

  • Hugh - 2012-02-22 08:05

    Hold on, if it has been admitted in parliment that the land redistribution dept is in total disarry and does not how much land has been purchased nor can clarify if the willing buyer scenario does work. I feel this is another attempt to draw attention away from bad ANC practices by putting the blame elsewhere.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-02-22 08:06

    How about government first doing ordering a proper independant land audit. How about government admitting that since 1994 from 85000 farms only 14000 are still in hands of white commercial farmers. according to a March 2011 land-registry survey summary to parliament, the SA State already owned 64,976 of the 85,000 (+) ‘white’ commercial farms and 5,448 agri-holdings registered as ‘white ówned” in 1994 – but the ANC-regime doesn’t know the exact extent of its own state-land holdings because its Land Registry Records do not include the 41% of the total SA land surface of 1,214,470 sq km which used to be the independent tribal homelands – where millions of black people still farm and have settlements today. All this tribal land now is also owned by the State although not lodged in any land-registries.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-02-22 08:07

    In March 31 2011, a total 1,155,508 Land parcels were identified as State land – of which 1,085,084 were urban, 64,976 were state-owned farms and 5,448 were state-owned agricultural holdings. In addition 41% of the SA land-surface were former black homelands: now also owned by the State and occupied/farmed by millions of black people.

  • Jan - 2012-02-22 08:07

    Farmers are scared to sell farms to the governement. The normal principle of payment upon transfer of property right is ignored. The farmer thus ends up without a farm and without money to buy a new farm or start another busines, stays unemployed for a long time and risk bankruptcy. At the moment they can avoid this via the willing seller prnciple. Many farmers are in fact willing to sell for a reasonanble price. Mulder claims to have a list of such farmers. The governement should contract land reform to the agricultural unions. They will not only ensure that excessive prices are not paid as the know the current prices, but will also act as mentors for the new farmers. Farmers have a vested interest in succesfull reform. Land Affairs only has a vested interest in their salaries.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-02-22 08:07

    Land-parcels formerly belonging to autonomous tribal homelands, and of course still occupied and farmed in 2011 by the same tribal groups, occupy as much as 41% of the total SA land surface – yet are not registered in the current Land Deeds Registry Office and ‘cannot be reconciled’ as per below, per province: (so how can ‘whites own 80% of all the land?)

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-02-22 08:08

    The CIA observations from space have also registered the fact that semi-arid South Africa’s crop production has dropped dramatically since 1994: by the end of 2008, SA ‘s total land surface comprised of 12.1% ‘arable’ farmable land’ — but only 0.79% of this land was under permanent crops : of which 14,980 sq km were irrigated in 2008.

  • rickvcooper - 2012-02-22 08:12

    I see a willing giver willing taker scenario being crafted by the ANC. You are a filthy government, ANC.

  • Andre - 2012-02-22 08:15

    How many of these once productive farms are still producing food for this nation? The farmers are now used as scapegoats foor the incompetancy of the useless govt. Productive farms are disowned and given to people that does not have the means or skills to farm sucessfully. Rather look at unproductive land and redistribute that. Farmers are willing to sell at market prices, but the govt is too incompetant to conclude these transactions, not the owners of land.

      David - 2012-02-22 09:12

      @Andre. Now you are spoiling your earlier suggestion (which, I found reasonable under the circumstances) by recycling Mulder's vitrol and when there is no evidence that the country is under threat of food shortage. Where did you get it from that there is scarcity of food in the country or its only few farms supplying food in the country? In his selective amnesia Mulder avoided to tell Parliament that black people were forcefully removed from their fertile land by decree, all with an object to disfranchise black people. What is it that you find wrong with the government of the day when it want to apply restitution including, expropriation of land forcefully taken from our people?

      richard.hipkin - 2012-02-22 10:42

      @David, black rural areas are situated in some of the most fertile land in SA, what is being done about this? Nothing my friend, instead the Government is wasting millions on buying already productive farms and giving it to people who will do nothing with it. Why is the existing rural areas lying fallow when they have enormous tracts of land to farm?? Think man, think!

      Danny - 2012-02-22 10:55

      45million people,45farmers.the 45 farmers don"t complain to the 45million people who eats the food from his farm because the 45million have"nt a clue about farming.Now the scenario changes because of greed of the 45million people who want" to bite the hands that feeds them.They want to take away the farm,throw the farmer out and starve to death.

      Cracker - 2012-02-22 12:15

      @ david.lebethe Probably all the land is by now back in black hands. So what's the point? We need a proper audit to establish who owns what and what commercial/agricultural activities are taking place on the land. Harping on the Land Act of 1913 and using race sentiment will not hide the truth. We WILL eventually know who ownes what. The surprises may be too much for some to bear. Also some of those supporting certain political ideologies. There may be nothing left or very little to restitute.

  • Andres - 2012-02-22 08:15

    "It's like blaming the cow for bad milk when you refuse to turn on the fridges." Again, government laying blame at the door of the wrong group. The Dept. of Land Reform and Rural Development is not functioning properly, and frankly, since it was restructured from the previous Dept. of Land Affairs, has been in disarray. All the SPLAG/LRAD grants and empowerment programs have been put on ice. That is the government's fault, not land owners. Yes, there are some hard-liner farmers who don't want to give the new SA a chance, but the majority would like to cooperate and find a workable solution. However, this government wants farmers to take 5 step forwards for their 1 step. Get your house in order, stop misappropriating funds and start effectively spending the national tax funds: You'll have enough for market-related purchase of productive farm land.

  • Ziggie - 2012-02-22 08:25

    No just send the murderers and arson gang in, then you do not need a willing buer and seller anymore. Farmer will pack up, not producing anymore, and squatters will move in.

      Wimpie.Haefele - 2012-02-22 08:45

      Sadly this is already happening and the government do not condemn the murdering, raping and assault of innocent people (farmers) so they must support it.

  • betsy.compaan - 2012-02-22 08:55

    I have come to a conclusion that no one in the ANC government actually reads the news. Isn't it amazing that whenever they are in a sticky situation no one knows about it? Oh we don't really know how much land we own...we didn't know the Dalai Lama applied for a visa...We have heated discussions about these issues and then when we turn to the Government for direction...uhhhh we don't know this issue, ehhhhh my department they did not inform me.

  • Las'DidGe SoulTrain - 2012-02-22 09:04

    I just see this an anotha way of genetic mordification science implemented to the core 'rawfoods' not a single tomato on the fields would be as healthy as it ever was, everything will artificially manufactured if goverment keeps intervening with these nationalisation strategies.

  • CALAMITYSA - 2012-02-22 09:20

    Please report on : 1. Land transactions approved - not paid 2. Land transactions done - at full purchase price and infrastructure loans 3. Report on currents state of transactions done. Like Joe commented - Let us rather help - then it will go faster - Like the ANC say - Together we can make it better. Appoint competent people to to the job.

  • CALAMITYSA - 2012-02-22 09:22

    Please report on : 1. Land transactions approved - not paid 2. Land transactions done - at full purchase price and infrastructure loans 3. Report on currents state of transactions done. Like Joe commented - Let us rather help - then it will go faster - Like the ANC say - Together we can make it better. Appoint competent people to to the job.

  • MSGRule - 2012-02-22 10:22

    Maybe more efforst should be spent on looking after the country and service delivery. What abotu creating farms on the informal settlement areas so that people can feed themselves. Instead of looking for land in far places where no one wants to live and have no idea what to do with the land. Let the poeple that know do it and feed us and you guys concentrate on running the country better.

  • bernpm - 2012-02-22 12:19

    The recent reports on the status of the responsible department, seem to point into the "activities" and competence of the Government. Stop pointing at the collective farmers. Many have no problems to share but claims and possible solutions are not handled at all and the authorities do not know what they have on hand and what they must do.

  • richard.fahrenfort - 2012-02-22 12:44

    The alternative needed is to replace the morons who are administering the and stealing the Land Bank and Dept of Land Affairs blind so that we can actually get on with land reforms. We could have been streaks ahead in this process if the cadres in those departments knew what they were doing! The negotiators are clueless, there's a big backlog of applications now because its takes up to 3 years to process just 1 application sometimes and even when the application goes through, most of the time the new owners end up selling back to the original owners anyway because they didnt have the skills to maintain the land. I should also mention that the Land Bank had to be bailed out already because the comrades ran off with the billions. Hn Mn Peterson, I hope you are annoyed with your comrades for failing us and voice your dissatisfaction as such at the conference!!

  • mdy.chauke - 2012-02-22 12:49

    Ironically it is the African child,the african mothers&fathers that are feeling the pain of being without land on their own country of birth,they have many centuries without a land &after 17yrs of power by the ANC government we are still discussing the alternatives of how to solve that,it is simply, we need a white race that has not lost touch with humanity what it means to be a human not people who has de-graded themselves into mere animalistic behaviour with no conscience & the government must note people can't stay forever being landless one day they will rebel against all form of oppression including being without a land on their native country,if God has given those South African men & women land who has the power denounce them landless!

  • luytster - 2012-02-22 13:27

    How about clear communication then when my representatives in Parliament ask you to account on how you spend my tax donations to the country??

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