TAU SA calls for land summit

2012-07-03 21:01

Johannesburg - A summit should be held to decide how land should best be allocated between food, infrastructure, and housing needs for the next 100 years, farmer union TAU SA said on Tuesday.

"All role-players at such a summit will have to agree on the minimum agricultural land which the country will require for sustainable food production for the next century," the union said in a statement.

Only once this was established, should housing and infrastructure needs be considered.

TAU SA was concerned that South Africa's population was expected to grow to 85 million people in 2050, from about 50 million people now.

"This means that South Africa alone has to make provision to feed an additional 35 million people over the next 38 years."

Housing supply would need to double, which could encroach on agriculturally viable land. The additional population would also need water and other infrastructure.

"This means less agricultural land will be available while more food needs to be produced. As it is, South Africa is a marginal agricultural land with unpredictable climate, and it may not be possible to ensure higher production from existing agricultural resources."

TAU SA called for the land question to be considered from this economic point of view, rather than an emotional, political position.

Clinically evaluated

"We wish to put it on record that primary agriculture is one of the cornerstones of a healthy economy. Agriculture and land as its most important resource should therefore be clinically evaluated from an economic perspective."

It called for the land audit to be completed within the next 18 months and for R40m to be allocated to it.

Last week, Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson told the African National Congress policy conference in Midrand an audit identifying state and public-owned land would be completed by the end of this year.

TAU SA said: "This audit will provide government with a more accurate indication of land reform requirements in the country, and will be more reliable than the guesswork being flaunted currently.

"It will moreover be able to accurately determine which land belongs to the state, and where and how it is utilised [if at all]."

Once the audit was completed, the land summit should be held.

TAU SA said only people with the right expertise should be involved in food production.

"Land reform will take its natural course as more qualified black food producers emerge and structures such as the Land Bank are prepared to help them acquire land.

"Any unnatural process, such as forced land reform, will contribute to create a crisis in food supply, with the result that people who now demand ownership of land, will then probably not even get any food."

Last week, the ANC conference decided the "willing buyer, willing seller" approach to land restitution would be dropped. Instead land reform would be done in terms of the "just and equitable" requirement of section 25 of the Constitution.

  • Irene - 2012-07-03 21:29

    Stop the breeding and half the problems will be solved. So very glad that I'll be dead by then.

      sean.lambie.3 - 2012-07-03 22:03

      The ``breeding part`` , THEY will not understand !! We tend to forget the fact that the majority of South Africans are still very primitive. Uneducated and primitive is exactly what the ANC likes , more votes for those criminals !!

  • Tommo - 2012-07-03 23:04

    Good for the TAU. First sensible suggestion I've heard about land rekocation for a long time. But what will the ANC say?

  • sisa.mtwana - 2012-07-04 01:05

    Pathetic fools we will breed as much as like,this is our country and breeding can be good for business and the economy of any developed country in the world .It create more spending power .The government should create a more family base farming project side by side with commercial farming .

  • Johannes Davids - 2013-04-16 13:36

    I think it's a foregone conclusion that historically the Khoi and San were the First People to be dispossessed from their land. It goes without saying that the Constitution and variuos Land Reform policies to date did not consider who was the First Occupiers. The current Land Summit in Kimberley should have only one outcome and that is to allocate land to the decendants of Khoi and San, irrespective of the timeframe of land dispossession. A simple Constitutional Amendment is required to draw this land issue to a close. The delay on Land Reform and Restitution the Khoi and San decendants is only an election ploy by the ANC, to use the a sensitive national issue to garner support from Khoi and San communities. The political ojective is to win DA-wards on the backs of vulnerable Khoi and San people that still wait for formal recognition of their First People Indigenous Status.

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