The growth of South Africa's agricultural fortunes and job creation will, in part, depend on the expansion of agricultural activities in underutilised former homelands regions and farms the government acquired through the land reform process.
Hence, this past week's announcement by Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza, that the government would avail 700 000 hectares of agricultural land, is broadly positive.
The government promises efficiency in availing the land to potential beneficiaries. The selection process, which will be through three broad structures – district, provincial and national - could take about two months. So far, it is unclear what criteria the selection committees will follow, because a final version of the Beneficiary Selection and Land Allocation Policy has not been published since the draft was gazetted early this year.