Nkoana-Mashabane reaffirms need for land reform

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. (File, AFP)
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. (File, AFP)

Cape Town - Newly appointed Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Maite Nkoana-Mashabane joined President Cyril Ramaphosa and newly appointed Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu in reaffirming the need for land reform, ahead of a constitutional review of measures to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

The resolution of the National Assembly paves the way for the Constitutional Review Committee to investigate means by which the intended goal can be accomplished and compile a report on the matter by the end of August.

The adopted motion has the investor community as well as the international community on tenterhooks, amid fears that this could have far reaching implications for property rights.

The diplomatic community has already reacted.

Independent European Parliament member Janice Atkinson has called on British Secretary of Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson to mediate the land expropriation issue with South Africa. Mashabane’s department has been allocated R10.8bn to expedite 2 581 restitution claims and R4.2bn to acquire 291 000ha of “strategically located land”. 

Mashabane, in a statement on Tuesday, cited her department’s latest land audit report on private land ownership by race, gender and nationality. The report reveals that black South African’s own 4%. 

“This is a direct result of the historical injustices that resulted in skewed land ownership patterns along racial lines; hence this matter cannot be left unresolved. The department meanwhile will strive to accelerate land reform within the current policies and legislation whilst the Parliamentary processes are being finalised,” said Mashabane.

She said “the department is enjoined by the Constitution to change the skewed land-ownership patterns while maintaining economic growth, food security, increased agricultural productions which are priorities for the government and this department”. 


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