Land reform report: 'There was no document to sign', says panel chairperson

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There has been no final draft report on SA's much debated land reform issue, the chairperson of the expert advisory panel on land reform said on Saturday.

"The panel is currently finalising its report for consideration by the Inter-Ministerial Committee and The Presidency as planned. Therefore, there is no final draft that has been submitted as a report yet," Chairperson of the expert advisory panel, Dr. Vuyo Mahlati said.

His comments come after AgriSA President Dan Kriek said on Friday that he and at least one other member refused to sign the panel's report owing to - among others - issues it had relating to expropriation without compensation.

Kriek said they had instead released an "alternative report setting out perspectives on land reform based on proven agricultural practice and sustainable economic growth".

Kriek said the alternative report states which proposals and recommendations in the panel's report, are supported and which are rejected.

AgriSA not officially on the panel

Mahlati hit back on Saturday saying AgriSA was not officially on the panel.

"Members of the public and organisations were given an opportunity to submit their inputs. Mr. Dan Kriek, the AgriSA President and Mr. Nic Serfontein are panel members in their personal capacities and not as representatives of AgriSA."

Mahlati said access by AgriSA to confidential panel documents was concerning.

He said they were concerned with the 'AgriSA Minority Report' because it contained and lays claim on content that emanates from panel processes.

READ: Land reform panel recommends sweeping changes to current compensation model in draft report

He added that reports headlined: "Agri SA submits minority report after refusing to sign advisory panel document", were inaccurate, factually wrong and misleading.

"There was no document to sign, and thus no reason to refuse."

The panel on land reform was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to provide independent advice to the Inter-Ministerial Committee comprised of 11 cabinet ministers.

The panel was expected to submit its report to the Inter-Ministerial Committee by the end of March. However, due to intensive ongoing engagements, the panel was granted an extension.

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