A number of land reform developments have flowed from a recent formal debate by National Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti. 

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has established working groups through which to facilitate the land reform aspect of Outcome 7 of Government’s 2014 – 2019 Medium Term Strategic Framework.

Outcome 7 entails the development of vibrant, equitable, sustainable rural communities contributing towards food security for all. The five working groups will respectively implement the following policy positions:

  • District land committees
  • Establishment of Agri Parks
  • Freehold with limited extent in commercial farmland areas compared to land ceilings and State of the Nation Address pronouncement of 12 000 ha or two title deeds per person/legal entity.
  • Restrictions on foreign land ownership in commercial farmland areas
  • Strengthening the relative rights of the people working on the land; the so-called 50/50 model.

The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz), which actively participates in all five these working groups, has expressed its reservations with regard to the Agri Parks concept, and in principle rejected the latter three policy positions, proposing a more flexible approach. “These positions are not contained in the National Development Plan (NDP), and run contrary to the intentions and spirit of the NDP’s proposed framework on Land Reform,” said Agbiz CEO John Purchase.

The organisation has submitted a proposal to Government with regard to commercial financing for the NDP’s land reform model, participated in parliamentary hearings on the Expropriation Bill during May and were planning to form a joint Task Team with the Chamber of Mines and Agri SA to develop a consensus position on the Draft Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework Bill and Policy.

Published in the July 2015 issue of WineLand magazine.


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