Johannesburg - Government's obsession with having 30% of agricultural land under black control by 2014 "wasted a pile of money", Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said, Beeld reported on Friday.
He was speaking at the annual meeting of the South African Sugar Association (Sasa) in Durban on Thursday.
When he took over the department in 2009, two-thirds of his budget was spent on the redistribution of land, Nkwinti said.
"We wasted a pile of money because we were chasing after a target of 24.5 million hectares, which is actually not an excessive figure."
Currently, 25% of his department's budget of R1.7bn is being spent on the recapitalisation of 416 farms that have been transferred due to land claims, the daily reported.
"Agriculture is about business. The government cannot succeed if it ventures into business. We provide the infrastructure and leave matters to the farmers," he said.
Sasa chairperson Bongani Linda said 21% of land in the sugar industry is under black ownership, while 7% of the rest of agricultural land is black-owned.
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