Land reform plan to stir angry debate

2010-07-19 08:44

Cape Town - The far-reaching new land reform green paper, due out on Monday, is expected to run into a storm of controversy.  

The department of rural development and land reform, which has admitted its present land reform plan was at a stalemate, is looking at a three-part programme.

Firstly, a restriction will be placed on the amount of land that individuals and companies may own. This will depend on the geographic location of the land and the nature of the farming conducted on it.

Secondly, the green paper says that all state land should be leased out.

And thirdly, foreigners may own land only if they have a South African citizen as a partner.

The green paper also sets out a threefold structure for the land reform process, one of which is the creation of a national land commission charged with creating a database on land ownership in South Africa.

It also proposes the establishment of a council of interested parties as well as a rural development council, both of which will be involved in the land reform process.

Furthermore, it appears that the green paper makes provision for the state to have the right of first refusal when an owner wants to sell his land.

The green paper is also expected to indicate ways in which government can extricate itself from the stalemate in which the land reform process currently finds itself.

The 2014 target date for transferring 30% of the country's productive agricultural land has already been postponed to 2025, while 90% of the land transfers already done have  been described as failures by the department itself.

Various residential rights which form part of the rural development and land reform process are expected to be handled separately and subsequently be included in the green paper's strategy.

More emphasis is expected to be put on so-called relative rights, and not solely on right of tenure.

The anticipated publication of the department's green paper comes amid continuing uncertainty about the position of the department's director general, Thozi Gwanya.

Last week it was reported that he had resigned.  


  • hmm - 2010-07-19 09:13

    2025, be prepared to go hungry.

  • Dave - 2010-07-19 09:18

    1. we have a land ownership data base. its called the deeds office. 2. Lets encourage foreigners to not invest in our beautiful country. 3. Lets prevent farmers and prpoerty funds from acheiving economies of scale. 4. THe constitution enshrines the right to ownership of property. A dumb act. I hope it does nto get out fo the startign blocks.

  • skully - 2010-07-19 09:26

    Seems the government is intent in taking SA down the same path as Zimbabwe

  • 50 CALIBER - 2010-07-19 09:28

    Zimbabwe No. 2 Here we come.

  • Jay - 2010-07-19 09:30

    It's like a parent watching their kids slowly destroy their lives, they can't/refuse to see it buts it very clear. The final pieces of SA's destruction are being played out.

  • Joseph Stalin - 2010-07-19 09:33

    Look it worked in my country, social engineering society is the only way to achieve progress.

  • Ruffdog - 2010-07-19 09:34

    Firstly before you tout a new act make sure that implementation , check and controls are piloted on a small scale, provide mentorship and access to structures need to develop and support persons. It all wonderful these new act but policy is one thing and implementation is another, just look at our municipalities what a mess they are, Funds should be co operatively approved Land Bank and a separate audited body against strict critera of conformity. Forget the foreigner invetsment programme that is just another BEE money making scheme, local is lekker get it right first then make it policy like any normal business

  • Nasdaq7 - 2010-07-19 09:35

    And third, foreigners may own land only if they have a South African citizen as a partner - there goes tens of billions a year down the drain. No company would want to invest in another country where they should start with an unknown partner.

  • edwin - 2010-07-19 09:38

    Anybody still doubting that we are going the Zimbabwe route?!

  • Frans - 2010-07-19 09:41

    When will the department give feedback about the fact that they have already received 100% of the money needed to meet their previous land reform targets, but only spent 5% of it while the rest has been spent on funding ANC politicians lifestyles?

  • spud - 2010-07-19 09:46

    They know not what they do. They cannot see what needs to be seen. They cannot hear what needs to be heard and they cannot listen to what is being said. They are destructive, uncreative, have no imagination and take without giving in return. They are a cancer to Africa's future, just like Mugabe and all the other despots who care nothing for the people of this land. ALL THE PEOPLE of this land.

  • Gerhard - 2010-07-19 09:47

    Do I smell a second Zimbabwe...?

  • GinaS - 2010-07-19 09:51

    When they talk about foreigner hopefully this in cludes Africans aswell. Our farmers no matter what colour or creed should be protected by the government, they are the suppliers of food in this country, when selling your land and giving first option to government is another way of nationalization. Talk about freedom, you do not have freedom in this country unless the government says so, please take note all you previous disadvantaged people, your government is not working for you but themselves, you suppose to have a say in your life not be told how to live it, no wonder the government is not allowing the majority of people to pay tax, why because they have no say in whats happening in this country.

  • 4 SA - 2010-07-19 09:52

    The issue of land should be based on production of the land used. If the production is providing a good living for all on the land and then producing food for others why reduce the potential? In my business I only put a person in charge when they can cope and deliver. Anything sooner is degrading for the person as they are setup to fail. Why can’t the government see this and bring back the training in all areas. We need apprentices to learn the job so they can be empowered. Not land owners so they can starve. Education will result in land redistribution to those who can provide food security for South Africa. BEE in land matters will cause the blacks and whites to starve and SA to become poorer.

  • Kash - 2010-07-19 09:52

    This is really annoying as we live in a globalised economy, and now we want to impose restriction on the amount of land foreigners own, and on the other side we complain that people don't want to invest in South Africa, this will really affect investor spending in South Africa, I really who wil benefit from such a policy structure, May be more Tenderism, Oh sorry for thinking out aloud.

  • jhm - 2010-07-19 09:53

    Did Mal-emma have any input in this paper ?sure smells of it

  • Dave Robbins - 2010-07-19 09:54

    One third of SA land is arable, i.e. ideal for farming, the rest is not. Of this arable land, 55% is under Black ownership as of now. Where does the government get its' figures to say that 30% productive land is not in Black hands? If current farmers have made the non-arable land productive, then it is very wrong to insist that new farmers will be able to do the same thing - it sets them up for failure.

  • stupid_one - 2010-07-19 09:54

    Oy are these morons trying SO hard To SCREW our Economy into the ground, this will chase developers, investment, and they ppl with the money away.. leaving us just like the rest of africa.... might as well change our name to south zim

  • JT - 2010-07-19 09:57

    Sounding more like ZImbabwe by the day. A hint to landowners and farmers. Sell, take you money and run. Go invest it in Mozambique, where at least they are honest about only giving you a 99year lease......

  • Piet - 2010-07-19 09:57

    Take away all productive farms. We are on the same way as Zim. We will go HUNGRY AND STARVE.But go ahead it is your own people that will STARVE TO DEATH.

  • webb - 2010-07-19 09:59

    So typical of this disfunctional incompetent government. They openly admit that the current farms/land distributed is shambolic and ruined ie the new beneficiaries have raped what they got (sold off pumps, tractors, pipes etc - that is a maatter of fact!)so instead of fixing this mess the government tries to deflect critism elsewhere by seeking more imaginative ways to aaquire yet more land - which will ensure continueing poverty in the future as this productive land is once again destroyed. Even a complete moron can see the problems going forward, but then again our government leaders ......... well say no more.

  • HereWeGo! - 2010-07-19 10:00

    The World Cup has ended. Now back to reality! Bye-bye South Africa, hallo Zimbabwe!

  • Gerrt - 2010-07-19 10:07

    Yes to balancing imbalances!!

  • ALLIE - 2010-07-19 10:08


  • steven - 2010-07-19 10:09

    So that's why food is so expensive.We lost nearly 30% of our agrucultural output.

  • Piet - 2010-07-19 10:11

    how about we get the farms we already gave away up to productive status? as i understand it, that almost all the land that was given away is currently empty and unproductive

  • magtigemoer - 2010-07-19 10:11

    Maybe step one should be a forensic audit of the department of rural development and land reform and the Land Bank. Step two should be to prosecute and get back all moneys stolen. Step three make the land bank for fill its mandate. Step four educate the farmers that get a loan from the land bank. Step 5 BUY the property.

  • Proudly Southafrican - 2010-07-19 10:57

    Many countries, including those in the developed world, do not allow for foreign ownership of land. On this one, at least, I fully agree with the proposal of government that one has to have to be married to a South African to own land.

  • VIC - 2010-07-19 10:57

    Have an SA partner... I imagine that this will also be BEE controlled? They will force the foreighn investors to take on BEE partners that will first of all distroy the investment and then run away with the money... Good luck SA... that is all I can say... This is just another showcase of what our wonderfull government can come up with to steal from people and companies that has earned their way to where they are and to enrich their back pockets (and those of their family and friends) to the detrement of the rest of the country. Well done!!!!

  • brad - 2010-07-19 11:02

    Calm down dudes, they not taking away productive farms, they are not stopping farms reaching economies of scale, what they are doing is stopping fat companies (De Beers, Ruperts etc) sitting on masssive tracks of land and not using them for farming or mining or anything. I hope this 'land' thing extends to properties - get the rich Euro's out of Camps Bay and the Cape and give back the best properties in the country to South Africans who stay there year round and actually use the property. As far as chasing investment, well overseas concerns cant' own land in Canada, many European countries, Dubai, Zambia, etc etc. and it does make much of difference. Why do we want foreign investers to own SA farms anyway? Why do we want Arabs to own the waterfront??

  • Nomsa - 2010-07-19 11:03

    The white people won't like this!

  • Yolande - 2010-07-19 11:16

    Nomsa you are an idiot!

  • Andre - 2010-07-19 11:21

    I like the idea that foreigners will be limited in buying up property. They already screwed the current farm property prices so that farmers cant afford to expand. Secondly I like the idea of state land being leased out. Lets go and farm the Transkei for one. This system sounds like Namibia's land policy and it seems to be working there. (No, I'm not a communist but an Afrikaner farmboy)

  • Here's the problem - 2010-07-19 11:27

    Target - 30% of productive land to be given to blacks. I have no problem if they maintain productivity, but by their own admission, only 10% succeed. Thus: Year 1 - 100 % productive land owned by whites. Year 2 - 30% transferred to blacks, of which only 10% is productive, thus whites still own 97% of productive land. (even though 30% of the total has been transferred) This cycle continues until eventually you have only ten white farmers left who are more productive than all the black farmers (to which 90% of all originally productive land has been transferred), so they now have to give up 30% of their farms - by which time all of SA and neighbours are starving. This can only work if government actually ensure new farmers are trained and want to farm on a large scale.

  • George - 2010-07-19 11:34

    The government calls it the first right of refusal when the land is to be sold---IT MEANS NATIONALIZATION--beacause they will offer you R2 in return when you want R20mil. and it won't pay to sell so your free market trade system has gone for a ball of excrement. The farm has lost its value then and the land bank will give you a R2 loan for what the government will pay and you won't even be able to buy seed for 2 plants with that---so you will stop producing food. Maybe all farmers will allow the poor whites to squat on the land and each can produce his own little food for survival. All can become a True Boer again. (Squatters have more rights than legal owners in SA)

  • Adolf Schiel - 2010-07-19 11:45

    Wasn't that to be expected? Given the statements "Madiba" did make: and of course what is written in the freedom charter

  • Farmer - 2010-07-19 11:52

    Watch it S Africans, you are all going to starve when people like us can no longer provide the food you eat because the govt here has stolen our livelihood and given it to a subsistence farmer. Also watch out that we farmers do not become so demotivated that we stop producing on principle because we are unappreciated by the consumer based public we provide for come flood, famine, frost or fire. What incentive is there for us farmers to continue developing progressive farming methods and providing food for a nation who hates us because of a misinformation campaign that 'all farmers are brutes and exploit their workers and beat them and drag them around behind their bakkies'?

  • @ Brad - 2010-07-19 12:10

    I agree with the ideal of what you say, but that is South Africa to a tee, it is all just words like ubuntu and freedom and free schooling. It is a myth because implementation is faulty to be polite.

  • Malcolm - 2010-07-19 12:12

    Strange notion that the majority group in south africa, all have an entrenched right to a free farm. In most countries around the world there is no firm entrenched clause in their constitution gauranteeing a free farm to each and every one of its citizens.It smells of logic gone completely mad.The best solution in south africa would be to transfer all land to their rightful owners, the Bushmen.In Britain all land must immediately be transferred to the Gauls who once invaded Britain.In Italy all land must be transferred to the Romans direct descendants. All european land must be transferred back to the decendants of the Visigoths and the Huns. In the time of Jan van Riebiek, massive portions of South Africa were either not inhabited, or contained scattered, wandering, nomads, moving around with goats and cattle, to far flung fertile grazing areas. Nuff said.

  • Nasdaq7 - 2010-07-19 12:29

    brad foreigners need to buy land to invest, to build businesses and homes to provide jobs. You and the rest that support moves to limit freedom in the economy are all idiots. There are millions of square km of land that is unoccupied, haven't been zoned in South Africa, we are a developing country not an industrialized country where tens of thousands live in a square km in apartment blocks. The country has wide open spaces underdeveloped - how much will it take for you fools to grasp Paris 40672 inhabitants per sq km vs. 1012 Cape Town. Idiots total idiots all of you land grabbers. Mindless. Stupidity. Mugabe-like all of you.

  • Jane - 2010-07-19 12:40

    Nomsa, MORON, what on earth does this have to do with black or white??? Just go back and think to yourself how many of the land claims that have taken place have been fruitful. MAYBE 2 out of 10. At least the white people know what to do with their land (if you want to make a racial issue of this). We don't just have it because we wanted it because our forefathers (who we don't even know) had it, we produce from it and you eat it. Think you before you write something (if it is at all possible for you to think).

  • J-man - 2010-07-19 13:32

    "while 90% of the land transfers already done have been described as failures by the department itself." This is what goverment should look at. Land reforms that are not profitable or not producing what was promised. This will be the beginning steps of this baby...

  • CV - 2010-07-19 13:34

    @ nomsas on both sides of the divide. It is about productivity of resources and fair opportunity to own land in country of birth. Lets fist see the detail before we jump to conclusions. Hope they also limits the amount of land that can be owned by government in various categories. Only Nature Conservation should have no limit.

  • dorette - 2010-07-19 13:48

    Is this the green paper on communism???

  • Eva - 2010-07-19 14:31

    Everyone can see now that we are heading towards Zimbabwe...I watched the ANC and there ideas. They do exactly the same as old Bob. All whites: Let us move into the Western Cape. There we are save for some years. After that better leave this wonderful country!

  • vusiL - 2010-07-19 14:49

    Let the unbridled corruption and looting of white guys and foreigners property begin...

  • VusiL - 2010-07-19 14:54

    Extract from the ANC's textbook definition of "land nationalisation": expropriate land from lawful owners, give it to fat NEC carders or their family members in the name of BEE, so that they can sell it back to the original owners (also know as EXTORTION in the first world).

  • @all - 2010-07-19 14:58

    To all you Naysayers, lets see how many of you actually personally take part in these papers and not leave it up to agriforum or the government, better yet why dont you adopt a principle of BEE of your own, dont wait for the new paper to be promulgated, do it our of your nationalistic approach to your country, i mean you all voted NP anyway...but you wont will you, all you will do is have your beer on your porch and bitch about everything the govt is doing wrong, so come all you genius' lets see you come up with a workable solution and lets see you implement it. Not an ANC voter but tired of the absolute cant do attitudes in this country.

  • charly - 2010-07-19 15:39

    Even as we begin the downward road,lets re-asses the lies of land in Zimbabwe. Whites did not own the high percentage of land mentioned, they took a geographical region around Harare and used those figures to bump up the lie. Here in SA they will do the same,only for the purpose of turning people against one another and raid the land bank.

  • Issy - 2010-07-19 15:44

    It amazes me to see how many of you commenting are ignorant about the fact that many parts of Africa and other developing countries, take India for expample have specific nationalistic laws about land ownership. Before you comment educate yourself.

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