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Revamp to land reform unveiled soon

Aug 25 2011 13:26
Cape Town - The long awaited green paper on land reform will be released next week, senior land reform official Sunday Ogunronbi said on Thursday.

Responding to questions at a media briefing in Pretoria, following Cabinet's fortnightly meeting on Wednesday, he told journalists the document did not propose that foreigners could not own land in South Africa.

"The green paper covers the foreign ownership question to an extent. The intention is to develop a full policy position on (this). Cabinet... will be proposing a law in the next few months.

"We are not saying that foreigners will not be able to access South African land, we are only saying that the conditions under which non-South Africans own land will be regulated."

Ogunronbi said South Africa was one of the very few countries in the world that did not have such regulations.

On when the green paper would be tabled, he said: "We are very optimistic we will release (it) next week".

On a possible land "ceiling" or a restriction on the amount of land an individual could own, he said there was a proposal in the green paper to "explore the possibilities" of this.

In this regard, there was a "mixed bag" of options, but "no blanket restriction, no blanket specification of the quantity, and we're not saying that in all cases this will be applied".

It was a possibility in the policy options.

"We have not said anything in relation to land ceiling or quantity restrictions on the basis of race, or black or white."

On proposals in the green paper on land ownership, he said this involved a "four-tiered system", involving different scenarios for specific areas of the country.

"The kind of obligations and conditions we're talking about will be instances where there is a foreign interest in agricultural land - which is a concern not just in South Africa, but across the world.

"So (for example) ... we are expecting to be able to say to a foreigner intending to purchase agricultural land... that he may need to partner with a South African in specific cases," he said.

land claims  |  economy  |  agriculture


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