Paarl - Foreign nationals will no longer be able to own land
in South Africa once government’s land policy is finalised and passed into law,
Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said on Tuesday.
"All people who are foreign nationals will not own
land, but will lease land on a long-term basis," he said.
Nkwinti was responding to a question during a "dialogue"
with farm workers in Paarl.
The question had to do with foreign ownership of farms.
The minister said government had completed an audit of
state-owned land, but was still busy with its audit of public and private land.
"Privately-owned land includes land which is owned by
foreigners. We are busy auditing all of that land," he said.
When the audits are complete and government's policy is
promulgated into law then "people who are foreign nationals will not own
land, but will lease land on a long-term basis", said Nkwinti.
Nkwinti said the matter was being attended to by government.
Speaking earlier, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies
said the recently-announced R105 a day wage for farm workers was a minimum
wage, and did not mean farmers could not pay more.
He said some farms involved in export production could
afford to pay more than this.
Davies described agricultural labour as "an unorganised
sector". "You are not organised in unions," he told around 200
farm workers who gathered at the venue for the event.
"If you get a sufficient number of people enrolled in a
trade union, you have the right to invoke provisions of the Labour Relations
Act," he said.
Davies noted that many of the people he was addressing wore
red Fawu or white Bawusa T-shirts. He added: "Now go and negotiate, and
get yourself a better wage!"
He said at some rural Western Cape clinics the biggest
illness being treated was not HIV/Aids, but malnutrition.
Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said cheap labour
was now a thing of the past.
"Cheap labour is no longer going to be tolerated,"
Earlier on Tuesday, a similar dialogue was held with farmers
and commercial farming organisations.
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