Foreign land ban won't hit investment - ministers

Foreign land ban won't hit investment - ministers

2015-02-15 16:22

Cape Town - Cabinet is still to decide whether the announced ban on foreign land ownership will apply to all categories of land, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said on Sunday.

"In many countries they make a distinction between agricultural and urban land," the former land minister told reporters in Cape Town.

"So these are some of the details that are still being fleshed out by cabinet, it is to say what exactly is going to be put in place to give effect to this decision."

Hanekom added that the impending ban, widely expected and confirmed by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation address on Thursday, would not affect the rights of current foreign land owners and should not be seen as a threat to foreign investment.

READ: Zuma lost GPS signal on land ownership - business

"It is not unusual. In fact many, many countries in the world do not allow foreign ownership of land, including developed countries," Hanekom told the briefing by cabinet’s international co-operation, trade and security cluster.

He said existing title deeds were, in terms of existing policy, not under threat and existing land owners would not have to convert their title deeds to leaseholds.

"That is not on the table at the moment. The decision is not a threatening decision... and a 99-year lease is certainly not a disincentive to investment in South Africa."

Asked about a negative comment on the proposed ban from the head of the German Chamber of Commerce in South Africa, carried in Rapport on Sunday, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said he believed it would not affect investment by German companies.

"I guess there are foreigners from Germany who are looking to come and buy land in South Africa. They will be disappointed because I think there is a decision we have had to take which is in the interest that many more of our people, who were at a disadvantage under apartheid, have access to land.

"I am not aware that there is a big quantum of foreign investment in land coming in from Germany. I am aware that German industries are increasing their investment in South Africa and one example that I recite is that in 2014 a German company, Mercedes-Benz, made the largest investment in the motor sector in South Africa ever."

READ: Confusion over ban on foreign land ownership

City Press reported earlier this month that one of the largest corporate holders of title deeds is German car maker Daimler, which has numerous subsidiaries in the country, among them Mercedes-Benz SA.

A spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz SA said all South African property owned by Daimler’s subsidiaries were owned by locally registered companies.

ALSO READ: Presidency explains foreign land ownership plans

  • MaxsonN - 2015-02-15 16:39

    That's what you said about the new Visa rules..

      Jurgen Hartmann - 2015-02-15 16:58

      Are the anc idiotcadres living in Noddyland?????????

      Scouter Four-One - 2015-02-15 17:00

      Hopeless - but after the events of SONA, I doubt any foreign investor is really keen on SA anymore, in any event ...

      BloodyAmerican - 2015-02-15 17:33

      Yet another layer of bureaucracy added to the obstacles of investment. Having to deal with yet another level of useless government is, at its best, an obstruction. At its worst, it can be used selectively to determine who will -- or won't -- be allowed to use land. With a government that kisses China's arse, you can guess who benefits from that. Also, what about me? I'm trying to naturalise, but it won't happen if I can't buy a house to live in. This is a train-wreck in the making.

      NickvanGraan - 2015-02-15 18:34

      Since when are ANC Ministers experts on the economy? especially those who belong to the communist party?

      James Bergwerff - 2015-02-15 18:58

      This is concept is practiced all over South East Asia and has definitely not deterred Foreign Investors as places like Bali has a Booming Property Market . One need to understand how it works and it is actually a very good Concept It is generally applied in Singapore both to Local and International Property owners . I do agree that Government could have communicated this better to the Public at large . The 30 and 50 year leases are standard by International Thinking and wil definately not deter International Investors , It has nothing to do with Apartheid or Colonialism etc as alleged here . South Africa is just slow in cacthing up to Internationmal Norms and the Timing could have been better .

      Phillip Marchant - 2015-02-15 20:53

      Do your worst, Rob Davies. History will judge you harshly, for the genocide you and your ANC puppet-masters add to every day. Bathe in your blood money, while you can.

      Zimbawean - 2015-02-16 13:34

      James"International norms" vary from country to country. Our government is playing on the clock with tax payers' ability to assist this country's very real & immense problems. They should stop messing around with the side issues & get to grips with placing books in class rooms & ensuring teachers are in attendance & have the required resources. Then our youth may be a problem for another goverment if they decide to invest in foreign properties. There are matters of far more import that require urgency in addressing them. However, I doubt that this James actually exists & hides behind a pseudonym.

  • Kobus Otto - 2015-02-15 16:40

    I just do not understand the levels (and ability) of "understanding" of how an economy works. For "learned men" Rob Davis & his cohorts, simply have NO idea what this decision will do for future investment. Unless, off course, the deliberate outcome hereof us that foreign investors will only have indirect access to land via SA citizen...being a "connected" person? ?

      Jurgen Hartmann - 2015-02-15 16:58

      Davis is a dirty little commie.

      Chrono Man - 2015-02-16 08:28

      Why do you think our economy has basically been stagnant so long now? The same bunch hatched the "growth" plans for our economy.

  • Alan Baxter - 2015-02-15 16:41

    The devil will be in the detail, but generally these Ministers are correct, many prodperous countries, Canada, Aus, Swiss, Thai, China have restrictions.

      Jeremy Forbes - 2015-02-15 18:23

      Thank you Allan, some sense at last, those who complain should try and buy a property in CT where foreigners have disproportionately skewed the housing market and local people can no longer compete with them. It causes all round misery for rich and poor alike.

      Ryan Paulssen - 2015-02-15 19:18

      Jeremy what bull**** are u talking? U know how many south africans live and own property in CT?!? Just because foreigners love the view and buy up houses that are for sale that arent getting sold because of economic problems doesnt mean that foreigners own everything. U should be thankful that foreigners are here to stimulate the economy! Its not like any south african can buy a beach house.

      James Bergwerff - 2015-02-15 19:22

      You are right Alan , a sticking point may be what happens when a Foreigner dies and needs to be buried ?? Can his relatives buy a plot in the Local CEMETRY ???

      Maria Du Bois - 2015-02-16 08:50

      The problem with your argument is that the countries u listed have more going for them in terms of FDI than SA. We have no govt policy, an inefficient labour force, a policy of debasing the currency, a crumbling infrastructure and internal strife that seems will get worse

  • Braam Compion - 2015-02-15 16:47

    Little by little they take. Not all at once. In a years time we have forgotten and then slip on another one. Zim just did it all in one.....everybody moans but the world did not do anything

  • Kay Gee Mengo - 2015-02-15 16:47

    I fully support the idea of banning ownership of properties by foreigners.

      Scouter Four-One - 2015-02-15 16:58

      You don't know much about the dynamics that drive foreign investment, do you Kay?

      Riaan van Zuydam - 2015-02-15 17:04

      kay please explain to me what the threat of foreign ownership of land is. It does not make sense. They still have to pay for rates and services like everyone else so why have an issue. its not just the purchase of the property that brings in foreign currency but also the ongoing costs involved. maybe you don't understand the benefit of foreign currency but any one with half a brain cell does.

      Allan Brits - 2015-02-15 17:48

      Kay it's not what investors read into land ownership but it's what they see as a distinct move towards other areas of Restriction and what their investment will eventually become. Look at good old Zimbabwe initially it was small things then started to roll to other and eventually chased all investment away and ultimately having hypo inflation. Look at the broader Pictor you dork not just the land ownership

      Darren Bishop - 2015-02-15 17:55

      I can give you a first hand example! I distributed for an international tyre manufacturer who have been in talks about opening a factory in SA! This means buying the land and building the factory.... I can tell you... No assure you that this will not be happening! Millions in investment and 100s of jobs lost in one quick statement!

      richard.wraith - 2015-02-15 18:11

      Why? Do you like being poor and unemployed?

      Hennie de Ruyter - 2015-02-15 18:25

      Yes, start with KFC

  • Manie Schonken - 2015-02-15 16:48

    If I want to invest in a country and for example set up a factory or shop, I want to have the title deeds to the property. An investor normally wants to purchase property/business and develop, using local labour, to a higher value. What about that is difficult to understand?

  • Rhys Nolan Evans - 2015-02-15 16:50

    The difference is, many of those countries never allowed foreign land ownership in the first place! We also cannot look at China and say "Look at their growth, they do not allow foreigners to purchase land!" Completely different context. "A 99-year lease is certainly not a disincentive to investment in South Africa." Unless I can make MAJOR profits from leasing that land, this just does not sound like a good deal (Especially in Africa). People with money to burn would much rather BUY!

  • amadeus.geldenhuys - 2015-02-15 16:50

    I rather go for a Zuma jail sentence than to test this theory.

      denise.coates.98 - 2015-02-15 16:59

      Yes, make it a 99year lease

      amadeus.geldenhuys - 2015-02-15 17:04

      Good on JD - You've made my day.

      amadeus.geldenhuys - 2015-02-15 17:05

      Good one ..

  • PINKFLOOI - 2015-02-15 17:02

    Glad to hear you believe in the sh#t you're trying to make us digest, plank, there will be no new investors and the ones we have will leave like a heard of nkandla cattle.

  • leo.simango.3 - 2015-02-15 17:03

    I honestly support the idea. Rob u got it right. We all have to work together to correct the past, these are the changes we need. Not toll road implemenation.

  • George Slade - 2015-02-15 17:07

    How will a private Landowner sell subject to a 99 year lease ????????????

  • etienne.wehrli - 2015-02-15 17:09

    Bush politics....complete bunch of idiots...zuma = screwed up SA

  • konstabel.koekemoer - 2015-02-15 17:14

    Only a tiny percentage of land is owned by foreigners so why come with a ban now when this is not a problem. It sends a very wrong message and the only reason is that government wants to score points with it's ignorant followers many if whom are xenophobic. So it's no longer enough to blame whites and apartheid for all of the ANCS failures, now foreigners are also targeted. Of course the rules will not apply to foreigners like the Guptas!

      michael.tetley.35 - 2015-02-15 22:18

      Typical populist rhetoric of a party and government out of ideas and flailing about. Divert attention away from themselves and their incompetence and create scapegoats. I believe less than 3% of land in this country belongs to foreigners and the way the ANC are going about things that percentage will naturally decrease anyway as foreigners disinvest.

      michael.tetley.35 - 2015-02-15 23:10

      Or the ANC's Chinese masters!

      Anthony Dew - 2015-02-16 14:38

      Such statements are pure political postering for Elections 2016.

  • Peter Storbeck - 2015-02-15 17:14

    Keen to see the implementation but in principle. I support this for the following reasons: Businesses put a time frame on their operations, so if the lease agreement is adhered to, it will not discourage investment. They need to be guaranteed a return on investment for infrastructure improvements. Example they can sell the investment with a transfer of lease or be paid out if the government chooses not to renew. It won't work if the leases are too short.

  • Peter Storbeck - 2015-02-15 17:16

    But the cynic in me thinks the commies in the ANC are using this as a precursory to remove all landownership rights, which are the bedrock of democracy. So it is not so much about WHAT is being proposed but WHO is proposing it.

      Anthony Dew - 2015-02-16 14:39

      Such statements are pure political postering for Elections 2016.

  • Graham Grant Hayward - 2015-02-15 17:18

    Wrong message will cost this government dearly.Investors are wise on Zimbabwe already

  • Peter Clark - 2015-02-15 17:21

    Bang goes my investment in land I was going to invest a couple of million in land to redevelop a farm

      Lungih Shezy - 2015-02-15 18:09

      Unamanga Gbpi

      Peter Clark - 2015-02-15 18:35

      Am English not in Sa.

      Ryan Paulssen - 2015-02-15 19:10

      Id much rather invest in other countries than this place. Investing in this country is like giving ur money away

      Peter Clark - 2015-02-15 19:51

      It was a thought. I already have properties in various countries but since Zuma has been up to his nonsense the investment I would have made would have given many people work as well as homes. I am an ex south African living overseas.

      Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2015-02-16 11:05

      Peter Clark. Why do you think we are interested in what you have?. You left, did well obviously and so it is. None of our business.

      Dave May - 2015-02-16 12:22

      Because Jacqui the investment Peter would have made would have created more jobs. The tax that he would pay would have gone (hopefully!) into the state coffers to be spent on the upliftment of the Country and it's population. The goods he produced would help feed the nation instead of having to import foreign food stuffs..... but now none of this is going to happen. If 1000 people like Peter decide to do this then the Country loses out on a bigger scale. Do you get the picture now?

  • Richard Lemmer - 2015-02-15 17:24

    Probably dropped on his head at birth !!!! How stupid does he think we are ????

  • Heinrich van Rooi - 2015-02-15 17:24

    The question here is not whether there are also restrictions in other counntries the problem is we need there investment. I am at the forefront here that we need to own many land to ourselves as South Africans, but again we are a development country and we need this people to buy land and built factories. If investors can't own land in buildings YOU are in reality saying that they are not welcome here as well. With a country that has a high unemployment rate this is the dumbest decision ever....

  • Jimmy James - 2015-02-15 17:26

    Ja Hanekom...die hane kom ook k.k praat.

  • Mike Brett - 2015-02-15 17:32

    Some time ago I suggested that the ANC change their name to the AID party based on four principles; 1) Aid your cadres by lining pockets; 2) A: Arrogance; 3) I: Incompetance; 4) D: Dictatorial.

  • Mark Austin - 2015-02-15 17:41

    And who are you trying to fool you bunch of idiots

  • Dave Russell - 2015-02-15 17:51

    So the ban on foreign land ownership will not affect foreign investment? And the pope is not catholic............................

  • gerry.klos - 2015-02-15 18:09

    With Red Rob at the helm we can be sure to get a deal which even Putin couldn't have worked out better himself. It's about time that the red gravy train brigade dies out and gets replaced with younger blood.

  • merkwaardig - 2015-02-15 18:10

    I think soon people with second houses will also be required to "sell" to the state for black housing. It might be prudent to sell property and move the proceeds to shares in Chinese and US companies.

  • Andre De Klerk - 2015-02-15 18:11

    Their right it won't hit investment...Eskom, labour laws, corruption has already done that.

  • Fred Eksteen - 2015-02-15 18:11

    We are f@#ked!!

      Jan Vandam - 2015-02-15 19:51

      Maar dit is lekker op die plaas.

      Jan Vandam - 2015-02-15 19:51

      Maar dit is lekker op die plaas.

  • Ian Trenor - 2015-02-15 18:12

    And you also believe in the tooth fairy

  • Ian Trenor - 2015-02-15 18:13

    Zim copy and paste

  • Bertus Pretorius - 2015-02-15 18:22

    The same idiots who said we don't have a national crisis with eskom and also promoted the 1 million jobs lie. And the majority voter still has no real concept of what this country is turning into.

  • Kaikai - 2015-02-15 18:30

    If it is applies fairly to all then it could be a solution to this long standing issue. If it turns into a racist which hunt, then it certainly will affect investment.

  • Julio Sanfona - 2015-02-15 18:34

    It's just a small step by the ANC communist government towards total control of everything so that they can stuff up everything real good.

  • Plastiek Spies - 2015-02-15 18:35

    Any serious foreign investor that looks at yield and with rather invest with less labour and foreign exchange risk in countries that offer better returns.

  • Ryan Paulssen - 2015-02-15 19:07

    This country is gonna go up in flames because of the anc. U cant blame everything on apartheid. during aparheid white people build way more infrastructure and there was way less corruption. So whose fault is it that this country is messed up and going down faster than ever? We only falling back because of the anc!

  • Geoff Brown - 2015-02-15 19:11

    It's not this one decision on it's own but they're all stacking up. It seems that every decision taken always errs on the side of chasing investment away. Every single time, without fail - if there are two ways to go - government will automatically chose the way that discourages investment, both foreign and domestic. If you were deliberately engineering economic collapse, the government is busy writing the definitive textbook and doing a wonderful job of it too (although they can't take full credit - they have been using crib notes from Zimbabwe)

  • Stephen Sage Wiseman - 2015-02-15 19:22

    The aliens to civilization are in control in south africa. Poverty will envelope the whole country soon and all will be equal. Unreal

  • Cathy KotzĂ© - 2015-02-15 19:25

    Not quite true, according to business news in overseas media. Foreign investors in South Africa are constantly cautioned and advised to pull their investments sooner rather than later. In 2013 foreign investment decreased by 24%. Investors are nervous and a lot of new opportunities are opening up in other parts of the world, including Mexico.

  • Victor Reitz - 2015-02-15 21:16

    Dream on.

  • Abri Lombard - 2015-02-15 22:30

    Look closely, they are going to say farmers are the foreigners!! They do already, but if people are stupid enough to vote for them, then its gonna happen!!

  • Henning Pantke - 2015-02-16 08:13

    As if South Africa has a shortage of meer poef geborg deur die cANCer om oningeligte mense te kry om vir hulle te stem.

  • Louise-Roger Higham - 2015-02-16 08:14

    Can't believe these morons condone and make excuses for the rubbish that flows out of the mouths of the ANC

  • Jhbcpl Benoni - 2015-02-16 08:42

    Let me get this straight...... you want an investor to come and build a factory here, hire people spend millions but you cannot own the property? Umm, who in their right mind would do that? Would you build an extra room to a property that you are only renting? Off course not!!!! you are reducing the investment opportunity to renting factories. And in that case, I can promise you the profits are leaving the country as it is normally the fly by night investors.....

  • Kallie Marie - 2015-02-16 09:02

    What drugs are these people using ??

  • Derek Gabriels - 2015-02-16 09:57

    Limiting Foreign land ownership is institutionalised xenophobia.

  • Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2015-02-16 10:57

    Keep dreaming Davies, keep dreaming. All those would be investors remember what happen in Zimbabwe and they won't listen to you.

  • Steven Adamson - 2015-02-16 11:12

    Lets make a statement and figure out later the implications and consequences. The ANC are beyond words.

  • Piet Snot714 - 2015-02-16 15:36

    So these are some of the details that are still being fleshed out by cabinet, it is to say what exactly is going to be put in place to give effect to this decision." Wow and we have all the brighest sparksin the class in the cabinet!

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