- Land Affairs Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says she will use existing clauses in the Constitution to expropriate land
- Nkoana-Mashabane was shocked to learn government had spent R50 billion to get 4% of land back
- Land audits show black people own 1.2% rural and 7% urban land while white people own 23.6% rural and 11.4% urban land in South Africa
Land Affairs Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has taken a tough stance on land expropriation and said she would not wait for the constitutional review committee to complete its work at the end of August before she started the process.
Nkoana-Mashabane said she would use existing clauses in the Constitution, which under certain circumstances would allow her department to expropriate land. Nkoana-Mashabane said the reality was that only 4% of land owned by black people was in a place they called home.
Nkoana-Mashabane said she was shocked to learn that the government had spent about R50 billion on land restitution and reform over many years. She said it brought her to tears to think the government had spent that amount of money for 4% of the land.
Briefly.co.za discovered that the department’s audit last month has revealed black people own 1.2% rural and 7% urban land while white people own 23.6% rural and 11.4% urban land in South Africa.
“I was shocked that we spent so much money and got so little land back. It is the generosity of our spirit. But this is not racism,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.
Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa needed to celebrate because the government was finally dealing with the original sin. She said the process should not scare anybody because the government was committed to an orderly and lawful process.
Despite pressure from foreign investors for the government to abandon the policy, Nkoana-Mashabane said there was no turning back.
“The department is not Parliament. Expropriation of land without compensation is encapsulated in section 25 of the Constitution, which also takes care of property rights. We are more than ready to make use of those mechanisms as derived from the Constitution we have at hand,” she said.
Nkoana-Mashabane has also committed herself to ensuring that any and all land which is handed over to new owners comes with water rights. She said the reason most land which had been handed over lay idle was because the new owners did not have access to the water rights to that land.
She urged young people to make agriculture fashionable.
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