- The government is moving ahead with plans on redistribution of land
- During her budget speech, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, revealed the department of rural land redistribution's plans
- She provided five ways in which the government would be doing this
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the minister for rural land redistribution plans on using the existing legal framework to fast-track land reform.
She revealed government's plans to speed up the land reform when she tabled her department's budget vote speech on Friday.
Parliament is working on a proposal to amend the constitution and is considering public submissions. This would allow for land expropriation without compensation. Nkoana-Mashabane explained how she plans on moving forward.
“While the Parliamentary process unfolds, the department will continue to advance land reform through existing programmes of land restitution, land redistribution and land tenure reform using the existing constitutional provisions to argue for limited compensation including in cases such as the return of land to labour tenants and farm dwellers.”
Land Ownership Limits
The department intends on submitting a bill called the Regulation of the Agricultural Land Bill which would give the principle of just and equitable compensation more substance when used in conjunction with the Property Valuation Act of 2014.
“The Regulation of Agricultural Land Bill seeks to provide a framework to introduce land ownership ceilings on agricultural land. We will continue to use the full potential of existing laws to fast-track rural development and land reform.”
Land Claim Reform
Nkoana-Mashabane revealed during her speech that the department wishes to improve the land restitution programme by strengthening the Commission on the Restitution of Land Rights capacity.
“This will include consideration of a suitable operating model, a redesign of the claims process to reduce the unnecessary bureaucracy to fast-track settlement of claims.”
Using Current Projects
To date the government has settled 80 664 claims at a cost of R40-billion. The 2.1 million beneficiaries are seen as a catalyst for change for land reform.
“To date we have restored 3.5 million hectares of land which can be used as a catalyst to change the lives of our people who are still stuck in the second economy. Land without the requisite support fails to unlock the full value chain.”
R1.2-billion on Accelerated Land Reform
In the year coming, the department plans on using the pro-active Land Acquisition Strategy and strategic financial partnerships to secure 98 100 hectares of land as part of Operation Phakisa initiatives.
“The department will pilot 18 farms to support the accelerated land development and redistribution initiative to support peri-urban agriculture and the revitalisation of rural towns. The total budget of R1.2 billion is set aside for the acquisition of land to support these programmes.”
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