- President Cyril Ramaphosa has touched on one of the most highly-anticipated reforms - land
- The president announced that citizens will soon be able to lease land in seven provinces
- This land is either underutilised or vacant state land, according to Ramaphosa
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President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that progress has been made with regards to land reform in South Africa. In his weekly letter to the nation, Ramaphosa commented that citizens will soon be able to apply to lease land:
"The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DLRD) announced that members of the public will be able to apply to lease 700 000 hectares of underutilised or vacant state land in seven of the provinces."
The President highlighted land as the 'mainstay of our natural resource base', explaining that the sustainable use of farmland as 'key to our very survival'.
Ramaphosa admitted that reform in SA has been 'unsatisfactory', commenting that the hunger for land for farming is growing:
"The hunger for land to farm is growing, especially amongst the rural poor. And for a number of reasons, the pace of land reform in this particular sector has been slow and unsatisfactory. Transforming patterns of agricultural land ownership is vital not just to address the historical injustices of the past, but to safeguard our nation’s food security."
The president assured the nation that the land, a 'productive asset' will be safeguarded when it comes to the lease agreements:
"We have to ensure that land acquired for farming purposes is productively used. To safeguard the allocated state land for farming purposes, the lease is not transferable. Beneficiaries will sign a lease agreement with the state and pay a rental fee consistent with the land value."
To aid farmers participating in the programme, Ramaphosa confirmed that training would be provided:
"As part of this programme, beneficiaries will be trained in financial management and enterprise development. Experience has shown that emerging and small-scale farmers often lack the financial skills to exploit market opportunities and integrate with value chains."
Ramaphosa further confirmed that women, youth and disabled citizens will be prioritised as beneficiaries. The president explained that the goal is to transform the agriculture industry by growing a 'new generation of farmers', saying that:
"Leasing land under such favourable conditions must spur them to think big; to not just grow their own businesses but to advance shared wealth and prosperity in the communities in which they farm."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa has revealed South Africa's new plan to develop a mega-city in order to help pull the country out of the current economic slump.
The Mooikloof project will involve heavy investment in infrastructure development. The new city will be located in Gauteng and aims to provide affordable housing and create jobs with the aim of helping the most vulnerable.
This won't come cheap at the project is estimated to cost tens of billions of rands. The new city will be located to the east of the City of Tshwane and will cover an estimated 200 hectares.
The ambitious project plans include the following:
- 50 000 apartments
- 15 000 family units
- The apartments will sell for anything between R495 000 and R799 000 excl VAT
- Create 41 000 jobs
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