Land matter to be handled appropriately in South Africa - Land Reform Minister

Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has urged South Africans, investors and the international community to exercise patience and trust the capabilities of Parliament to handle the matter of expropriation of land without compensation.

“The department is constitutionally enjoined to change the skewed land-ownership patterns while maintaining economic growth, food security, increased agricultural productions which are priorities for the Government and this Department,” the department said in a statement on Tuesday.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane has noted the media discussions and speculation concerning the recent motion passed by Parliament to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation pursuant to the resolution of the ruling party.

The resolution established a Constitutional Review Committee to consider all aspects of expropriation without compensation, including the legal and economic aspects thereof.

The resolution of Parliament thus sets forth a process and the Constitutional Review Committee must report back to Parliament by 30th August 2018.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane has reiterated the assurance by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the 2018 State of the Nation Address that the expropriation of land without compensation will be done in a manner that ensures food security, increases agricultural production and improves economic growth.

"The Land Audit report on private land ownership by race, gender and nationality, released by the Department earlier this year, reveals that black South African’s own only 4% of the land in this country.

"This is a direct result of the historical injustices that resulted in skewed land ownership patterns along racial lines; hence this matter cannot be left unresolved," the department said.

The department meanwhile will strive to accelerate land reform within the current policies and legislation whilst the Parliamentary processes are being finalised.

The department has over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework been allocated by the National Treasury a sum of R10.8 billion to accelerate settlement of the 2581 restitution claims and R4.2 billion to acquire 291 000 hectares of strategically located land.

“We shall, in this regard, continue to follow political undertakings and make necessary input into parliamentary processes to address land dispossession, rural development and food security. The time is now,” the department said.