31 May 2018 - NW870
Robertson, Mr K to ask the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform
Whether the Government has (a) determined and/or (b) developed measures to determine the land that will be earmarked to be expropriated without compensation; if not, by what date will the determination be made; if so, what (i) criteria will be used to determine the land that will be expropriated without compensation, (ii) is the detailed breakdown of the various categories of land to be so expropriated and (iii) amount of land will be expropriated without compensation in each category; (2) whether the Government is still aiming to transfer 30% of agricultural land to black emerging farmers; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) Will the target of transferring 30% of agricultural land be adjusted when the Government’s policy to expropriate land without compensation is introduced; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?
1. (a),(b) No. In his State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa clearly stated “…that expropriation without compensation should be implemented in a way that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensure that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid. Government will undertake a process of consultation to determine the modalities of the implementation of this resolution.” In line with the latter statement, on 27 February 2018, a motion was adopted in Parliament for the Constitutional Review Committee to review section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses where necessary to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation. The Committee is required to report back to Parliament by 30 August 2018. Any such determination by government will therefore depend on the recommendations of the Constitutional Review Committee.
(i),(ii),(iii) Falls away.
2. Yes. The land that will be targeted is land that is strategically located and backed by expressed land need; land that is under or unutilised; and land above the basic land factor efficiency requirement for the said commodity or commodity mix per agro ecological region. The Regulation of Agricultural Land Bill, published for public comment in March 2017 further outlines the broad criteria and there is a project to introduce scientific methods to refine such criteria, consider the determinations and policy options and advise accordingly. Over and above the target of 30%, the Department will also focus on ensuring that acquired farms are productive and contribute to the agricultural economy. To this end, we will finalise the assessment of all our PLAS farms to enable decision making in-terms of support required, leasing and disposal. We will also begin the assessment of all our properties acquired since 1995 through various Land Reform Programmes. Food security and productive utilisation of land remains a priority in the rural space and the department will aggressively pursue the implementation of the One Household, One Hectare and One Household, Two Dairy Cows Programmes to improve household incomes and well-being.
It ought to be noted that the 30% was a floor amount targeted for the first five years. Although we have not met that target, the matter of what is equitable access to citizens both in terms of the strata of the land needy prioritised, which the High Level Panel Report emphasises as well as the quantum of land targeted is a policy position that needs further attention and consolidation by government.
3. Government will be guided by the outcome of the Constitutional Review Committee.