Redistribution of land ‘will be just and equitable’

Posted On Friday, 08 September 2006 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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GOVERNMENT’s land valuation process would result in just and equitable compensation for land expropriated for the purposes of land reform, said Agriculture and Land Affairs Minister Lulu Xingwana yesterday.

Lulu Xingwana GOVERNMENT’s land valuation process would result in just and equitable compensation for land expropriated for the purposes of land reform, said Agriculture and Land Affairs Minister Lulu Xingwana yesterday.

Marking her first 100 days in office, Xingwana told the National Press Club in Pretoria that she had faith in the independence of the judiciary, which would not retreat from ruling against the executive acting outside the law.

Xingwana said last month that land reform was being delayed by white land owners who expected inflated prices for land and that land owners would now be given six months to reach a settlement or face expropriation.

Farmers reacted angrily. Farmers’ union AgriSA said at the time that farmers had never asked to be paid more than a “reasonable commercial price”.

However, Xingwana said yesterday that the land affairs department always used an independent valuer to determine the price government should pay for land. The department also always sought a second opinion and took into consideration the improvements on the land and the application of the land for purposes other than farming.

Landowners have rejected this, saying land prices should be determined by the market.

Efficient Group economist Nico Kelder said the value of property was determined by its earnings potential.

The value of farmland was less than that of business premises and a game farm may be worth more than if the same land was used for cattle, Kelder said.

Xingwana said it was a myth that the state owned enough land to supply the 30% required for redistribution by 2014. Most of the state-owned land was encumbered and not available for redistribution. About 12-million hectares is under communal ownership in the former bantustans. Only about 1,2-million hectares, controlled by the South African Development Trust, is available for redistribution.

Xingwana said her department had assumed a “proactive” strategy for land acquisition. It meant the state would be “lead driver” as opposed to the beneficiary-driven redistribution that had preceded her tenure.

The idea was to promote redistribution in areas where the market had failed. The strategy should promote the acquisition of going concerns and ensure better quality land is redis- tributed.

Last modified on Thursday, 15 May 2014 12:09

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