Cabinet approves Land Donations Policy for implementation

Friday, December 4, 2020

Cabinet has approved the Land Donations Policy, which aims to accelerate land donations as one of the ways to respond to the slow pace of land reform.

Cabinet said the implementation of the policy will create meaningful opportunities for citizens in peri-urban and rural areas to participate in the economy.

“It puts in place incentives and guides land donations by owners of large tracts of land. The incentives come with prescribed empowerment responsibilities on the part of big institutional land holders that will donate land,” Cabinet said in a statement on Friday.

Donated land and the incentive policy measures are aligned to the agreement reached by social partners in the 2016 Operation Phakisa on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.

The policy was released for public consultation in February 2020.

National Policy on Beneficiary Selection 

Cabinet has also approved the National Policy on Beneficiary Selection and Land Allocation of 2020.

The policy provides for a fair, credible and transparent process for beneficiary selection, and land allocation in South Africa.

It incorporates comments received during its publication earlier in the year and sets out to address, amongst others, gender inequality in land ownership.

The policy also prioritises the allocation of land ownership to women, thereby promoting the advancement of women in this regard.

It further seeks to address the diverse land needs, as expressed by communities, for agricultural production, human settlements, commonage, residential and industrial development.

“The policy proposes the creation of an independent structure to process land allocations and provides for an online application system to ensure full transparency to the allocation of the land,” Cabinet said.

Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Bill

Meanwhile, Cabinet has approved the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Bill 2020 for submission to Parliament.

The bill repeals the Agricultural Land Act, 1970 (Act 70 of 1970) to give effect to constitutional requirements, and provide a fair and balanced approach in the use of agricultural land.

The bill proactively protects agricultural land for food production through the establishment of protected agricultural areas, in which high potential agricultural land will be delineated for agricultural purposes, and low potential agricultural land will be permitted for non-agricultural uses.

“The implementation of the bill addresses the threat to national and household food security,” Cabinet said. –