Government to change current land redistribution model

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Giyani - President Jacob Zuma has announced that changes will be made to the "willing-buyer, willing-seller" model of land redistribution in South Africa.

"We have recognised that in order to move forward decisively with the land redistribution programme, significant changes will have to be made to the Willing-Buyer Willing-Seller model of land redistribution," said the President.

He was speaking at the launch of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) in the rural village of Muyexe in Giyani on Monday, which aims to create employment opportunities and develop rural communities.

One of the key ways government wants to develop rural areas is through land.

According to Mr Zuma, the general view of the willing-buyer, willing seller model does not work and government will be seeking a much more pragmatic formula to land redistribution.

"The general view is that the willing-buyer willing seller model does not work. We will be seeking a much more pragmatic formula to land redistribution.

"It will be a formula that should address the issue as part of our country's ongoing effort at national reconciliation. It should not be seen as a super-profit-making business venture," he said.

Mr Zuma said government would have to investigate less costly alternative ways of land acquisition, by engaging with all stakeholders within the sector.

One of government's priorities is to ensure that land reform through redistribution and restitution is more coherently linked to the creation of livelihoods for the poor.

The CRDP is the government's national collective strategy to jointly fight against poverty, hunger, unemployment and lack of development in rural areas.

According to the Fifteen Year Review report released by government last year, government set a target of transferring 30% of white-owned agricultural land through restitution, redistribution and tenure reform by 2014, which amounts to 24.9 million hectares.

The total transferred by 2008 amounted to 4.8 million hectares, indicating that the land reform programme would have to be stepped up considerably to meet the 2014 target.