SA farmers lobby govt to keep land reform flexible

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SA farmers lobby govt to keep land reform flexible

South Africa's farming union is lobbying the government to retain the 'willing-buyer, willing-seller' concept as a less bureaucratic option to land transfer than expropriation.

Agri SA president Johannes Möller said he was pleased the ANC rejected seizing land without compensation at last month's policy conference .

"We don't have a problem with land expropriation providing if it is done with compensation and within the confines of the law, it's OK."

He added his union had been meeting government ministers to persuade them the 'willing buyer, willing seller' concept was a quicker form of land tranfer than expropriation.

Möller said he believed they had "made an impression" with ministers over their argument that expropriation involved a lengthy process.

The government is keen to hit its target of 30% of land transfer from the white minority to black emerging farmers. However, it has come under criticism for failing to keep an accurate database on land transfers since resitution started in 1994.

Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has confirmed the long-awaited land audit would also be fast tracked and completed by December this year.

Proposals on land transfer are still being debated with a final policy decision expected in December at the ANC national conference.

Related stories: South African land reform in cul-de-sac


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