Casidra News Articles

LREAD PERSPECTIVE

Posted on in LREAD PERSPECTIVE

The AgriSA Land Audit

AgriSA made public its much anticipated South African Land Audit this month. A lot has been said about agricultural land ownership in South Africa, but no credible statistics have been available to back up the various claims. The AgriSA Land Audit, done together with Media24 and economist Johann Bornman of Agri Development Solutions, is an attempt to provide accurate statistics and numbers to work with. As part of their investigation, individual agricultural land transactions from 1994 to 2016, as registered at the Deeds Office, were checked and verified. Racial profiling was done through a surname check. This work is of great interest to the Land Reform Advisory Desk, as we are working on a similar project with a Western Cape focus.

The AgriSA Audit come up with very interesting findings. These include:

  • In 1994, white farmers owned 82.5 million hectares of land, and black people, together with government, owned 14.5 million hectares.
  • In 2016, the above numbers changed to 68.5 million for white farmers, and 25 million hectares for black farmers and government.
  • This translates to black farmer land ownership of 26.7% of our total farm land.
  • Black farmers now control 29.1% of farm land by value.
  • Black farmers control 46.5% of farm land from a land potential perspective.
  • During the period from 1994 to 2016, total agricultural land decreased from 79.3% of our land surface to 76.3% of land surface. According to the report this is of concern from a food security perspective.
  • KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape are the provinces with the most significant land transformation since 1994.
  • In KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo, the nation’s most fertile areas, more than half of agricultural land, according to potential, is now owned by black people.
  • The Western Cape’s statistics show black ownership change from 0% in 1994, growing to just below 5% in 2016.
  • The Report indicates that transformation of agricultural land through private commercial transactions resulted in twice the number of hectares transferred, when compared to the official government land redistribution programmes since 1994. In essence this means that black people who bought land is driving land transformation, and not government programmes. AgriSA uses this finding as support for their argument that the market system and the principle of willing buyer willing seller is working to achieve the desired land transformation outcomes.

But not everyone is in agreement on the effectiveness of the market based approach. Professor Ruth Hall, from the Institute of Poverty and Land Studies at the University of the Western Cape, says that the Land Audit’s findings actually proves the opposite. According to her it indicates that Government, and black people, have paid too much for land, and that the willing buyer willing seller principle is not delivering value for money in terms of transformation.

At the time of writing this Perspective, the LREAD could not find any published response; comment, or reaction from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform on the AgriSA land audit. This absence, from a debate it should be leading, is in itself a source of great concern.

Last modified on
Hits: 28

Posted on in LREAD PERSPECTIVE

Talking is better than fighting

Why is talking better than fighting?  I used Google and came across the following insightful quote: “Discussions are always better than arguments, because an argument is always about who is right, and a discussion is to find out what is right”. This quote holds much truth for our land reform journey in South Africa.

We seem to spend a lot of energy on framing role players as being on the right side or the wrong side in terms of historical; cultural, and current economic realities. In this context land reform becomes a stick with which some must receive a beating to compensate for those who have been wronged. Land reform is a fight, and therefor there will be winners and losers.

Last modified on

Posted on in LREAD PERSPECTIVE

Cyril Ramaphosa

Earlier in June I travelled to the Koue Bokkeveld to an event where Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, was the guest speaker. True to the area’s name, it was a bitterly cold evening, with outside temperatures dropping to 5 Degrees Celsius on the Gydo pass, on route to the venue!

The event was hosted by the Witzenberg Partnerships in Agri Land Solutions (PALS). PALS is a private sector initiate which coordinates and supports transformation projects in the Witzenberg Area. The Initiative was launched two years ago when the commercial agricultural sector decided to act on the need for rapid transformation in land ownership in the Witzenberg area. Members finance a permanently staffed office in Ceres from where all projects are coordinated. The LREAD has a good working relationship with PALS and thus my attendance to the event was granted.

Last modified on

Posted on in LREAD PERSPECTIVE

Sharing is caring

The Nampo agricultural show, which took place in May in Bothaville, is one of the highlights on the South African agricultural calendar. First time attendees are always blown away by the scale of this event. The show attracted 78 648 visitors and 700 exhibitors this year.  It is also the place to come up close with the latest in farming technology. This year saw Senzeni Zokwana, South African Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, posing on the world’s largest standard production tractor, the Fendt 1000 Vario, muscling an impressive 517 horse power.

Minister Zokwana also took part in a series of panel discussions on land reform, hosted by Nation in Conversation. Zokwana said the ANC, during its National Policy Conference in June, should be mindful of the relationships between food security; the commercial sectors sustainability, and access to land for new black farmers.

Last modified on

Posted on in LREAD PERSPECTIVE

Counting Transformation. April 2017 saw the appointment of a Service Provider by the LREAD to establish a Baseline of black land ownership for Western Cape. The need for such a baseline has already been voiced in 2014 during the Provincial Land Reform Summit, an initiative of Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, where he identified land reform, or the lack thereof, as a real risk to the provincial economy.

Last modified on

Posted on in LREAD PERSPECTIVE

Unintended Consequences

Gugile Nkwinti, Minister of Land Reform and Rural Development, announced the Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill earlier in March this year. The Bill is now open for comments from interested parties after which it will be presented to Parliament for promulgation as an Act. If successful in its current form, this Bill holds the potential to fundamentally alter the manner in which we look and think about land ownership in South Africa. 

Last modified on

Posted on in LREAD PERSPECTIVE

Making sense of land reform in 2017 after the State of the Nation Address and Budget Speech.

During February 2017, we were offered 3 important perspectives from 3 prominent political leaders in South Africa on what the future might hold for our land reform project:

  1. The State of the Nation Address by President Zuma on the 9th of February.
  2. Subsequent statements from Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti.
  3. The Budget Address by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on the 22nd of February.
Last modified on