Land reform: breaking up is hard to do
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CTA. 2000. Land reform: breaking up is hard to do. Spore 89. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46915
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore89.pdf
The government of South Africa recently swung into action a long-standing set of land reform measures, fearful, some say, of being confronted with similar problems to those in neighbouring Zimbabwe. The measures provide for the redistribution of...
The government of South Africa recently swung into action a long-standing set of land reform measures, fearful, some say, of being confronted with similar problems to those in neighbouring Zimbabwe. The measures provide for the redistribution of one-third of all arable land to African farmers. In the first five years, three and a half million hectares are due for redistribution. Tens of thousands of (potential) farmers are supposed to pledge sums, according to their means, ranging from ZAR 5,000 to ZAR 405,000 (h 778 to h 62,985). They will be matched by a government grant only if the candidate agrees to follow a training course in agriculture. The grant should be used only for agricultural purposes: purchase of the land, equipment and other investments. Depending on the initial deposit, the grant will be for between 80% and 20% of the purchase price of the land the higher a candidate s own contribution, the lower the grant. Even at this early stage, the scheme has become grounded. The size of minimal own contribution expected from candidates excludes the poorest of the poor, since it represents more than a year s earnings. A second complaint is that it is a highly selective programme, forcing the candidate purchaser to present a business and financial plan to be approved by several bodies. The major obstacle is that it is a seller s market. Land owners are not rushing to sell off land under these conditions. The question is whether such a scheme will stay afloat. Source: Mail & Guardian, June 2000