Beneficiaries of government’s agricultural land reform policies at a grape farm called Nirwanda in the Hex River Valley, in the Western Cape, face an uncertain future due to corruption.
In one of the biggest land scandals, the SABC’s investigative program Special Assignment has uncovered how the beneficiaries have been left in the lurch due to conflict between a farming co-operative called the Big Five and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
This is over the alleged imposition of a multinational dutch fruit exporter called SAFE and its BEE partner BONO.
A member of the presidential land advisory panel, Professor Ruth Hall, says the practise is rife throughout the country.
“Companies and individuals who are politically connected are getting lucrative contracts from the state to take over land reform farms to farm them with state subsidies. They are getting free land to farm on state’s behalf. The people, who are ostensibly signed up as beneficiaries, don’t have oversight of financials and don’t receive dividends. In this sense it’s not land reform.”