Land seminar reaches final day

Farm workers on a farm
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A land seminar hosted by the President’s Council on Land Reform and Agriculture concluded its business on Saturday.

Discussions centred on preparing proposals that are going to guide the Inter-Ministerial Committee and Cabinet in addressing the problems and failures of the current system.

Land policy is the corner-stone in the development of any country and its economy and for this to happen, all stake holders need to be involved. The seminar took place against the background of the expropriation of land without compensation.

“We’re looking now beyond just farm land. Who the other owners of land are and how to make sure that we tap on that as part of the land reform because the focus in terms of the government programme is particularly on farm land,” says Dr Vuyo Mahlathi, Chair panel Land Colloquium.

Mahlathi says government had set itself a target of transferring about 30% of farmland to black owners by 2014 but they have not even managed to move beyond 10%.

“So now we are widening the scope to say we’re looking beyond just farm land. We looking in terms of other owners of land because what we are dealing with is not just land reform for agriculture . We are looking at land reform for both urban and rural areas,” says Dr Mahlathi.

Mahlathi says as long as there is unequal land distribution, South Africa will continue to have problems of development.

The seminar was attended by academics, government officials, civil society and business.