Presidency statement on intended bill to regulate foreign land ownership

A limitation on the area of land that may be owned by individuals and the intention to only allow foreign nationals a lease hold of between 30 and 50 years are two of the elements of a planned bill contained in a statement by the President’s office issued following the State of the Nation address. It has been suggested before, most recently following the ANC National Executive Committee policy lekgotla in January.

The full text of the statement is included below that limits land ownership by anyone to 12 000 hectares with ownership in excess of that needing to be sold back to the State. The law will not seek to apply this retrospectively. Ownership in terms of race, nationality, gender, extent of land owned and its use will be required to be disclosed.

One of the stated intentions of the bill is to make property ownership more accessible to South Africans given the high prices, however an Independent Media report on 14 February quotes the Chairman of Seeff Properties, Samuel Seeff saying that land purchases in South Africa by foreigners was low and that even in the most exclusive areas foreign ownership was 10%. Seeff goes on to say that 700 in 24 000 sales a month nationwide were to foreign owners.

The bill would be submitted to Parliament for debate.

Statement by the Presidency on the Land Holdings Bill

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