Blocking foreigners from owning farm land is a bad idea - AgriSA

The Minister for Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti published the "Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill" on Friday.

The draft law which has been opened for pubic comment aims aims to ensure what government says should be a ‘just and equitable’ distribution of agricultural land to Africans.

This will further allow government to set up a register of agricultural land ownership, blocking foreign ownership and seizing unlawfully acquired land. Foreigners may lease but no longer buy agricultural land

AgriSA's land affairs advisor, Annelize Crosby has studied the draft law and insists it's a bad idea for number of reasons.

It will be hugely expensive to implement.

Annelize Crosby, AgriSA land advisor

It's relatively easy to circumvent.

Annelize Crosby, AgriSA land advisor

It's been proven internationally not to work and not to have any positive impact on poverty alleviation or really empower anybody and its likely to have negative impact on production.

Annelize Crosby, AgriSA land advisor

She says there is no substantial basis for the regulation of foreign ownership, and that the bill is not pragmatic.

If you look at the kind of land that foreigners do own, we talking about farming land, its normally the very expensive high intensive farming, farms that will take a lot of money to run. It is not necessarily the kinds of farm you would buy just to redistribute for land reform beneficiaries because its so expensive to run.

Annelize Crosby, AgriSA land advisor

The other thing, of course, being that our Constitution does not distinguish between citizens and foreigners when it comes to property, so there may well be constitutional questions when dealing with this matter.

Annelize Crosby, AgriSA land advisor

We are creating more expectations amongst people who are already frustrated and despondent because they are not seeing any progress.

Annelize Crosby, AgriSA land advisor

Listen to the full interview below...

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