Pretoria – Government has recommitted to urgently accelerate the pace
of land reform in South Africa, Rural Development and Land Reform
Minister Gugile Nkwinti announced on Wednesday.

Delivering the department’s Budget Vote in Parliament, Minister Nkwinti
said land reform must represent “a radical and rapid break from the
past”, without significantly disrupting agricultural production and
food security.

He said the State must further mobilise resources to reverse both the
human and material conditions of those displaced by previous land

The minister said land reform must deal with the triple challenge of
poverty, unemployment and inequality in rural areas. Furthermore,
equitable land allocation and use across race, gender and class, must
be ensured.

The minister also said the comprehensive audit of state-owned land must
be completed urgently.

“We also reaffirm our proposals to replace willing buyer-willing seller
with the ‘just and equitable’ principle in the Constitution immediately
where the state is acquiring land for land reform purposes,” said
Minister Nkwinti.

The department will pursue agrarian transformation as a strategy to
change patterns of ownership and control of land, livestock and
cropping, and to uplift rural communities.

National Development Plan (NDP)

Minister Nkwinti said the NDP, which sets out the trajectory for rural
economic transformation and development, is the roadmap for his
department’s programmes.

He said radical change must bring real benefits to working people and
the poor across South Africa.

The NDP provides a long-term vision for accelerating development, so
that unemployment and inequality can be reduced, creating a more
inclusive society.

In the rural development context, the NDP seeks to ensure economic
growth, food security and jobs as a result of agrarian transformation
and infrastructure development programmes. Improved access to basic
services, health care and quality education must also be a reality in
rural areas.

Minister Nkwinti’s proposed model is that each district municipality
with commercial farming land in the country should convene a District
Land Committee with all agricultural landowners in the district, as
well as key stakeholders such as the private sector, government
departments and government agencies.