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Land reform minister defends policies

By Hlengiwe Nhlabathi Political Reporter | Jun 12, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 7 ]

"You cannot solve a national grievance through the market mechanism, because the assumption must be social equality."

ALL "firm minded" South Africans will eventually agree there is a need to amend sections of the constitution to address the land question as a national grievance, the minister of Rural Development and Land Reform said last night.

In what he termed "frank talk", Gugile Nkwinti said clause 25.3 of the constitution which facilitated the transfer of land actually frustrated the government's economic transformation bid.

He said the paradigm implied by the policy was irrelevant and cannot happen as it assumes that things are equal.

"Things are not equal. This can't solve the national grievance. Social equity must prevail," he said at a round-table discussion attended by black professionals as part of the ANC's strategy to source inputs ahead of its policy conference later this month.

"The angle through which we handle the debate that impacts on the constitution is the wrong one. It's not about the constitution but the paradigm which is implied that the market mechanism can actually resolve the national grievance, that is not possible, it can't happen.

"You cannot solve a national grievance through the market mechanism, because the assumption must be social equality."

While some people may argue certain aspects of the land tenure system proposed by the government were unconstitutional, it was the only way it could work, he said.

Nkwinti has slated critics who had threatened to take the government to court over some aspects of the green paper on land reform which they deem unconstitutional, saying then the constitution must be changed.

Presenting the paper in Parliament late last year, Nkwinti said constitutions were tools that were created to help society move in particular directions.

"When society gets stuck as it moves forward we must have the courage to review the constitution and, if needs be, amend it accordingly," he said at the time.

The government plans to transfer 30% of 82million hectares of land held by commercial farmers to black people.

It also wants to restrict the sale of land to foreigners, as per policies adopted in countries like Mozambique where foreigners are only allowed to enter into lease agreements. The intention was to first stabilise the land market, said Nkwinti, adding that it was a "very good" option.

Nkwinti said the government cannot say it has achieved liberation while it failed to resolve the land question.

COMMENTS [ 7 ]

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>>The government plans to transfer 30% of 82million hectares of land held by commercial farmers to black people.<<

Why do they not FIRSTLY do a land audit to see who owns what?

The commercial farmers feed the nation and as things stand, food is getting VERY expensive!
In the 'old' days we used to say "Don't criticize the farmer with your mouth full"

The way things are going our mouths will be empty because there are no farmers to criticize. We have become a very shortsighted nation with no thoughts or planning for the future.

I do however agree with this proposal

>>It also wants to restrict the sale of land to foreigners, as per policies adopted in countries like Mozambique where foreigners are only allowed to enter into lease agreements. <<

Foreigners tend to buy prime properties and inflate prices artificially, making it impossible for locals to ever be able to be able to afford them.

Jun 12, 2012 8:11 | 0 replies

I say cut the hand that feeds black people and you're cutting dependency. People will learn to fend for themselves just like they did when there were no whi tes back in the days . You don't give a man a fish but teach him how to catch a fish and in that way you feed him for life time . This attitude of waiting for grants and this thing of whi te farmers are feeding us must be stopped completely. Whether it's gonna be painful or not , take land from these whi tes and give it to bla cks to farm it. Blacks should stop depending on whi te people for everything. The bla ck man must be on his own now just like his fore- fathers did before the whi te man set foot here. Laziness should have never been rewarded , let bla cks starve they'll wake up pull their socks and work hard for themselves and their families. You depend to someone else than you're prone to physically , mentally and spiritual abuse. Black man stand on your own two feet and be proud of who you're,stop being a scum in your own country.

Jun 12, 2012 8:43 | 0 replies

1. Without security of land tenure, the economy will suffer and the cycle of poverty will spiral downwards. Read The Shackled Continent.

2. They cannot make half of these claims as the Land Census has not been completed so they don't even know who owns what land

3. If Gugile Nkwinti would actually spend his budget on land instead of sending it back to treasury or 'misplacing' funds into the bank accounts of his buddies, then the economic solution would work perfectly

4. SA commercial farms have almost halved in number. Where is that land? Our farmers are being headhunted by other countries and leaving their farms so where is that land? Not like they can take it with them.

It is about time that the REAL facts were laid out so that this matter can be discussed in an informed matter. At the moment it is just a political posturing format which has no facts or figures to back it up

Jun 12, 2012 8:49 | 0 replies

I have been watching something on youtube and did n't like it. Blacks and coloured people are kicking out whi tes from council flats and they occupy those flats by force. I saw this whi te woman crying and I just felt bad. Look maaan , we said , we don't want these whi tes in farms but they can live in towns or in concrete jungle like cities. Lets not abuse them like they did to us , our people now are taking this to the extreme.

Jun 12, 2012 9:16 | 0 replies

Do a land audit... Then get the 90% of FAILED redistributed farms working before talking about this land expropriation thing.

Using land expropriation as an electioneering tool is evil.

Jun 12, 2012 9:34 | 0 replies

LBS
>>The government plans to transfer 30% of 82million hectares of land held by commercial farmers to black people.<<

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we are busy with that my friend-state land audit

Jun 12, 2012 3:5 | 0 replies

Like it or not, S.Africa will end up going the Zim way. Hope you guys are planning well for a life in Zim as our maids and herdboys. True story!

Jun 13, 2012 2:16 | 0 replies