R1bn boost for battling Land Bank

THE government is to inject R1billion into the Land Bank as part of plans to shake up the troubled institution and boost rural development.

THE government is to inject R1billion into the Land Bank as part of plans to shake up the troubled institution and boost rural development.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan made the announcement yesterday in presenting his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.

"The Land Bank is looking at developing a new mandate that focuses on the needs of creating a new cadre of farmers and supporting existing ones, making agriculture work better," Gordhan said.

"In the next few months we will be crafting a way forward that integrates commercial farming with developmental farming projects . we will begin to give the Land Bank a new mission."

Gordhan said the government wanted to provide better support for beneficiaries of land restitution and land reform.

The minister condemned corrupt government officials who he said had stolen money from the Land Bank.

"There are serious allegations of corruption and fraud [involving the Land Bank]," Gordhan told reporters.

"Culprits who steal money from the Land Bank and the fiscus to enrich themselves cannot be allowed to get away with it." - Anton Ferreira

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