'STATE MUST SEIZE LAND'

The only way government will ever be able to redistribute 30percent of white-owned agricultural land is if it expropriate it, says Parliament.

The only way government will ever be able to redistribute 30percent of white-owned agricultural land is if it expropriate it, says Parliament.

The legislature looks set to push through the reworked Expropriation Bill, which gives the Minister of Public Works the power to expropriate land in the public interest.

The bill was shelved last year after the DA and farmers organisations claimed it was unconstitutional.

ANC MP and chairperson of Parliament's Standing Committee on Appropriations, Mbulelo Sogoni, said yesterday the new law should not take "another 100 years" to be passed.

He said the constitutional clauses that protected property rights were "clearly sunset clauses".

"They would not be there forever. At some time they would have to be reviewed."

Director-general of rural development and land reform Thozi Gwanya said farmers were asking government to pay an "emotional price for land that has no economic value".

He said the government was prepared to pay market value for agricultural land.

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