21 February 2019

South Africa: With Billions Budgeted for Land Reform, Major Beneficiaries Have Been Wealthier Men, Parliament Hears


On the same day that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni's Budget allocated R18.4bn to accelerate land reform, Parliament was told that the major beneficiaries of the government's land reform programme to date have been 'better-off men' - often urban businessmen. Women and the rural poor, meanwhile, continue to be short-changed by a system in need of radical overhaul.

An advisory panel on land reform appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in September 2018 gave a provisional report-back to Parliament on Wednesday - and their conclusions so far are sobering.

The panel, chaired by African Farmers Association of South Africa president Dr Vuyo Mahlati, addressed MPs from three parliamentary portfolio committees to give them a sense of the issues that have been arising from round-tables and consultations on land reform undertaken nationally by the panel over the last five months.

"We are not here to present a full report of the panel," Mahlati stressed.

Instead, the panel wanted to engage MPs from the committees dealing with land reform, agriculture and water on the areas that have already emerged as needing urgent attention.

These are: how the beneficiaries of land reform are selected, whether beneficiaries are granted title deeds or not, and the ever-more...

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