South Africa: Government Promise That '700,000ha of State Land Will Be Redistributed' Raises More Questions Than Answers

analysis

Could this announcement be just another political strategy to win the people's favour for the next elections?

"Minister Thoko Didiza announces over 700,000 ha of state land will be redistributed."

This promise made headlines on many media platforms this past week.

Land reform has generally been slow, and many, especially those who need agricultural land, were buoyed by this development. This is a significant number of hectares in comparison to the usual estimate of about 100,000ha redistributed per annum.

On the face of it, this important announcement seemed to demonstrate an effort by the government to deliver on President Cyril Ramaphosa's promise in his 2020 State of the Nation Address to release state land for agricultural purposes. At the same time, some are curious and want to know more about this decision as land reform was put on hold since lockdown while other debates related to land, such as food security, dominated the sector.

Finally, is something starting to happen? Could the thuma mina moment be upon us? If so, then what could the redistribution of state land really mean?

On 1 October, the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, said 896 farms would be redistributed....

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