Forestry in South Africa
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May : Important documentation regarding land ceilings and other issues

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2 May, 2015

Important documentation regarding land ceilings and other issues

Agri SA appreciates the constructive and ongoing engagement with DRDLR regarding important policies, legislation and implementation strategies aimed at land reform.  We realize that it is important to continue to engage, even though we may sometimes differ strongly and in principle on certain strategies and policies put forward by the Ministry and the Department. The land ceiling debate is a case in point.

Agri SA indicated from the outset that we were opposed to land ceilings in principle.  Our stance has not changed.  We include herewith previous written comments dealing with the issue of land ceilings as well as media statements on the topic by Agri SA.

We deem it necessary to bring our stance and viewpoints on this important issue under your attention, because we do not want our participation in the ITT working group on agricultural landholdings to be seen as agreement that ceilings should be implemented.

At the meeting of the relevant working group held on 9 April 2015, our main representative in that working group, Mr Louw Steytler once again made it very clear that Agri SA was very concerned about the possible negative consequences of the proposed policy. However at the ITT meeting held on 17 April, Mr Hilton Toolo reported that all stakeholders seemed to have moderated in their approach to ceilings and created the impression that stakeholders were agreed on the suggestion that ceilings should now be legislated.  This is contrary to Agri SA's position that ceilings is likely to have a major negative impact on food security and export revenue and that macroeconomic factors, farming systems and individual ability and needs should be allowed to dictate farm size.

No consensus could be reached on land ceilings during the NAREG process and most of the experts consulted by the NAREG working group also cautioned against ceilings.

At the 17 April ITT meeting, Mr Toolo indicated that stakeholders had until Monday 20 April to comment on the draft policy on agricultural landholdings as well as the draft policy on foreign landownership.  However the proposed regulation of landholdings policy framework was sent to stakeholders on 14 April for the very first time!

We appeal to you once again, not to rush this process but to carefully consider the implications of the foreseen policy for food security, export revenue and efficiency of land use.

Kind regards
Hans van der Merwe
Executive Director

Download the following documentation: