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.
Hans van der Merwe
Download the following documentation: