SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa’s government is planning to impose limits on farm sizes to free up parcels of land to hand over to blacks, a minister said on Saturday, giving an insight into the workings of a divisive redistribution scheme.
Gugile Nkwinti, the minister of rural development and land reform, told Reuters the government was planning to set a range of limits – from a 1,000-hectare (2,470-acre) “small-scale” farm, up to the largest allowed, at 12,000 hectares. “If you are a small-scale farm and have 1,400 HA, we will buy the 400, and leave you with your 1,000.
We will buy the extra and redistribute it to black people,” the minister said. South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC), facing local elections in August, has promised to speed up plans to redistribute land which remains predominantly in white hands two decades after the end of apartheid.
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Some economists and farming groups have said the proposals could hit investment and production at a time when South Africa is emerging from a major drought – pointing to the economic damage linked to farm seizures in neighboring Zimbabwe. They have also complained about a lack of clarity on how it will all work.