[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Land reform failure
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Wed May 7 08:47:11 BST 2008
("In the three years 2004 to 2007, state redistribution of formerly
white owned land to black owners has increased by less than a half a
percent, from 4.3% of commercial land to 4.7%.")
Sluggish, flawed land reform threatens the entire economy, says think tank
May 07, 2008 Edition 1
SOUTH Africa's slow and flawed land reform process is putting the
economic well-being of many rural regions under threat and this could
cause serious negative consequences for the entire economy, the Centre
for Development and Enterprise has warned.
In its latest report, the centre said land redistribution was happening
far too slowly to meet the expectations raised by the government's
target for 30% of commercial agricultural land to be owned by black
people by 2014.
The Centre for Development and Enterprise is an independent policy
research organisation and is one of South Africa's leading development
think tanks, focusing on national development issues.
It said the country faced two likely trajectories - "nobody wins" and
"everybody loses". Neither was desirable. Each threatened agricultural
production, investor confidence, race relations and the prospects of the
"The future of South African commercial agriculture is now on the
table," said executive director Ann Bernstein. "The economic viability
of many rural regions of the country is under threat, which could lead
to serious negative consequences for the broader economy and society.
And all this is happening in the midst of a global rise in food and
commodity prices. South Africa is not only losing out on important new
opportunities but starting to undermine its competitiveness and capacity
in the agricultural sector."
The centre's study reviewed the land market, the private sector's role
in land reform, state programmes and policy developments.
"The realities of competitive international agriculture and the
implementation of current land reform policies are at odds. South
African agri-businesses are shifting an increasing proportion of their
assets and energy into neighbouring and other countries. The country is
slipping as a competitive place in which to do agri-business."
The report said the restitution process had successfully settled most
urban claims but was now bogged down.
"Land redistribution is taking place far too slowly to meet the
expectations raised by the government's target that 30% of commercial
agricultural land should be owned by blacks by 2014. In the three years
2004 to 2007, state redistribution of formerly white owned land to black
owners has increased by less than a half a percent, from 4.3% of
commercial land to 4.7%."
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