The book also brings home the reality of the slow progress of land reform in South Africa. In 1994 when the country became a democracy, white farmers owned 77.580 million hectares of farmland out of the total surface area of 122 million hectares.
Governments can build credibility over time through consistent commitment to implementing policies efficiently and effectively. South Africa hasn’t done well on this score. As a result of the poor record of policy implementation, investors and the general public have become sceptical of government policy pronouncements.
In 2020, the South African government approved a women empowerment policy proposing that roughly 50% of the allocation of agricultural farming land under the Redistribution Programme should be for women, 40% for youth, and 10% for people living with disabilities. Titled “National Policy on Beneficiary Selection and Land Allocation of 2020” the policy is an essential intervention as it outlines who should benefit from land redistribution.
An agency could accelerate South Africa’s land reform by removing the process from political and bureaucratic control.
The high court on the ruling Ingonyama Trust leasing land held in custody highlights the dangers.
Minister Didiza’s Budget Vote Speech centered on the themes of private-public-partnership approaches
The Minister’s speech is positive as it centred on the theme of public-private partnerships for development and expansion in the sector and emphasised various programmes that the social partners are already working on in collaboration with the government. I share the minister’s broad view that harnessing the power of public and private sector collaboration is critical to unlocking opportunities for inclusive growth in the sector.
The debate over amending section 25 has gone beyond the realm of agriculture as various other stakeholders have engaged with parliament. As the outcome is likely to have direct implications for the success of the department’s work programme, it would be prudent for parliament to consider the broader impact on the agricultural and other sectors of the economy while SA is in an economic reconstruction phase.
South Africa’s agriculture and land reform: How far are we from an integrated and inclusive rural economy?
Progress with South Africa’s land reform as per the National Development Plan has been underestimated and, while still slow, is closer to the 30% target than typically believed.