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Zuma clarifies ownership of land by foreigners

If the Land Holdings Bill is passed, foreign nationals will be classed as non-citizens, and won’t own land.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma addresses the media at a working lunch meeting with editors at the Presidential Guest House in Pretoria on 8 February 2015. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma has clarified his move to restrict land ownership by foreigners in South Africa by announcing a new land bill.

If the new Land Holdings Bill is passed as it is, foreign nationals will be classed as non-citizens and unable to own land in South Africa.

Zuma came under fire for not condemning the looting of foreign owned shops across the country last month during his State of the Nation Address (Sona).

If the president passes the controversial bill, foreigners may only own land in a business capacity, if the dominant shareholder of an enterprise is controlled from abroad.

As it stands the bill prohibits freehold foreign land ownership to a long term lease of land between 30 and 50 years.

Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said, "The bill will soon be sent to cabinet for approval after which there will be a process of public consultation."

The new proposed law also looks to limit the amount of land an individual may own to around 12,000 hectares.

The government will buy land that is over the set amount.

Yesterday, the proposed law came under fire with some foreign nationals saying the move would incite more violence and discrimination.

SAHRC CONDEMNS SONA CHAOS

The South African Human Rights Commission says the chaos that erupted during Sona is an insult to democracy.

The commission has called for an urgent investigation into the scrambling of cell phone signal and says those responsible must be called to account.

Video: Night of chaos at Sona 2015.

Economic Freedom Fighters members were violently escorted out of the National Assembly, after interrupting Zuma's speech with questions, on when he intends to pay back money spent on Nkandla.

The sitting also saw a walk out by opposition parties, including the Democratic Alliance and United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa.

The commission's Isaac Mangena said, "The disabling of the internet in Parliament was a violation to journalist's rights to report information to the public."