Land ownership limit has been set

Bheki Cele says no foreign nationals will be allowed to own land in South Africa.

FILE: Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Bheki Cele. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Bheki Cele, on Wednesday said land would be shared out between those who work on it but would be restricted to 12,000 hectares per person.

He was addressing Members of Parliament (MPs) on the second day of the State of the Nation Address debate.

"The ceiling of land ownership will be set at a maximum of 12,000 hectares by any natural or legal person. Foreign nationals will not be allowed to own land in South Africa, but will be eligible for a long term lease."

He said while the freedom charter says any person may own the land they work, the new land holdings bill would change this.

"The 12,000 hectares ceiling is meant to cover all producers. Therefore, we need to discourage the practice of throwing the Freedom Charter into political football in the house. It is a very serious document."

Cele also accused other political parties of inciting racist violence in rural farming communities.

He said parties needed to act responsibly.

"On this note we urge politicians of this house to stop divisive propaganda by talking on behalf of communities they do not truly represent. And instigating racial tensions where there is none."

The debate is still under way in Parliament, click here to watch.