Maimane condemns Land Holdings Bill in Sona debate

The DA condemned the proposed ban on foreign land ownership as a populist move that will kill investment.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane presents his speech for the State of the Nation debate. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has condemned the proposed ban on foreign land ownership as a populist move that will kill investment and jobs.

Last week, in his State of the Nation Address ( Sona) President Jacob Zuma announced the Land Holdings Bill, which if passed in its current form, will bar foreign nationals from buying land.

Speaking in the Sona debate on Tuesday, DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said the 17.5 million hectares of fertile soil in communal land areas must be unlocked for reform purposes.

Maimane says only through bold reforms will the country meaningfully redress the legacy of restricted access to land.

"All the president has offered is a populist proposal to ban foreign land ownership. This will only kill investment and jobs. State owned land must be fully audited and used to fast-track the redistribution to deserving beneficiaries."

Maimane said farmworkers must become farm owners in partnership with commercial farmers, through the National Development Plan (NDP's) system of identifying and purchasing available land on the market.

He also told the house that Zuma is on the war path in his bid to destroy state institutions to avoid answering to corruption charges.

He adds the head of state has spent years avoiding his day in court.

"This broken man has spent his waking hours plotting and planning to avoid his day in court. In this broken man's path of destruction, lies a litany of broken institutions. Each one of them targeted because of their constitutional power to hold him to account."

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