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'Top-class' land reform advisory panel set up

The panel appointed by Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to provide perspectives on land policy in the context of persisting land inequality, and unsatisfactory land and agrarian reform.

FILE: The new land reform advisory panel comprises 10 members and will support the inter-ministerial committee on land reform chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa has set up an advisory panel on land reform, not only to advise the government on issues like redistribution but also on how to unlock potential and grow the sector.

The panel comprises 10 members and will support the inter-ministerial committee on land reform chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza.

Ramaphosa announced a wide-ranging plan to stimulated economic growth in Pretoria on Friday, which includes an R400 billion infrastructure fund.

Other areas that will receive attention include the township and rural economies.

Ramaphosa says he has appointed the panel based on their academic background, professional experience, social entrepreneurship or activism, related to the agricultural economy and land policy.

“The 10-person panel is a top-class panel of people who have good experience in agriculture, who are business oriented, who are real farmers, some of them, academics and lawyers.”

The panel is to be chaired by social entrepreneur and public policy and development planning specialist Dr Vuyokazi Mahlati.

Other members include land researcher Professor Ruth Hall and high-profile lawyer Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi.

He says the panel will advise the government on a fair and equitable land reform process.

“That readdresses the injustices of the past, increases agricultural output that also promotes economic growth and protects food security.”

The president says a fund will be established to support emerging black farmers.

The panel’s appointment comes as Parliament is about to hold another round of public hearings into land expropriation without compensation.

It [Parliament] announced on Thursday that it will hear from organisations who made written submissions on whether the Constitution should be amended to allow for expropriation without compensation.

The panel appointed by Ramaphosa is expected to provide perspectives on land policy in the context of persisting land inequality, and unsatisfactory land and agrarian reform.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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