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Agriculture Dept releases final land reform report

Minister Thoko Didiza and members of the panel briefed the media in Pretoria, stating that the report would inform government policy on land reform.

FILE: Agriculture and Land Reform Minister Thoko Didiza. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter.

PRETORIA - The Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Department has released a final report from the presidential expert advisory panel.

Minister Thoko Didiza and members of the panel briefed the media in Pretoria, stating that the report would inform government policy on land reform.

Didiza said in addressing the land question, government was not only addressing the historical legacy of dispossession, but at the same time recognised the multifaceted role of land in the country's economy and social development.

President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed the inter-ministerial committee on land reform - chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza - to ensure the land reform programme was fast-tracked.

The expert advisory panel was appointed in September last year to support the work of the inter-ministerial committee on land reform and to advise the committee on a broad range of policy matters including land restitution, redistribution, tenure security and agricultural support.

On Sunday the panel reported that the expropriation of land without compensation may only apply in limited instances.

It said members had different views on a number of issues being discussed - such as the implementation of the expropriation of land without compensation policy.

Chairperson of the panel Dr Vuyo Mahlathi said only a portion of land could be acquired without compensation.

“We come up with a number of areas, starting with vacant land, under-utilised land, un-utilised land or looking at land that was bought through equity schemes that have failed.”

The panel has recommended government to expedite the process of land reform and develop legislation that will help address the apartheid spatial land policy.

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