Monday, October 29, 2007

South African Minister of Land Affairs Blames White Farmers For Problems in Redistribution

JOHANNESBURG 26 October 2007 Sapa


The Department of Land Affairs on Friday extended the deadline for public comment on the Policy on Land Ownership (PLOF) by Foreigners.

Spokesman Eddie Mohoebi said the deadline was extended from November 14 to December 14.

"The reason behind the extension is to allow the public more time for deliberation on this matter, said Mohoebi.

The consultation sessions were approved by Cabinet, while the launch of the PLOF report was approved by the Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs Lulama Xingwana on September 14.

"There has been a widely-held concern that the phenomenon of
foreigners owning South African land, especially coastal and inland prime tourism and game reserves land, is materially influencing effective land reform."

Mohoebi said if this trend continued undebated, the government's ability to meet its constitutional duties around land reform, housing and access to related resources such as water, health, food and social security would become increasingly difficult.

"Instead of benefiting, the previously disadvantaged South Africans will be the losers. Not only in respect of access to land and resources, but also concerning the dignity and self-worth resulting from an effective service delivery," he said.

Mohoebi said this trend would also further restrict the ability to lift the poorest of the poor out of the existing poverty trap.

He said that government would be failing in its duty if it did nothing about this phenomenon.

It was therefore imperative for the public to keep commenting on this report to make sure that the government did not leave their needs unattended, he said.

JOHANNESBURG 27 October 2007 Sapa


Land and Agricultural Affairs Minister Lulu Xingwana said farmers are delaying land restitution in South Africa, reported SABC News on Saturday.

"They (farmers) increase land prices so that the state cannot afford to buy it," she said.

Xingwana said abuse and eviction of farm dwellers also remained the main stumbling blocks in making progress in the land restitution programme.

She was speaking at the launch of the Land Rights Awareness Campaign at Edumbe in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

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