‘Use government land’
THE Free Market Foundation said the land reform provisions in the Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill, 2017 make the bill unconstitutional, and an exercise in redistribution rather than restitution as required by the Constitution.
It also demonstrated a refusal to consider more appropriate measures for land reform, the FMF said in a statement.
Under the bill foreigners may not own agricultural land and it forces agricultural land owners to classify themselves along racial and gender lines in a national registry of land ownership. Another flaw is the bill gives government the right of first refusal when any agricultural land owned by foreigners is being sold.
FMF legal researcher Martin van Staden said: “The bill discriminates unfairly against nonSouth Africans by disallowing them ownership of agricultural property. This violates section 25(1) of the Constitution, which provides that anyone, foreigners included, may own property.
“Redistribution is not mentioned or implied anywhere in our highest law yet this is the approach taken by the new bill,” he said.
The FMF believes land reform should involve distributing government land to the poor.