‘Use gov­ern­ment land’

The Witness - - YOUR MONEY - — Busi­ness Edi­tor.

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.