Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti wants white commercial farmers to hand over half their farms to black farmworkers.
Nkwinti said in an interview this week that stakeholders in commercial agriculture, including farmers, trade unions, farmworkers and the agricultural business sector, have until April next year to react to his proposals.
- The commercial farmers retain 50% of the farm;
- The labourers on the land assume ownership of the remaining 50%, proportional to their contribution to the development of the land based on the number of years they had worked on the land;
- The government pays for the 50% to be shared by the labourers, but the money will not go to the farmer. It will go to an investment and development fund to be jointly owned by the parties constituting the new ownership regime. The investment and development fund will be used for reinvestment in the farm, skills improvement and to pay out those who want to opt out of the arrangement;
- Current tenancy protection remains and it will be balanced by a regime of duties and responsibilities that worker-dwellers must comply with if they want to stay on the farm;
- Of the 50% to be shared by labourers, all labourers with a history of between 10 and 25 consecutive years of disciplined service will share 10%, those with 25 to 50 years’ consecutive service will share 25%, those with more than 50 years’ consecutive service will share 50% and 15% will be available for household subsistence farming; and
- Land rights management committees, consisting of local people, will be established to solve local disputes.
Nkwinti said he had come up with the proposal because the previous system had “many deficiencies”.
Land reform has been brought into sharp focus by the decline of agriculture in neighbouring Zimbabwe, where many white commercial farmers have been violently evicted and their property rights trampled by the state.
Some 90% of farms redistributed to South Africa’s black population from white farmers are not productive.
Since 1994 white farmers have been murdered in alarming numbers.
About 50 people on average are murdered in South-Africa per day, of which at least 20 are white(95+ % black on white murder rate), although whites make up only 9% (4 500 000) of the demographics in South-Africa.