Zuma: Foreign-owned land ban applies to agricultural land

Government’s proposed ban on foreign land ownership will apply only to agricultural land, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

Responding in Parliament following a robust two-day, joint-sitting debate on his State of the Nation Address, he told MPs that placing a 12 000 hectare ceiling on land ownership would not be done in a way that threatened food security.

Referring to the Regulation of Land Holdings Bill, Zuma said he had received emails from concerned members of the public on land ownership and reform.

“I was asked whether a foreign national wishing to buy a home in Johannesburg would be able to do that and if the limit on foreign ownership was confined to agricultural land.

“The answer is that the Land Holdings Bill applies to agricultural land. It does not affect those foreign nationals who are planning to buy homes for residences.”

He had also received queries on whether the new policy would apply to multinational corporations in South Africa.

“Multinationals will be affected only if their future property purchases consist of agricultural land.”

Food crisis
Zuma referred to an email he had received from a KwaZulu-Natal sugarcane farmer, who had said that if the proposal to put in place a 12 000 hectare ceiling was passed, “the country would have a food crisis”.

This email had noted that 100 of the country’s farmers produced 70% of its food, and if they were forced to reduce the size of their farms their production could be halved.

“There are two answers to this issue. We are taking these actions precisely because the fate of too many is in the hands of too few,” Zuma said, to loud applause from ruling party benches.

“We are keenly aware of the contribution of the country’s hard-working farmers to the economy and food security.

“However, effective participation of the previously excluded black majority in agriculture and food production will only occur meaningfully when they have access to land and [can] work it.”

He assured MPs that “nothing will be done that will prejudice food security in the country”. – Sapa

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Guest Author

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Motsepe’s mine in reparation row

For 13 years, the former residents have battled with Nkomati mine over the relocation of graves and the destruction of cattle kraals and homesteads

BMW X3 review: An SA favourite returns with a makeover

The German carmaker gives you a good reason to choose the X3 over its many competitors

Zandile Gumede makes a comeback in eThekwini as ANC conference...

The regional conferences in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal will test the muscle of Cyril Ramaphosa and his faction in the build-up to 2022 congress

Decline in demand for office space continues

Many companies are revising their requirements as the pandemic continues to upset business plans

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…