Land Audit must ensure no ownership of land by foreign nationals

The land audit must precede the land reform to ensure that there is no ownership of land by foreign nationals. It was also said that the current ownership should be converted into long term lease after the auditing process has been finalised.Land is a fundamental feature of ownership and control. Persisting racial, gender and class concentration of ownership of land including the setting up of institutions to regulate land use, standardize land valuations and normalise land use and distribution must be prioritised.

It is critical for the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework Bill of 2014 which provides for the state to take custodianship of all agricultural land and then issue farmers with licences to farm including the Regulation of Land Holdings Bill which among others imposes ceilings on the sizes of farms, of which any excess is to be expropriated to be expedite land reform.

Radical socio-economic transformation will be undermined if ownership of land and the means of production are not shared to pave the way for an inclusive economy. Adoption of the Expropriation Bill in terms and the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework Bill will empower the state to avoid having to pay compensation which might run into billions that it cannot afford by simply taking the claimed land into state ‘custodianship’ and then leasing it back either to the original landowners or to over 128 000 land claimants.

The land must be recognised in the constitution as a socio-economic right for indigent households to be allocated minimum landholdings. He added that allocation of customary land must be democratised in a manner which empowers rural women and supports the building of democratic community structures at village level, capable of driving and coordinating local development processes.