Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
The agriculture, land reform and rural development department has committed itself to accelerate effective land reform in South Africa.
The agriculture, land reform and rural development minister, Thoko Didiza, highlighted this during her department’s budget vote 2020/21 in parliament.
According to the minister, the commitment on land reform will be underpinned by the approaches of:
• Rapid release of state land;
• Acceleration and resolution of old order claims;
• Ensure the compliance with the court order in respect of labour tenants;
• Development of Communal tenure legislation;
• Post settlement support to those who receive land through land reform;
• Strengthening land administration system;
• Focus on youth and women;
• Improve market access and prioritize the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade area; and
• Strengthen governance and proper management of public resources.
The minister also informed parliament that the following bills will be submitted for consideration by parliament in 2020:
• Plant Health (Phytosanitary) Bill;
• Agricultural Produce Agencies Amendment Bill;
• Agricultural Product Standards Amendment Bill;
• Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework (PDALF) Bill; and
• The Upgrade of Land Tenure Rights Amendment Bill.
In terms of COVID-19 relief funding, the minister indicated that the R100 million set aside for commercial farmers was affected by challenges at the Land Bank.
“I wish to assure the members in this house and commercial farmers funded by the Land Bank that this matter is being resolved and they will be advised on how to pay for this intervention.”
Other developments in the pipeline include that the Beneficiary Selection Policy will be processed to cabinet for approval in the last quarter of 2020 and draft regulations on the listing of hemp in terms of the Plant Improvement Act and the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act will be published for comment in August 2020.