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Draft Land Donations Policy Drawn Up

February 11, 2020

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

A draft policy designed to address the slow pace of land reform has been drawn up.

The agriculture, land reform and rural development department published the Draft Land Donations Policy in Government Gazette 43004 for comment.

Other issues that the proposed policy seeks to address include the persistence of landlessness and homelessness; insecure land tenure; the sustained challenges of inequality, unemployment and poverty; food and nutrition insecurity and poor post-transfer/production support.

Objectives of the draft policy include increasing opportunities for land ownership amongst farm dwellers, labour tenants, small families and cooperative farmers, the landless in informal settlements, women, youth, and persons with disabilities; provide opportunities for peri-urban and rural citizens to participate in the economy; assist in developing sustainable human settlements as well as economic and public amenities; contribute land for youth and enterprise development; provide a framework for managing risks associated with property donations and provide for processes and institutional arrangements to manage donations.

The proposed policy calls for land donations from large institutional landowners such as agri-business, mining companies, financial institutions and churches to be speeded up.

Specific procedures need to be put in place governing how the department responds to offers of donations.

The draft policy also points out that the state will “undertake an assessment of all state and public land that is suitable and available for distribution (donation) to the prioritised beneficiaries for agricultural and secondary agricultural production, residential and human settlement, commonage and industrial development”.

According to the draft policy, donated land with preselected beneficiaries will be prioritized for disposal.

In cases where land has no identified beneficiaries, the Beneficiary Selection and Land Allocation policy will apply.

Agricultural land that is donated will be registered and logged into the Agricultural Land Holdings Account.

The land will be advertised for selected beneficiaries to apply and due processes outlined in Annexure A will be implemented.

Donated land intended for human settlements will be processed via the human settlements and water and sanitation departments.

The procedural steps in Annexure A focus on donation to long-term residents or other identified beneficiaries for agriculture and donations without identified beneficiaries by those leaving South Africa and others for agriculture.

Comment is invited within 60 days of the date of publication.