Proposal to transfer farm land

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FarmerWorker REUTERS A worker walks between rows of vegetables at a farm in Eikenhof, south of Johannesburg.

Johannesburg - South Africa’s Rural Development and Land Reform Ministry has proposed buying half of some farms and splitting the land up among workers, according to recommendations published by the department.

People who have worked on a farm for 10 years will be entitled to 10 percent of the land purchased by the state, according to the proposal, published on the ministry’s website and dated February 21.

Workers on a farm for 25 years will get 25 percent of the land, while those with fifty years should be entitled to 50 percent of the land allocation, it said.

“The proposals in their present form would have extremely serious implications for property rights, food security and for the future viability of our agricultural sector,” the Cape Town-based FW de Klerk Foundation said in an e-mailed statement.

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress faces its toughest election yet next month as some voters expected faster improvements to their lives 20 years after all-white rule ended, party Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize said in an April 3 interview.

President Jacob Zuma has said current laws are hampering efforts to return land that was taken from black people during apartheid.

“Farmers did not steal land,” the Transvaal Agriculture Union said in an e-mailed statement.

“It is unjust and unfair and farmers are simply unwilling to do so.” - Bloomberg News

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