Agri SA rejects farm share proposal

Bloemfontein - A new land reform proposal that involves giving 50 percent of land to farmworkers is ill-considered and unacceptable, Agri SA said on Tuesday.

The commercial farmers' group said the proposal by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti contained elements of what had happened in Zimbabwe.

File picture. Credit: AP

“The negative results of such an approach cannot simply be shrugged off as unforeseen,” Agri SA president Johannes Moller said.

“Evidence of this can be found in the struggling economy and unfavourable food situation experienced by our northern neighbour.”

Moller said Agri SA would not accept accusations that it was not prepared to support land reform.

He said land reform had suffered due to policy confusion, evident in government's uncoordinated approach.

“It can hardly be expected to produce a nationally agreed-upon plan or plans,” Moller said.

During the last five years there had been indications that the formulation of a meaningful plan was impossible.

Previous efforts at land reform had been fruitless. The restitution process had a record of failure.

The National Development Plan already indicated that 20 percent of land within a specific district could be acquired through contributions from farmers for reform purposes, Moller said.

In addition individual farmers were already participating in land reform efforts.

Moller said Agri SA had been part of talks on sustainable land reform that was economically viable.

The farmers' group was still prepared to join the minister and his department in considering all possible options for land reform, he said.