File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA

Blacks own the least land - report

By Sandiso Phaliso Time of article published Feb 7, 2018

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The country's majority population, black Africans, own the smallest percentage of the country's private land, compared to their white counterparts, who own almost three-quarters.

This is despite the government's efforts to redistribute land to the black majority.

The statistics are contained in a 36-page report titled Land Audit Report, commissioned by the Rural Development and Land Reform department.

The department says since the dawn of democracy no official information has been published on land ownership according to race, gender and nationality, except a report the department published in 2013, which focused on land owned by the state.

The 2013 report revealed that most of this state land was not surveyed and was unregistered trust land occupied by individuals and communities in the former homelands.

“The department has (since) embarked on a process to survey, register and vest that trust land to individual and community owners through the Communal Land Tenure Bill.

“There is a need to show who owns South African land and to track progress of land reform to fulfil section 25(5) of the constitution objectives to enable South African citizens access to land on an equitable racial and gender basis,” the report stated.

The audit shows that whites owned the majority of land at 72%, followed by coloured people at 15%, Indians at 5% and Africans at 4%.

The ownership of the remaining 3% of the land was classified as other.

Parliament had instructed the department to compile the report, with particular focus on private ownership and the use of land by race, nationality and gender.

The report showed 114223276 hectares, or 93%, of 121 924 881 hectares of land in the country is registered in the Deeds Office.

The outstanding 7 701 605 hectares, or 7%, of land is unregistered trust state land in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo.

The report also shows that individuals, companies and trusts own 90% of the land.

Of that percentage individuals own 39%, followed by trusts at 31%, companies at 25%, community-based organisations (CBO) at 4% and co-ownership at 1%.

“The same individuals own most of these companies, trusts and CBO’s,” states the report.

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