Wealthy black buyers scoop up farms

Private sales need to be reflected in the government’s land reform statistics, says agri group

While poor and developing black farmers in the Eastern Cape are waiting for the national government to speed up its land reform processes, wealthier black farmers are making their presence known when it comes to buying up agricultural land.

And while this positive shift in buying power should reflect well on land reform figures, agricultural researchers believe the government chooses not to take this trend into consideration when calculating the rate of land reform in the province.

Eastern Cape Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane told business and agricultural stakeholders that land reform remained a sensitive topic and should be handled with maturity.

Speaking at a breakfast engagement in Port Elizabeth, he said many models for land reform had been implemented, some showing better results than others, but that the process was still slow.

“We understand the frustration, and we cannot have permanent frustration, we need solutions.

“But I cannot give you a permanent answer, because we are still trying to address that matter,” Qoboshiyane said.

Research into land sales, done by Agri Development Solutions (ADS), shows 343 land transactions in the Eastern Cape between February last year and January, with 55 pieces of land bought by black owners.

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