BELA BELA - Deputy President David Mabuza says the government’s land-reform policy does not threaten food security or the economy.
Mabuza addressed a land summit in Limpopo and assured farmers that land grabs will not be tolerated and that state-owned land will be the first targeted for redistribution.
A land summit organised by agricultural magazine Landbouweekblad and AgriSA aim to find sustainable solutions for land reform.
“We are clear as the ANC and as government that all of this must not undermine the productive use of the land. As we begin this work, our immediate focus is on government-owned land,” said Mabuza.
“We have begun to audit all land parcels owned by government across all spheres, including land owned by state-owned enterprises. Government will prioritise land under the ownership of the state, including unused and under-utilized state land and ensure that this land is redistributed and put to productive use.”
Mabuza said South Africa's government has learned lessons from Zimbabwe and that land grabs will not be tolerated.
Agri SA deputy executive director Christo van der Rheede said farmers are on board.
Van der Rheede lashed out against those spreading fake news, including US President Donald Trump, who claimed in a tweet on Thursday that South African farmers are being forced off their land.
“It's unfortunate that people go round and spread fake news because the first part of that tweet is based on fake news that the government is apparently expropriating land and taking away land, that is not true,” said van der Rheede.
The summit continues on Friday when the focus will include farming in partnership - specifically between farmers and farmworkers.