President Cyril Ramaphosa said government stands ready, following the completion of the Parliamentary process to amend section 25 of the Constitution, to table an Expropriation Bill that outlines the circumstances under which expropriation of land without compensation would be legal.
The President added that 44 000 hectares of state land have been released for the settlement of land restitution claims, and this year another 700 000 hectares of state land will be released for agricultural production.
“We are prioritising youth, women, people with disabilities and those who have been farming on communal land and are ready to expand their operations for training and allocation of land.”
He added that a new beneficiary selection policy will ensure that compulsory training is given to potential beneficiaries before land can be allocated to them.
He added that 2020 is the year when key recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture to accelerate land redistribution, expand agricultural production and transform the industry will be implemented.
The President also noted that due to the drought in many parts of the country, farmers have lost crops and livestock, and many workers have lost their livelihoods.
Working with the Agricultural Research Council and other scientific and agricultural bodies, President Ramaphosa said government has developed drought mitigation strategies that focus on developing drought resistant seeds, planting and storing fodder, removing of invasive plants and management strategies to prevent soil degradation.