Friday, 29 May 2015

SOUTH AFRICA: State Custodianship And Control Over All Agricultural Land. Bill About To Be Passed.

"Essentially the same constraints apply to medium potential land, defined to include all agricultural land other than high potential cropping land. The main difference is that the relevant approvals must generally be provided by the provincial MEC for agriculture, acting in conjunction with a new 'municipal internal technical committee' and its provincial counterpart.

Various additional constraints apply to land of all kind, whether high or medium potential. In particular, agricultural land may not be sold to a foreign individual or company without the consent of the minister, acting on the recommendation of the national internal technical committee.

In addition, all farmers must use their land to 'its optimum agricultural potential' (in accordance with guidelines to be developed by the minister), failing which the minister may expropriate it 'at a lower price' than would be paid for land which is being optimally used.

In creating a plethora of committees (and other) structures, the Bill will generate many more jobs for the politically connected. It will also provide a foundation for ever more state meddling, and empower the minister to control the 'right to farm' by means of regulation."