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How foreign land ownership will be prohibited – The Presidency

Author: Mac Maharaj

President Jacob Zuma announced the Land Holdings Bill, a new proposed law that will prohibit foreign ownership of land in the country, in the State of the Nation Address on Thursday, 12 February 2015.

Once the Bill is assented to by the President, foreign nationals can only be entitled to long term leasing of land with a minimum of 30 years and will not be allowed to buy land in South Africa. 

The Bill will also regulate the amount of land that any individual can own, the limit being 12000 (twelve thousand) hectares- an approximate equivalent of two farms. If any single individual owns above that limit, the government would buy the excess land and redistribute it. The Bill will soon be sent to Cabinet for approval, after which will be a process of public consultation and thereafter it will be submitted for the necessary Parliamentary procedures before being assented to by the President.

 The practice of limiting land ownership by foreign nationals and juristic persons is an established practice internationally.

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