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Land ownership crackdown riles up industry

Author: Ray Mahlaka

It is said that the Bill contradicts section 25 in the Bill of Rights which mentions the right to property. “No law may permit arbitrary deprivation of property,” says Chief executive of the South African Property Owners Association Neil Gopal.

Head of special research at the South African Institute of Race Relations Anthea Jeffery explains that the country’s Constitution protects the property rights of all citizens.

“Among these are the many black Africans who have bought some 2 million hectares of farm land since 1991 or the 7.6 million black Africans who now own their own homes,” Jeffery says. 

Once the Bill has been passed and is operational, a process will be established for the compulsory disclosure of land holdings by foreign nationals. “These disclosures will be in terms of race, nationality, gender, extent of land owned and its use. The process will be managed through a Land Commission,” states the Presidency.

Government’s hardened stance on property rights for foreign nationals is not new, but the latest talks sheds light on a topic often branded as “political talk”.

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