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S.Africa land policies not hurting farm loans – Standard Bank

Lending to the South African farming sector is not being hurt by uncertainty over possible reforms which could see foreign ownership banned and limits on the size of farms, a senior banker said on Friday.

Land is an emotive issue in South Africa, where most of it remains in white hands despite efforts by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) at redistribution. Frustrated by the slow transfer of land to black hands, the party says it is aiming to accelerate land redistribution by capping ownership at a maximum of 12,000 hectares and barring foreigners from owning farmland.

“Any uncertainty around policy could equate to risk. But one needs to step back from what is being said and look at what is actual policy at the moment,” said Nico Groenewald, head of Agribusiness at South Africa’s Standard Bank.

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