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SA, sugar sector agree on land handover formula

Author: Colleen Dardagan

The chief land claims commissioner, Nomfundo Gobodo, and the executive director of the South African Sugar Association, Trix Trikam, signed a memorandum of agreement on Friday in which the government agreed that the sale and handover of claimed farms must coincide with seasonal farming processes. 

The agreement aims to prevent the collapse of thousands of hectares of high-yielding agricultural land claimed in the province. 

In 1994 just 2% of sugar cane farms were owned by black farmers. Now most of the sugar cane farming land in KwaZulu-Natal is under claim. 

About 77 000ha (22%) has been handed over to claimants since the first application for land restitution deadline in 1998. 

However production on most of the farms had all but collapsed by 2013 as a result of corruption, a lack of farming skills, loan finance issues and a lack of technical support for the new farmers. 

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