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Low ceilings lead to more farm land for redistribution

Author: Wyndham Hartley

THE policy decision to create ceilings on the size of farms that can be owned in SA is based on scientific research, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti has insisted. 

Mr Nkwinti triggered a barrage of criticism in May when he vowed he would bring legislation to Parliament this year that created ceilings on farm size for both natural and juristic persons, due to the need to address the legacy of colonialism and apartheid. 

It was proposed the ceiling for a viable small-scale commercial farm should be 1,000ha; for a viable medium-scale commercial farm 2,500ha; and for a viable large-scale commercial farm 5,000ha. Last week Mr Nkwinti, in response to a parliamentary question from Democratic Alliance MP Tsepo Mhlongo, gave the assurance that two studies — “A Comprehensive Assessment of Land Ceilings in Selected Countries and Lessons for SA’s Proposed Reforms” by Professor Sam Kariuke and “The Agricultural Economy of SA and the Implications of a Potential Land Ceilings Policy and Legislation on the Broader Economy” — informed the government’s intention to implement land ceilings.

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