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Minister firm on farm size limit, despite opposition

Author: Linda Ensor

RURAL Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti is pressing ahead with government’s plan to limit the size of farms despite strong opposition by AgriSA which believes the policy is impractical.

Mr Nkwinti reaffirmed the ceilings on farm sizes in his budget vote speech in the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday. He said the Regulation of Landholdings Bill, which will introduce land ceilings and prohibit land ownership by foreign nationals will be submitted to Parliament this year.

He said the ceiling for a viable small commercial farm should be 1,000ha; for medium-scale commercial farms 2,500ha and for large-scale commercial farms 5,000ha. The maximum sized farm of 12,000ha, which was announced by President Jacob Zuma in his state of the nation address, would be limited to forestry, game farms and renewable energy farms, particularly wind energy.

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