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Who owns SA’s land?

Black people already own more than half of all agricultural land in two of South Africa’s most fertile provinces: the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. This is according to an audit of land ownership, to be released this week.

These statistics are contained in a comprehensive land audit undertaken by economist Johann Bornman in partnership with magazine Landbouweekblad and Agri SA, which, with a large donation, made it possible to obtain data about hundreds of thousands of land transactions from the deeds office, as well as geographical data.

Ernest Pringle, chairperson of Agri SA’s policy committee on agricultural development, said the organisation realised long ago that a comprehensive land audit was imperative because policy was being driven by perception and emotion, instead of facts. That is why Agri SA invested about R1m in the project.

“The picture of land ownership – and, more specifically, land ownership of high-potential agricultural land – actually looks totally different to what the perception is,” said Pringle.

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