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How will the new land legislation as set down in the Green Paper on Land Reform affect you?

Lloyd Phillips of Farmer’s Weekly attended a presentation by Rob McCarthy to the Nottingham Road Landowners Association recently and subsequently wrote this article which appeared in the 27 February 2012 issue.

What the proposed land laws mean for you

The proposed legislation in the Green Paper on Land Reform and the Extension of Security of Tenure Act (ESTA) discussed subsequently are very serious. With ESTA, it’s clear that government wants to give greater rights to people resident on a property and limit the landowner’s ability to restrict these rights.

The Green Paper on Land Reform has primarily arisen due to the failure of current land reform legislation, such as land being claimed and purchased on behalf of claimants, and then their farm failing. Most government officials say the Green Paper is an attempt to bring about land reform by improving past and current initiatives without significantly disrupting agricultural production and food security.

As part of the new process, government wants to bring in a land valuer-general to assess property value, thereby preventing conflict between the department of land reform’s valuations and those of the seller’s. Until now, in most cases, the farms have been handed over to land claimants without any support such as implements, livestock or capital. Even where there has been support, the land is often not used in any formal sense whatsoever.

Consequently, another part of the Green Paper proposes a recapitalisation programme. This will provide capital where government has previously purchased land without providing sufficient training to claimants or given them the capital to buy implements or livestock.

…. to be continued. – Lloyd Phillips.

Contact Rob McCarthy on 033 266 6170, 083 274 1232 or email rob@mccarthylaw.co.za

The views expressed in our weekly opinion piece do not necessarily reflect those of Farmer’s Weekly.

Reprinted with permission.