South Africa tightens up Land Ownership for Foreigners

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SA President Jacob Zuma has announced that foreigners can no longer own land in the country, but will be offered for long term lease. SA President Jacob Zuma has announced that foreigners can no longer own land in the country, but will be offered for long term lease.

In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday to Parliament, President Jacob Zuma said foreign nationals will be barred from owning land in the country, but they will be allowed to enter into long-term lease contracts.

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"In this regard, the Regulation of Land Holdings Bill will be submitted to Parliament this year," he said to applause in the National Assembly.

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) had long been suggesting to end foreign ownership of agricultural land due to concerns the country is losing control of its own food security.

Land had become a critical factor in achieving redress for the wrongs of the past.

The second window for lodging land claims was reopened last year.

Zuma said more then 36,000 land claims had been lodged nationally. The cut-off date was 2019.

"We are also exploring the fifty/fifty policy framework, which proposes relative rights for people who live and work on farms.

"Fifty farming enterprises will be identified as a pilot project."

In terms of new proposed laws, a ceiling of land ownership would be set at a maximum of 12,000 hectares.

Through the land reform programme, more than 90,000 hectares had been allocated to smallholder farmers, farm dwellers and labour tenants.

"The process of establishing the office of the valuer-general is underway, which is established in terms of the Property Valuation Act," Zuma said.

"Once implemented the law will stop the reliance on the willing-buyer, willing-seller method in respect of land acquisition by the state."

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South Africa Property Market  |  Jacob Zuma  |  African National Congress (ANC)

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