Media reports have shown information which is said to have been tabled at the Cabinet Lekgotla in the form of the long-awaited land audit report by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
The DA welcomes the completion of the land audit, something which we have repeatedly called for. It is now crucial that the land audit report to be tabled in Parliament so that it can be interrogated and the sluggish rate of land reform can be debated.
The reality is that land in the South African context is a justice issue and not merely a service delivery matter. That is why, it is unacceptable that after 24 years since the dawn of democracy the statistics around land reform paint a dire picture of land ownership.
The report reveals that Black South Africans only directly own 1.2 % of the country’s rural land and 7% of formally registered property in towns and cities. It further states that white South Africans, who constitute 9% of the country’s population, directly own 23.6% of the country’s rural land and 11.4% of land in towns and cities.
Land reform under the ANC government has been severely hamstrung by the absence of a credible land audit and the lack of political will that will see sustainable land reform projects which benefit millions of South Africans instead of only the politically connected.
There is still a large amount of state-owned land that is under-utilised that can be used for redistribution purposes.
The land audit report should be brought before parliament so that the institution can begin the work of identifying the problems relating to land reform and root out the blockages. The DA will be writing to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform to ensure that this happens.