8 million hectares of land unaccounted for - Kevin Mileham

DA MP says the findings of the State Land Audit will need to be subjected to severe scrutiny

State Land Audit: 8 million hectares unaccounted for

The DA looks forward to scrutinising the Land Reform Department's report on the results of the state land audit due to be tabled in Parliament, as announced during the Post-Cabinet Briefing today.

Full analysis of the report is particularly necessary as, according to a reply to a DA parliamentary question last week, the results of the land audit revealed that over 8 million hectares of the country's land is unaccounted for.

The reply further revealed that:

  • 14% or 17 061 882 hectares are state-owned;
  • 79% or 96 550 791 hectares are privately-owned; and
  • 7% or 8 360 527 hectares are unaccounted for.

The Minister must urgently table this report in Parliament to allow for scrutiny of the veracity of the process used to conduct South Africa's land audit. Parliament and the public needs to know where the missing land is and who it is owned by. The DA will write to the Minister today, requesting specific deadlines for the tabling of the report.

The land audit process was meant to assist the state in its land restitution and reform programmes by outlining how much land is owned privately, by the state or communally. The redistribution of land, as part of the land restitution process, will not be possible if ownership patterns are not known or state figures are unreliable.

The DA fully supports the need for Land Reform in order to undo the horrific effects of the 1913 Land Act that dispossessed and displaced thousands of South Africans. Government must do everything to ensure that South Africa's land reform process is credible and beneficial to all parties involved. Credible data is necessary for this.

Statement issued by Kevin Mileham MP, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, September 5 2013

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