Underused government-owned land will soon be released to expand access to land and to boost agricultural production, Deputy President David Mabuza said on Thursday. Critics of the drive to amend section 25 of the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation often argue that the government should focus on redistributing land it already owns, some of which is unaccounted for or underutilised. The government has a property portfolio of more than 93,000 buildings and millions of hectares of land, which translates to about 14% of land in SA under the custodianship of the department of public works. A disputed 2017 land audit report by the department of rural development & land reform highlighted that private land ownership stood at about 94-million hectares, or 77% of SA. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in September that he had appointed an advisory panel to guide the interministerial committee on land reform, chaired by Mabuza. Ramaphosa said the panel was manda...

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