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Agriculture, land reform and rural development minister Thoko Didiza has assured occupants of state-owned farms earmarked for land reform that it is not the government’s intention to evict them, but to assist them by giving them occupation rights.

In October, Didiza announced that 700,000ha of state-owned land would be made available to black farmers on a 30-year leasehold and invited applications for the advertised farms. However, about a third of the area was already occupied by people who had lived there for many years without legal rights...

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