State land in four maps: the 24-million hectare puzzle
A review of land under the state's control by Burgert Gildenhuys reveals data that could alter the debate on property rights
Since the motion on land expropriation was passed in Parliament on February 27 many opinion pieces, perspectives, facts and figures set social media and the press alight. Deep-rooted ideological and moral arguments are evoking emotionally charged responses of all kinds. But at the core of any argument should be credible and verifiable facts that work towards informed decision-making based on a common understanding of any given issue. There are two important reports from the government that inform the land issue. The first is the Land Audit booklet by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform of 2013 which sets state land (registered and unregistered) at 17,061,822ha or 14% of South Africa. The second is the Land Audit Report of 2017 which attempts to show private land ownership by race, gender and nationality. The report puts private land ownership at 93,956,125ha or 77.03% of the total area of South Africa (121,973,200ha). According to the report ownership is based on lan...
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