WANDILE SIHLOBO: Thoko Didiza espouses public-private partnerships but mum over land tenure moves
Ownership status is important in strengthening land rights and a prerequisite for investment in agriculture
Agriculture, land reform & rural development minister Thoko Didiza delivered her budget vote speech to parliament on May 13, touching on land reform, agricultural land leases, agricultural expansion, finance and the sectoral master plans.
On land reform, she emphasised the beneficiary selection criteria emanating from the 2019 report of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform & Agriculture, which prioritises women, youth and people with disabilities for land redistribution. This cohort comprises more than two-thirds of the beneficiaries of the 700,000ha of land the government has thus far announced for release. It has allocated 436,563ha of the 700,000ha. Notably, the minister acknowledged that some of this land was already occupied and her department only had to formalise the leases to such land parcels...