Can 99-year leases work?
The 99-year lease is a viable tenure model that could be used to effectively help address land reform — and it need not be confined to state-owned or communal land
Last week’s announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the ANC will initiate an amendment to section 25 of the constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation raises renewed questions about SA’s land tenure models. One view is that government should reintroduce the leasehold structure, albeit in a different format than the old model that was effectively repealed under the Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights Act of 1991. Currently, the most widely used form of tenure in SA is full-or sectional-title property ownership, which allows buyers the right to own — as opposed to a right to use and occupy — a property. While acquiring a property via a lease structure is not common in SA, the practice is widely used in neighbouring countries such as Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana, where large parts of the country comprise state-owned or communal land. When someone buys a leasehold title they pay a lump sum upfront for the right to use and/or occupy the property for a specified ti...