The Land Bank is currently concluding transactions that will create employment opportunities in the agricultural sector over the next 3 to 5 years. A significant portion of the funding will go towards export-oriented crops that are highly labour intensive. Government will finalise the signing of 30 years leases to enable farmers to mobilise funding for agricultural development. As part of the work to develop agriculture and ensure effective land reform, I have appointed an advisory panel on land reform that will guide the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Land Reform chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza. The 10-person panel is to advise government on the implementation of a fair and equitable land reform process that redresses the injustices of the past, increases agricultural output, promotes economic growth and protects food security.
The Presidency, Pretoria – 21 September 2018
President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed an advisory panel on land reform that will support the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Land Reform chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza.
The panel will advise the IMC on a broad range of policy matters associated with land reform, including restitution, redistribution, tenure security and agricultural support.
The panel comprises 10 members who are eminently qualified by virtue of academic background, professional experience, social entrepreneurship or activism related to the agricultural economy and land policy.
The panel embodies a diversity of experience and perspectives that will enrich the IMC’s deliberations on land reform as an enabler for a united, cohesive society and an inclusive, efficient and globally competitive economy.
The panel is chaired by social entrepreneur and public policy and development planning specialist Dr Vuyokazi (Vuyo) Mahlati, who is serving her second term as a member of the National Planning Commission. Dr Mahlati, who serves in various public capacities, is President of the African Farmers Association of South Africa.
The panel is expected to provide perspectives on land policy in the context of persisting land inequality, unsatisfactory land and agrarian reform and uneven urban land development.
The panel is mandated to review, research and suggest models for government to implement a fair and equitable land reform process that redresses the injustices of the past, increases agricultural output, promotes economic growth and protects food security.
During a brief introductory meeting with the panel in Pretoria on Tuesday, 18 September 2018, President Ramaphosa and Deputy President Mabuza invited the panel to provide the IMC with critical and independent inputs that will facilitate sound policy making and effective implementation.
Dr Mahlati will convene the following panelists:
- Professor Ruth Hall, a researcher and professor at the University of the Western Cape’s Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies. Her research work in South Africa and the continent spans over 23 years and has played an integral role in shaping discourse on South African land reform beginning with the constitutional negotiations. Her key research interests and focus have been on land redistribution, restitution claims and farm workers.
Professor Mohammed Karaan, Professor in Agricultural Economics at Stellenbosch University. He has extensive experience in agricultural sciences and agricultural economics working in both the academic and corporate environments. Professor Karaan has worked at the Development Bank of Southern Africa as an economist and thereafter joined the Rural Foundation as the Head of Research.
Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, a lawyer, public speaker and author whose current work for the Legal Resources Centre and Johannesburg Bar spans public law, labour law and competition – areas of practice in which he has distinguished himself over a period of 17 years.
Ms Bulelwa Mabasa, an admitted attorney with more than 16 years’ experience. Close to 12 years of Ms Mabasa’s practising time has been dominated by matters on land restitution, land reform, tenders, procurement, mining litigation, national heritage law, customary law, administrative and constitutional law as well as commercial litigation acting on behalf of land owners, claimants, mines, communities, funders and investors.
Dr Thandi Ngcobo, CEO and founder of the Dr J L Dube Institute of the University of KwaZulu-Natal who has conducted extensive research on land and education and capacity development. Through her work at UKZN, Ms Ngcobo has established a number of “in-house” structures focused on facilitating discourse and engagements on issues of land.
Agricultural economist Mr Wandile Sihlobo is the head of research at the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa and is an independent agricultural economic advisor to Afgrain Food Group. He is a columnist and blog author on authoritative platforms and serves on a number of bodies including the South African Reserve Bank Economic Roundtable and the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa.
Mr Daniel Kriek is a Free State farmer and President of AgriSA who believes in progressive strategies and visions to achieve unity in agriculture. With Animal Science as his major during his University of the Free State studies, Mr Kriek obtained a B.Sc. Agric.; B.Sc. Agric. Hons and M.Sc. Agric. He has held several key positions in organisations in the agricultural sector.
Ms Thato Moagi is a young, emerging farmer and entrepreneur with six years’ experience in management and organisational administration. While her principal education and experience is agriculture-based, Ms Moagi has achieved notable experience in administration and management. Her multifaceted experience includes marketing, advertising, branding and sales of fresh produce and livestock, managing market agents, facilitating export accounts and managing logistics agencies.
Mr Nick Serfontein is chairman of the Sernick Group, which employs 550 people, and he holds a B.Sc. Engineering from the University of Pretoria. He was the 2016 Free State Farmer of the Year and Mentor of the Year. Mr Serfontein devotes his time to programmes aimed at developing farms and upscaling emerging farmers. Mr Serfontein argues that agriculture needs to be revitalised to serve and contribute towards nation building.
During the briefing, President Ramaphosa thanked all the members of the panel for agreeing to serve on the panel.
“Although the members of the panel are drawn from very different backgrounds, with different areas of expertise and perspectives, they are united by a shared vision of a just and equitable future for all South Africans,” he said.