Theo Boshoff, Bizcommunity, 4 December 2020, photo credit: iStock/The Drinks Business
It may be a bit of a cliché, but if there is a silver lining to be found in the post-Covid economic situation it is the following; policymakers and the industry must put aside ideological differences and adopt a more practical approach to land reform, agricultural development and other economic policies.
South Africa simply cannot afford to throw money behind experimental projects that may end up becoming white elephants.
To government’s immense credit, the last six months have seen some real strides towards practical solutions for land reform and farmer development that seeks to make the best of what we have at our disposal as a collective. The combination of blended finance, a comprehensive approach to producer support and the Minister’s recent pronouncements on the release of state land together hold great potential towards growing the agricultural sector.
South Africa’s struggle to achieve an equitable dispensation for land ownership is well documented and much has been written about the pros and cons of various land reform models. One aspect which has consistently been overlooked, however, is that the state owns significant tracts of unused land.