Sivuyile Mangxamba, acting chief director: strategic communication at the DRDLR, said in a statement the allocations were approved under the department’s Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS).
Mangxamba said most of the land that forms part of PLAS comprises state-owned farms leased to beneficiaries for a period of five to 13 years.
The 137 800ha pineapple farm in Bathurst is privately-owned and the owner will be selling 50% of the business to the government.
This farm will be used as a pilot project for the policy on ‘Strengthening the Relative Rights of People Working the Land’, also known as the 50/50 policy. This will involve a partnership between beneficiaries, the existing owner, and a cooperative.
The aim of the 50/50 policy is to support the rights of workers in commercial farming areas and enable farm workers to gain shares in land ownership.
Mangxamba told Farmer’s Weekly agricultural graduates were also eligible for farming land: “The average age of a farmer in South Africa is 62 years and the department’s view is that young people must be integrated into agriculture.”