Govt gives white farmers ultimatum

JOHANNESBURG - White farmers in South Africa have been given an ultimatum by National Land Claims Commissioner Tozi Gwanya - "accept government offers to buy your land or we'll take it". The ultimatum expires in October.
Gwanya said the whole exercise or returning land to the blacks on a willi


ng-seller basis was taking too long.
Agreements on land transfers have been reached the past few months with 200 white farm owners at a cost of R109m (US$16m) to the government, and Gwanya said he was “hopeful” that deals could be reached with the other farmers.
If negotiations fail, the government would issue farmers with letters of notice of appropriation. A farmer would then have 30 days to reconsider, and would thereafter lose their land and be paid the current market value for the property.
The SA government has categorically denied that this development is the thin end of the wedge that culminated in Zimbabwe’s notorious land grab. It insists the land will be paid for. In Zimbabwe it was merely confiscated or, as many believe, stolen.
Since 1995, the SA government has spent some R2.5bn (US$368m) on white-owned farms and transferred the property to blacks.
However, this represents a mere 4% of its target to put 30% of farm land into black hands by 2014. – Staff reporter

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