Developing criteria for the identification of suitable agricultural land for expropriation and redistribution in South Africa : lessons learnt from Namibia

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There has been a plethora of policy initiatives and academic debate focusing on how land should be acquired in South Africa for redistribution purposes and, if expropriation is to take place, at what value or for how much compensation. However, little attention has been paid to how land will be identified for acquisition in general, and expropriation specifically, for redistribution purposes. Therefore, the aim of this article is not to explore which approach is more suitable for specifically acquiring agricultural land, but rather how agricultural land should be identified prior to being acquired, specifically through expropriation, for redistribution purposes. To this end, the approach and criteria for identifying suitable agricultural land for expropriation as provided for in Namibia’s regulations to the Agricultural (Commercial) Land Reform Act 6 of 1995 may prove to be useful in formulating criteria for the South African context. The article concludes with the recommendation that for the sake of a transparent, procedurally fair and effective redistribution process in South Africa, objective, non-arbitrary criteria for identifying suitable agricultural land for redistribution purposes should be developed and provided for in regulations or policy. The development of criteria for identifying suitable agricultural land will provide the South African government with a useful tool in selecting agricultural land for acquisition and redistribution. The use of the criteria will not only contribute to a transparent, non-arbitrary and procedurally fair selection process, but will also assist landowners in determining the likelihood of their land being earmarked for redistribution.
redistribution of land; agricultural land; Namibia; expropriation; identification criteria for expropriation, Land tenure -- South Africa, Land reform -- South Africa, Property -- Law and legislation -- South Africa, Compensation (Law) -- South Africa
(2021) 32 Stell LR 185