South Africans fear ‘land grab’

SOUTH AFRICAN white farmers are becoming increasingly concerned at a Zimbabwe-style ‘land grab‘, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Thoko Didiza, the land affairs minister, said the high land prices being demanded by white farmers were hampering the government‘s redistribution programme.

Under this programme, 30% of white-owned farmland is to be transferred to black farmers by 2014.

“The first option is to negotiate because we believe some of those prices are inflated,” Miss Dizda told the paper.

But she added that as a last resort the government could use legislation, recently passed by President Thabo Mbeki, allowing land to be expropriated or taken back from owners.

President Mbeki has said that South Africa will not allow the disruptive land seizures of Zimbabwe, reports the paper.

But currently only a fraction of the government‘s redistribution target has been achieved under the “willing buyer, willing seller” scheme.