Government plans to take 50 % of farms without compensation

The South African government wants to expropriate up to 50 % of commercial farms and not pay the money over to the farmers.

Photo: Clive Wright
Photo: Clive Wright

Instead the money would be paid into a trust aimed at investing and developing the farm for all shareholders of the farm.

This is according to a document entitled “Final Policy Proposals for Strengthening the Relative Rights of People Working the Land” released by the Rural Development and Land Reform Ministry.

The document proposes that farm workers would get shares in the farm based on the number of years of service and on the basis of their contribution in the development of the farm.


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People who have worked on a farm for 10 years will be entitled to 10 percent of the land purchased by the state.

Workers on a farm for 25 years will get 25 percent of the land, while those with fifty years should be entitled to 50 percent of the land allocation, it said.

Cosatu has backed the proposal, while opposition parties in South Africa have described the plan as being a real threat to food security in the country.