Land Ownership by Foreighners

2. Special Ministerial Approval for changes in land use and for the disposal of land to foreigners.

3. The establishment of an Inter-Ministerial/Departmental Oversight Committee to monitor such land use changes and disposals with a view to making recommendations on corrective interventions.

4. The outright prohibition on foreign ownership in classified/protected areas.

5. A limited temporary moratorium (2 years) on the disposal of state land to foreigners.

6. The rationalization of laws affecting the planning of zoning and land use.

7. All three spheres of government must be required to implement the regulatory regime on foreign land ownership.

8. Leasing arrangements may be considered as alternative mechanisms for land acquisition by foreigners.

9. The enactment of omnibus legislation for the recommendations to be given effect.

10. The imposition of serious penalties (forfeiture of assets) in order to overcome fronting’.

The treatment of foreign land ownership in number of countries was sought and is contained in the report. They include Chile, Indonesia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

A number of inputs were submitted to the Panel of Experts and among others included land quantity restrictions to be imposed on both foreigners and South Africans, land reform needs, exemptions for certain categories of foreigners (SADC citizens) and taxation measures. The latter proposal contained suggestions

  • that foreigners be required to pay a separate scale of duties and transfer fees when purchasing property.
  • that different rates should be paid to local authorities in respect of undeveloped stands; properties owned by foreigners, permanent residents, and by foreign seasonal visitors.

The undersigned attended the workshop in Durban on the 30 Oct. It was attended by some 60 – 70 persons representing a wide range of interests. In the break-away session that I attended, the need to categorize land according to race lead to unresolved disagreements. It was evident that it will be difficult to find a satisfactory definition for a foreigner. The need to distinguish between the business of owning land and the activities undertaken on that land might have ramifications for ownership proportions allowed. In the final plenary session, there was a noticeable gap between the interests of land owners and the landless.

If anyone wishes to contribute to a SACCI comment on the recommendations please contact the undersigned and I will send you an electronic copy of the report (as and when I can get a copy from the Dept. of Land Affairs). If needs be a meeting will be called to determine the nature of the comment and a draft will be compiled for approval by members.

W.V. Lacey.

SACCI

Bill Lacey [ Bill@sacob.co.za]

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