South Africa: Zulu king lashes out at land reform recipients | Land Portal

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has launched a blistering attack on recipients of government’s land restitution farms‚ saying they failed to use the land for producing food — and instead used it to build houses to generate profit.

During a speech to KwaZulu-Natal school principals in Ulundi this week‚ Zwelithini veered off his prepared education-related remarks to lament how government had spent billions of rand buying land for land reform for food security‚ but it ended up not being used for its intended purpose.

He said many white farmers were leaving South Africa in droves because of the incorrect use of land restitution farms.

“How do we develop our country because our government buys farms for people but instead for going for food produce for food security‚ they just build houses to sell them‚” said Zwelithini.

He said he was surprised at what was being done with land bought for land reform.

“The government did not buy farms for people to do what they are doing‚ but for them to produce. Many billions have been spent by our government buying these farms and is still going to spend more money‚ maybe R17-billion‚ to purchase the land‚ but the land is not used for produce‚” he said.

The government has spent R33-billion since 1994 buying land for reform and more than 20% [18-million hectares out of 82-million hectares] of farmland has been transferred or financially compensated to date.

Zwelithini‚ a keen farmer himself‚ said he did not want a situation in South Africa where people were pushed to migrate due to lack of land.

“We don’t want to see what we see elsewhere in Africa; people moving from one place to another because they spoiled their own politics. South Africa is one of the best countries‚” he said.

The Zulu monarch is himself in line to possibly become a land restitution beneficiary if he forges ahead with a massive multi-billion rand land claim that he announced he would be launching two years ago. The claim‚ which could be the largest in South Africa‚ goes outside the boundaries of KZN to the Eastern Cape‚ Free State and part of Mpumalanga.

During the ANC’s January 8th statement‚ President Jacob Zuma said it was time to return “the land to our people” through expropriation.


Photo credit: THULI DLAMINI

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