The government has transferred ownership of at least 189 hectares of farming land worth more than R25.5 million to 30 black farmers in the Tafelkop area in Limpopo.
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has transferred the land to the farmers who have been working the land for more than two decades free of charge for land redistribution purposes.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille will hand over title deeds to the farmers in a ceremony at Loskop Farm in Groblersdal on Saturday.
According to De Lille’s spokesperson Zara Nicholson, in 2000, the then national Department of Agriculture entered into lease agreements with the Tafelkop Famers Association in terms of the government’s Land Redistribution through Agricultural Development (LRAD) programme.
Also attending the hand over ceremony are Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Thoko Didiza, Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola, acting minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni and Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha.
She said in 2009, the former Limpopo department of agriculture (LDA) recommended to the Department of Public Works, as the custodian of the land, the land be transferred to the farmers who had been in occupation since 1996.
For many years the 30 farmers have successfully farmed cotton and other agricultural produce on the land, supplying local food stores and school feeding schemes as well the Pretoria and Johannesburg fresh produce markets.
“The hand over event signifies the government’s commitment to land reform and realising the freedoms of our democracy through bringing about spatial and land justice,” Nicholson said in a statement.
She said the ownership status would enable the farmers to achieve their dreams of pursuing partnerships with investors and expanding their agricultural operations.
This will in turn, Nicholson said, help them make a greater contribution to the economy, create more jobs and assist the mission of SA’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.