Processing of current land claims could take 200 years and cost more than R600 billion.
However, this number could rise to as high as 709 years should the land claims process be re-opened and an estimated further 397,000 claims are lodged.
This is according to emeritus professor of Wits University’s history department, Peter Delius, who has based these predictions on Treasury’s latest figures, reports the City Press.
Speaking at the City Press/Rapport Land Indaba on Wednesday (3 October), Delius added that a large number of people had also died while waiting to have land transferred to them.
“The land redistribution programme, by 2017, has only managed to transfer about 9%. It was supposed to reallocate 30% of white farming land within the first five years,” he said.
Other experts at the event explained how historical legislation has deprived black South Africans of land, and highlighted the resources that would be needed to upskill and incorporate emerging farmers into the value chain.
Land expropriation pushed out
In September, the parliamentary panel tasked with tackling the issue of land expropriation said that it would seek an extension to the previous 28 September deadline to present its findings.
According to a Bloomberg report, this means that it is likely that the legislature won’t decide on the matter before next year’s elections.
The committee said that it needed more time to consider public submissions on a possible policy shift and will discuss a new deadline for submitting its report to the National Assembly with Speaker Baleka Mbete.
The committee received 449,522 valid written submissions and 65% of respondents favoured leaving the constitution unchanged, while 34% wanted it amended, an analysis conducted by recruitment company Silumko Consulting shows.
Lawmakers rejected the findings and questioned how parliament selected the company to collate the data and whether its staff is capable of doing a proper job. The panel has yet to decide how the submissions will now be evaluated.