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Wednesday Mar 22, 2017

Ban on direct land-owning by foreigners

The SA government has proposed a new law banning foreigners from directly buying agricultural land in South Africa.

Non-residents will be allowed to take long leases on the properties, or the land should be majority-owned by a black South African, according to the Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill, published in the Government Gazette on Friday.

Foreigners considering selling land must give the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform first option on the property, according to the bill.

The government would have 90 days to take up the offer, after which it can be sold to a citizen. The minister will also impose limits on the size of farms that people can own, depending on the region and following consultation, according to the document.

The "increasingly populist rhetoric" from President Jacob Zuma about land does not signal a sharp shift in policy, but it may harm investor sentiment, BMI Research, a unit of Fitch Ratings, said.

Business Report

 
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