The government announced that they won’t appeal a Limpopo farmer’s court verdict that has compelled the state to sell a farm to the long-time tenant. The Democratic Alliance (DA) has welcomed the recent statement.
A press statement by the DA’s Annette Steyn revealed the political party’s stance on the matter on 7 October 2019. Steyn is a member of parliament (MP) and the DA Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.
The political party shared that they were pleased with the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza’s announcement on Monday.
DA pleased state won’t appeal court verdict for Limpopo farmer
While the ANC government actively works to stop South Africans from owning land (see the story of Mr David Rakgase: https://t.co/fPqqJ98ekC), the DA is working to ensure that, where we govern, residents are given ownership of the land they live on. pic.twitter.com/WIRJEXsUMh
— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) September 30, 2019
Didiza’s department shared that they were not going to appeal the State sale of the Nooitgedacht farm in Limpopo. She said: “We actually have to extend our apologies to farmer Rakgase. Indeed, his matter should have been resolved long ago.”
The minister also stated that her department was now willing to offer sale of purchase to Rakgase and other farmers like him. Mamphopha David Rakgase, 78, has been renting the land for nearly 30 years.
The farmer has been struggling to purchase the land from the government for 16 years. According to Steyn, Rakgase was offered the option of buying the farm in 2003.
The offer came as he was part of the now discontinued Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development (LRAD) programme. The farmer ended up taking the department to court when it was revealed that they didn’t intend to sell it to him.
Limpopo farmer took state to court
"If the Dept will not appeal Mr. Rakgase’s court victory, then they must begin the process of selling the farm to him on the terms & conditions as well as the price which would have applied had the farm been sold to him in 2003, in accordance to the court ruling" – @AnnetteSteyn1
— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) October 4, 2019
On 4 September 2019, the North Gauteng High Court determined that the state “had breached its constitutional duties” when it came to selling the farm to Rakgase. The case also involved other emerging black farmers.
The landmark ruling vindicated Rakgase who has been farming successfully for all these years. In the press release, Steyn said:
“The DA has long held the view that the ANC government does not truly support black South Africans’ right to own the land. In fact, they seek to be the sole custodians of the land by keeping emerging black farmers in their control as lifelong tenant farmers.”
Annette Steyn, Democratic Alliance member of parliament and Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
Democratic Alliance says “justice” was served
Steyn noted that the party felt that “justice” had finally been served for the farmer. The DA stated that they believed Rakgase would continue to be successful with his faming efforts.
The political party said they trusted that the farmer would finally be able “to leave a proud legacy for his future generations.” Steyn shared that they wanted more farmers to get in touch with them if they wished to receive assistance in becoming landowners.