Following Land Reform Minister, Gugile Nkwinti’s recent announcement that foreign land ownership will be restricted ...
Feb 13, 2013
Following Land Reform Minister, Gugile Nkwinti's recent announcement that foreign land ownership will be restricted to leasehold once government's land policy is finalised and passed into law, Seeff Chairman, Samuel Seeff has called for greater clarity on this. From what we understand, this is a decision taken at the Mangaung Conference, but it is unclear whether this applies to state or privately owned land, or both. It is also not clear whether this extends to agricultural land only or also to residential ownership, he says.
While we agree with the philosophy of wanting to restrict the sale of government owned land, we would question the value of restricting private land ownership by foreign nationals. Foreign property ownership accounts for an insignificant 1% of all ownership. FNB's latest Property Barometer puts foreign property sales at about 3,5% of all sales and, even at the height of what is viewed as one of the best property booms in decades (i.e. between 2003 and 2007/8), foreign sales was at just over 6%, he says. These figures also do not take into account that foreigners also sell property, the net effect of which brings this percentage down to about half, he adds.
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