There is no list of farms targeted for expropriation - Land reform minister

The Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform herself has put paid to claims doing the rounds that there is a list of farms which are expected to be targeted for expropriation without compensation.

The minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, denied the existence of such a list, saying that it would be "highly irresponsible, unfair and unprocedural".

On Friday, lobby group AfriForum posted on its website that it had "obtained a list of farms identified for this purpose", which it claimed was being circulated within the department.

It encouraged farmers to check if their farm was on the list and to contact them so that they could "prepare for a joint legal strategy".

However, the department has disputed that a such a list exists.

ALSO READ: Farmers panic after AfriForum publishes list of apparent expropriation targets

"The parliamentary process of consultations by the Constitutional Review Committee on the review of Section 25 [of the Constitution] is still in process.  The amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution has not taken place.  We therefore put it on record that the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has not embarked on any process of expropriating land without compensation," Nkoana-Mashabane said in a statement on Monday.

Earlier this month, City Press reported that the ANC had identified 139 farms to be expropriated without compensation in the coming weeks, in an attempt to test Section 25 of the Constitution.The list, shared by AfriForum, contains the names of 195 farms.

AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets would not provide details on how they obtained the document, other than to say it came from a "confidential source".

Nkoana-Mashabane added that, under the current legislative framework, the minister could issue notices of expropriation with an offer for payment of just and equitable compensation.

She added that an affected land owner would have an opportunity to respond as provided for in terms of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act.

"The department will therefore never publish nor circulate a list of farms to be expropriated as that would be highly irresponsible, unfair and unprocedural," she pointed out.

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