Foreign Investors Still Buying Land In S. Africa, Report Says

Foreign Investors Still Buying Land In S. Africa, Report Says

Despite concerns over property rights and possible land reforms in South Africa, a weak rand helped entice several foreign investors to purchase land in the Western Cape recently totaling $3.46 million.

Local farmers say they’re grateful for any investment, according to a report in eNewsChannelAfrica.

The African National Congress initiated land reform and has debated land redistribution since the end of apartheid in 1994, but it has been slow going. In the absence of compulsion, most landowners have been reluctant to sell to the state, according to a report in ThinkAfricaPress. The issue heated up last week, which marked 100 years since the 1913 Natives’ Land Act banning blacks from owning land.

For 200 years, the 2,200-acre Paardevlei farm produced wine and vegetables and was used to raise sheep and cattle before selling to a local fruit company for about $2 million, the eNewsChannelAfrica report says. Its new owners will use foreign money to run the farm more efficiently, according to former farm owner Kobus van Zyl.

vanZyl said in the report he was reluctant to sell but he and his wife have no children and are in their mid-60s. Selling means the farm has the possibility of “a better and a new life with the proper influx of reasonably priced capital,” he said.

In Touws River, two farms recently sold to foreign investors for a total of about about $2.5 million, the report says.

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One farm will be used for farming and for manufacturing solar panels. The other will become a center for extreme sports.

A Realtor who specializing in farm sales, Jannie Fourie says foreign investment in South African farm land won’t harm the agriculture sector.

“International capital is coming into South Africa and spending wisely and in the same process, uplifting people,” Fourie said. Foreign investment will bring more knowledge to South Africa and create more jobs in agriculture, Fourie added.