The confusion over the kind of land that made up the government's 30% land redistribution target had led to a debate by Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder and others over South Africa's land issues, the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti said on Thursday.
Briefing media, Nkwinti said the 30% target by 2014 related to the transfer of 30% of the 82 million hectares of land currently held by commercial farmers, to black people.
It did not relate to 30% of all land in the country, he stressed.
"So when the President says 8.2% (of agricultural land) has been transferred, he means 8.2% of 82 million hectares of land," said Nkwinti.
The 30% translates into 24.5 million hectares of commercial farming land and Nkwinti said 6.7 million hectares of land had so far been transferred - through both redistribution and restitution.
"Often we simply say 30% (by) 2014 without specifying what we are talking about. So that's really the confusion around the debate about land. Therefore, we need to identify, to disaggregate the ownership of land if we are to answer the question that is raised by Dr Mulder and others," he said.
The country needed to know how much of the land in both the state and private sector had been sold and bought by and to black people.
His department was conducting a land audit that looked at state and public land, but he pointed out that it was still difficult to ascertain how much land was bought or sold in the private sector - including the 82 million hectares in the hands of commercial farmers.
But, he said, the department was already working with the Department of Home Affairs to get statistics on private transactions, he said.
There was also land held by trusts and companies, and his department was working with the Master of the High Court and the Department of Trade and Industry to get this information.
"If we are to answer the question about how much land has really transacted (to black owners) inside and outside of the state, we need to do all of that exercise (sic)," he said.
A team of 228 people were working on the land audit of state and public land - which Nkwinti expected to be completed by June. However, he wanted an update on the audit later this month.
He said his department was also trying to establish the average value of each hectare transferred through land redistribution, so that the government and the country could have a better idea of the amount in financial compensation involved. - BuaNews