South Africa’s black farmers are cashing on their once white-owned farmland – by selling it back to its original owners.
The South African government has spent a fortune trying to redistribute the country’s land wealth from the white minority to the black majority.
It has bought thousands of hectares of white owned farm land and either given it or sold it on to poor blacks.
The country’s minister of land reform admitted that many of the new black farmers have simply resold the land back to the original owners.
The minister said black farmers have resold nearly 30 per cent of the white farmland bought for them by the government.
He said: ‘The government bought land and handed it over to aspirant farmers who then sold it again, in many instances back to the original owner.’
Land economists say that the redistribution policy is highly inefficient as the white-owned land is often bought at above its market value by the government.
After the land has been given, or sold at a discount, to the new black owner, he is able to simply then able to sell it on.
Although whites make up less than 10 per cent of South Africa’s population of 50 million, they own about 90 per cent of the country’s agricultural land.