A land audit conducted by Agri SA and Agri Development Solutions has provided new figures for land ownership changes between 1994 and 2017.
Speaking at the launch of the land audit report, Dan Kriek, president of Agri SA, said that transactional data had been sourced from the deeds offices to determine the changes in land ownership.
Additional data had been obtained from Stats SA and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the report said.
According to Omri an Zyl, executive director at Agri SA, out of a total surface area of 122 million hectares, 97 million hectares had been available for agriculture in 1994.
This figure had since decreased to 93,3 million hectares, due to the growth of mining and industry, and the expansion of urban centres, government land, and privately owned and national conservation areas.
“In 1994, government owned 13 814 336ha, with former homelands, self-governing states and trusts owning an additional 18 036 773ha. Between 1994 and 2016, government bought 2 208 031ha for agricultural development purposes, and 641 267ha for urban development. Land reform beneficiaries chose to take compensation, rather than land, for about 2 772 457ha,” Van Zyl said.