Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Bill in the Pipeline

Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

The Draft Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Bill will be submitted to cabinet for approval in 2019/20.

The agriculture, forestry and fisheries department revealed this during a briefing in parliament on its annual performance plan 2018/19.

In February 2018, the department announced that the proposed legislation will be reconsidered and redrafted.

According to the department, the Office of the Chief State Law Advisor (OCSLA) had raised concerns, inter alia, on the “concurrent mandate to be shared between the three spheres of Government and the need to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each sphere without infringing on the powers of the other.”

The OCSLA also held the opinion that the bill is not “constitutionally sound.”

The proposed legislation was published for comment last year.

It focuses on agricultural land management, agricultural land applications and authorisations, compliance and contraventions and agricultural land register.

Some of the objectives of the draft bill are to promote the preservation and sustainable development of agricultural land, identify protected agricultural areas, put in place measures to promote long-term viable and resilient farming units, provide for mitigating measures to counter-act the loss of agricultural land and set up a National Agricultural Land Registry for all activities on agricultural land.

During the briefing, the department also indicated that a legislative framework for animal identification and traceability will also be drawn up in 2018/19.

A national policy on comprehensive producer development support will also be tabled in cabinet for approval in 2018.

Sabinet Cape Town Office