Census surveys of land transactions show that 203,300 hectares of KwaZulu-Natal's commercial farmland transferred to previously disadvantaged South Africans over the period 1997-2003. This represents 3.8 per cent of the farmland originally available for redistribution in 1994. The annual rate of land redistribution in the province fell from a peak of 1.06 per cent in 2002 to 0.41 per cent in 2003, following an increase in the real price of farmland. Transactions financed only with government grants accounted for almost one-half of the redistributed farmland. However, the quality of farmland financed with grants awarded under government's land redistribution programme was poor relative to that financed privately. The LRAD programme introduced in 2001 improved government's contribution to land reform, attracting private capital and expertise into the process. Unfortunately, the number of transactions financed with a combination of LRAD grants and mortgage loans fell from 14 in 2002 to just six in 2003. It is recommended that all reputable banks (and not just the Land Bank) should be allowed to approve LRAD grants for eligible clients. Previously disadvantaged women gained less land, and much less land wealth, than did their male counterparts. Somewhat surprisingly, women were well represented in transactions financed by Ithala Finance and Investment Corporation to establish emerging sugarcane farmers. However, the same was not true of clients financed by the Land Bank.


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