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S. Africa’s proposed ban on foreign land ownership aimed at farms

Johannesburg | Reuters — A South African government proposal to ban foreign nationals from owning land will apply to farms, not residential property, a government minister was quoted as saying Tuesday.

In his State of the Nation address last week, President Jacob Zuma said foreigners would be barred from owning land and South African citizens will not be able to own more than 12,000 hectares — about 29,650 acres, or the equivalent of two farms.

“The land that the president is referring to is productive land, not residential property,” Gugile Nkwinti, the minister for rural development and land reform, was quoted as saying on the web site of state broadcaster SABC.

Nkwinti also said that if a farmer owned more than 12,000 hectares, the government would not seize the excess but “will buy the land and redistribute it.”

Reporting for Reuters by Ed Stoddard in Johannesburg.

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