Contrary to reports in the media the 30 per cent target for land reform will not be reduced, the department of land affairs said on Friday.

“There have been rumours in the media that the 30 percent land redistribution target will be reduced due to the slow process of land reform. These rumours are untrue and baseless,” director general Thozi Gwanya said.

He said the 30 percent target would not be increased or decreased without a prior consultative policy review process.

Although government had faced challenges in the programme, people who had been marginalised were “still in dire need” of land.

Gwanya said the department had transferred 4.8 million hectares of land to black people, which represented five percent of the 24.6 million hectares of land owned by whites.

The land redistribution programme still needed to deal with issues such as tenure reform, post settlement support and rural development. Government had created 1231 new positions in the department of land affairs to help in addressing the challenges faced.

The land for agriculture and sustainable settlements programmes had been introduced to enable municipalities to acquire land for both urban agriculture and housing, Gwanya said.