Minister Nkwinti; Reopens Land Claims window

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mg-nkwintiAugust 14, 2014, at the Regent Hotel; “It is a great honour and privilege for me to be here today to mark a momentous occasion, that being the Reopening of the window for lodgement of Land Claims”.

Restitution of Land Rights Act states; “a person or a community dispossessed of property after June 19, 1913, as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled to the extent provided by an Act of Parliament, either to restitution of that property or to equitable redress.

“This is done through the facilitated restoration of land and/or financial compensation to those victims of forced removals”.

In the previous Restitution phase, victims of land dispossession were afforded an opportunity to lodge their land claims up until December 31, 1998. “About 80 000 individuals and communities were able to lodge their land claims and over 77 000 of those have been settled”.

A 2005 land Summit resolved that a new window must be opened. President Jacob Zuma reopened the lodgement for a period of five years, with effect from July 1, 2014, until June 30, 2019.Siwa vulile ke amasango.

“It is important to note that in the former homelands like the Ciskei and Transkei, the Betterment policy was used as one of the tools to displace our people. This displacement of our people was effected through various pieces of legislation,” including; 1913 Natives’ Land Act, 1927 Native Administration Act, 1936 South African Native Trust and Land Act.

In 2004, the Border Rural Committee (BRC) approached the Minister of Land Affairs to lodge land claims for communities who were denied opportunity by; the “Betterment removals did not meet the requirements of the Restitution Act” policy. “They had been turned away on that basis.”

The BRC launched a campaign called “Vulamasango singene” on behalf of these communities. Vulamasango took government to court, the case was lodged with the Land Claims Court in 2008.

“The Restitution programme is one of four pillars of Land Reform,” with; Redistribution, Tenure Reform and Development, “underpinned by three principles”; Rural economy deracialisation, production discipline, democratic and equitable allocation.

Various proposed institutions are in the pipeline to support land reform, include; Office of the Valuer General, “which will be established through the recently promulgated Property Valuation Act of 2014”.

14 lodgement sites have been opened across the country where all claimants can lodge their claims.

“We will not release claim forms this time around. Mobile lodgement offices will go to the far flung rural areas to receive the claims.

“An information booklet called the ‘Citizen’s Manual’ is intended to inform potential claimants on who can lodge a land claim, where to go in order to lodge a claim and what documents one has to bring”.

The Commission on Restitution of Land of Rights has received 10 156 claims. In the Eastern Cape, 1 174 claims received from Queenstown and East London lodgement sites.

Present at the re-opening event and address mam’uNgongenile Adonis successfully lodged a claim on behalf of the Mantunzeleni community in Ngqamakwe, with the support of iNkosi Tyekana.

“Radical transformation is required to address the land question in South Africa. The time is now. Amasango avuliwe, fankani amabango enu”.

Enkosi mzi kaNtu

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