Minister Nkwinti's 2014/15 Policy Speech

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mg-nkwintiIn the National Assembly July 23, 2014; “The drafters of the Freedom Charter took into account the country’s Colonial and Apartheid past, whose legacy could never be reversed through unmediated and unmitigated strategies and tactics.”

Rural Development and Land Reform; The state must mobilise resources to reverse the human and material conditions of those displaced by previous land policies and dealing with the ‘triple challenge’ in rural areas ought to be addressed.

Land Audit; A comprehensive audit of state owned land to be completed.

Willing Buyer Willing Seller: Replace with the “Just and equitable” principle. Expropriation without compensation on land acquired through illegal means or used for illegal purposes. Expedite promulgation of Expropriation Act.

Land Tenure System; A four-tier system is recommended. Pillars of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) are: meeting basic human needs, rural enterprises and rural industries.

The National Development Plan; “Is the road-map for our programmes and its Chapter Six sets out the trajectory for rural economic transformation and development.” The Commission proposes a rural development strategy that focuses on: Agricultural development, quality basic services and areas with greater economic potential.

“Land reform is necessary to unlock the potential for a dynamic, growing and employment-creating-agricultural sector.” The proposed model is based on: Rapid transfer of agricultural land to black beneficiaries, Sustainable production on transferred land, Monitoring institutions to protect land markets and offer white commercial farmers and organised industry bodies opportunity to contribute to the success of black farmers.

The President’s State of the Nation Address (June, 2014); The President said: “The next Administration will need to take forward a number of policy, legislative and practical interventions to further redress the dispossession of our people of their land”. Therefore, policies that will drive actual socio-economic change in rural South Africa will include: Democratisation of decision making in matters of land, Scaled up land reform and legally secure tenure.

“We have undertaken a series of policy, legislative and institutional reforms, with the aim of accelerating land reform, tenure reform, land development and rural economy transformation based upon the agrarian strategy.

“We will continue codifying the Exceptions to the 1913 cut-off date with respect to heritage sites, historical landmarks and descendants of the Khoi and San.”

Bills for introduction to Parliament; Electronic Deeds Registration Bill, Regulation of Land Holdings Bill, Extension of Security of Tenure Amendment Bill, Communal property associations amendments Bill, Communal Land Tenure Bill.

Medium Term Strategic Framework (2014 – 2019); Chapter 7 of the MTSF adopted June 2014 provides six Key Priorities: Improved land administration and spatial planning, Sustainable land reform, Improved food security, Smallholder farmer development and support, Access to quality basic infrastructure and services and Public transport in rural areas.

“The aim of the strategic framework is to reduce rural poverty, unemployment and rural-urban inequality by creating vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities.”

The Strategic Plan (2014 – 2019) and Annual Performance Plan; To enable the department to deliver on its programmes, its capacity will have to be strengthened.

The department will work with particularly Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), municipalities, traditional councils and the National Planning Commission in the implementation of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act.

“It is common knowledge now that the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill has been signed”. On July 1, 2014, Mr Petrus Faniso lodged the first claim at the George office. “We have already received in excess of 3 000 claims across the country.”

Regarding communication strategy with land claimants, particularly those lodged by the December 1998 closing date; “the department has decided to put up notices in municipalities to solicit support in organising claimants meetings.”

Conclusion; “The notion of justice and equity in redistributing national assets and resources among all South Africans was not invented by the founding fathers and mothers of our country’s democratic constitution in 1996.

“It was already the cry of black South Africans more than a century ago. We dare not let them down. Together moving South Africa forward.” I thank you.

– Minister Gugile Nkwinti

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