22 February 2017

South Africa: Committee On Track On the Extension of Security of Tenure Amendment Bill

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The Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform today continued with work on the Extension of Security of Tenure Amendment Bill.

The amendments to the Extension of Security of Tenure Act, 1997, seeks to address the imbalances between the occupiers of land and land owners, to substitute the provision of subsidies with tenure grants, to further regulate the rights of occupiers, to provide for legal representation for occupiers and to provide for the establishment and operation of a Land Rights Management Board amongst other things.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Ms Phumuzile Ngwenya-Mabila, said that advertisements in newspapers and on radio calling for representations and submissions from organisations and the public were placed and aired. Detailed discussions with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform were held. Other government departments such as the South African Police Services, Chapter 9 Institutions, namely the Human Rights Council and the Public Protector, made representations. These provided for extensive deliberations and discussion. The Committee also held public hearings reaching thousands of farmworkers in all provinces of South Africa.

The Committee is on track with the process of ensuring that the amendments to the Bill are discussed and will ensure that it will do all in its capacity to see that the amendments to the Bill are realised.

"At this stage, we have passed the process of engaging with stakeholders and are currently dealing with the legal aspects of the amendments to the Bill," said Ms Ngwenya-Mabila.

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