13 March 2019

South Africa: Presidential Inter-Ministerial Committee Expediting Land Claims

Deputy President David Mabuza says an inter-ministerial committee on land reform is currently fastracking the delivery of claimed land parcels to their rightful beneficiaries.

Mabuza said this when he responded to oral questions in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

He said the inter-ministerial committee, which was established by the President last year to address bottlenecks in the implementation of key measures to accelerate land reform, will do so within the confines of the law.

"As part of this, land claims that have been outstanding for a while are expedited and finally land parcels are being delivered to the rightful beneficiaries.

"In cases where financial settlement is an option, those are also settled accordingly. On Saturday, 9 March 2019, several communities in Gauteng were part of the celebrations in Mamelodi where the President handed over settled and finalised land claims to 10 communities in that province," he said.

He said this after ANC MP Pumzile Mnguni asked him on the progress of the work of the inter-ministerial committee.

Mabuza said in the coming months, in a bid to expedite the resolution of land claims and land redistribution, the inter-ministerial committee will pay particular attention to strengthening the capacity of the Office of the Valuer-General to speed up the process of valuations.

"Alongside the handover of land parcels, the inter-ministerial committee has been focusing on the development and implementation of a package of post-settlement support measures to enhance productivity of restituted land as well as communal land."

Mabuza said over the last few months, the committee has dealt with the audit of land owned by government.

"Land parcels under the owners of various departments, municipalities and State-owned entities's have been identified.

"The process of physical verification of properties earmarked for redistribution is expected to be finalised soon.

"Some of this land lies on the margins of towns where the demand for land is highest. It is hoped that these land parcels will alleviate congestion and also facilitate the creation of integrated, sustainable human settlements," he said.

He said State agricultural land parcels will be redistributed to support broadened partcipation of new entrants into the agricultural sector, and expand agro-based incubation programmes.

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