22 March 2019

South Africa: President to Hand Over Title Deeds to Beeswater Community

President Cyril Ramaphosa will hand over title deeds to more than 50 households in Ebenhaeser, Beeswater, in the Western Cape province on Saturday.

Taking place under the theme 'Restoring dignity through land reform', the settling and finalisation of land claims forms part of the Land Reform Programme, which is part of the transformative principles of the Constitution.

The President will be accompanied by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane as they hand over title deeds for the 3 990 hectares of commercial farmland.

The beneficiaries are the direct descendants of the Griqua community that established themselves on the farm since 1926.

The community entered into a lease agreement with the then landowner in 1938-1940 but due to racial laws and practices, did not have the necessary permit to purchase the land. The community of Beeswater was forcibly removed from an undivided portion of the remainder Vanrhysdorp farm, situated on the western side of Zoutrivier in 1960.

The community was eventually relocated to the coloured area of Vredendal in 1981.

The Beeswater Communal Property Association have indicated their desire to resuscitate livestock, game farming and possible agricultural activities.

As the first claim settled in the Western Cape to direct descendants of the indigenous Khoi community, the association also intends to establish a cultural village and ultimately resettle their community to the land.

Earlier this month, the President officiated over the Gauteng land restitution ceremony in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria.

The ceremony marked the successful claims by 10 Gauteng communities, who were presented with title deeds and financial compensation.

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