The Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development today welcomed the court ruling that the Ingonyama Trust Board's (ITB's) residential lease programme is unlawful. The ITB collected about R90 million in lease fees in the 2018/19 financial year.
The committee has for some time raised the need for greater transparency and good governance regarding the ITB. Parliament has an oversight role over the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and all the institutions under it.
The Chairperson of the committee, Inkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, said: "We must, in the interest of serving the people, ensure that institutions apply best efforts and uphold good practices of corporate governance and fulfil their founding objectives. The beneficiaries of the ITB land in KwaZulu-Natal, which is about 3 million hectares, are an extension of our participatory democracy and their well-being, development and progress is protected by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
"The Minister and Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development must apply themselves in responding to the court ruling and do what is best to address the matters arising therefrom."
The committee will continue to engage the ITB to ensure the communities they serve are accorded what is due to them in terms of the founding objectives of the Ingonyama Trust.