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SA has over 6 000 oustanding land claims

Jun 07 2017 17:38
Liesl Peyper

Cape Town – There are currently 6 607 land claims outstanding in South Africa, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti told Parliament on Wednesday.

He was responding to an oral question from the NFP’s Nhlanhla Khubisa, who wanted Nkwinti to give an updated on the number of claims settled and those outstanding.

According to Nkwinti, his department has settled 804 land claims in the past financial year, against its target of 615 and finalised a further 672 against a target of 454.

The department further called on a research unit at the University of KwaZulu-Natal to assist with outstanding land claims.

Title deeds

In a follow-up question, Nkwinti was asked why government denies people title deeds to their own land.

The minister responded that his department has engaged communities on the matter of title deeds, but there are certain concerns around following this route, such as that banks would be able to repossess this land if the title deed holder can no longer afford bank loans.

In another question, Nkwinti was asked what his department is doing to ensure that productive land will remain productive after land transfers.

“The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform does not have a mandate to develop land,” Nkwinti said. Yet his Department has taken 25% of its baseline budget to help recapitalise and develop farms.

“We don’t want to shift the blame to [the Department of] Agriculture, but it is within their mandate,” Nkwinti said. His department has over the past 18 months informed the premiers of the various provinces as well as the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries when land claims are settled.

“They should follow up and see to it that the land is developed,” Nkwinti said.

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