Kwanalu dumbfounded by denial of moratorium on land claims

2009-09-16 00:00

PROVINCIAL agricultural union KwaNalu has reacted with incredulous concern to a denial by the Land Claims Commission of a moratorium on land claims.

Whether the halt on sales is called a “moratorium” or a “standstill”, the fact remains that the land claims process has “come to a grinding halt with massive ramifications”, Kwa­Nalu president Robin Barnsley told The Witness yesterday.

Barnsley’s response follows a press release yesterday by the commission, which claimed that comments made by its chief land claims commissioner Blessing Mphela on the commission’s budgetary constraints had been “taken out of context”.

Press reports late last month quoted Mphela as saying: “There will be no new sale agreements signed until the money comes”. According to press reports, the commission asked the Treasury for R5,3 billion for 2009/10, but was allocated only R1,9 billion.

In a statement released yesterday, land claims commissioner Andrew Mphela said the commission views as “rather reckless” allegations that the current situation puts food security and job creation in jeopardy.

“Contrary to such allegations, the Restitution of Land Rights Act does not prevent a land owner from continuing to produce food on his land once a claim has been gazetted.”

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