R50?billion needed to settle land claims

2009-07-23 00:00

THE Commission on Restitution of Land Rights is going to need at least R50 billion to settle outstanding land claims in the next two years, said acting chief Land Claims Commissioner Blessing Mphela.

Mphela, who was speaking at a media briefing yesterday, said that in KwaZulu-Natal alone the commission has had 14 742 claims settled since 1995 with 409 323 individuals benefiting from the restitution process.

However, for this current financial year alone, the commission has exhausted its R1,3 billion budget allocated for claims, eight months before the end of the 2008/2009 financial year, and it will need another R3 billion to reach its targets, bringing the total amount to R4,7 billion for the year.

Mphela cited exorbitant land prices, claims that are still in land claims courts and the reluctance of traditional leaders to assist with land restitution as the causes of the spiralling costs and the delay in the process of land restitution.

He said the portfolio committee on Rural Development and Land Reform and the Treasury have been made aware of “our current financial situation”.

“There are a number of expensive claims such as the Kruger National Park claim, which is estimated at R20 billion.”

Mphela said the organisation has made great strides in land restitution.

He said that in 15 years, the commission has successfully benefited a total of 1,5 million people who were removed from their areas.

He complained at the lack of co-operation from some mining houses, saying they have adopted an antagonistic attitude.

“There are some mining houses who mine recklessly with little concern for the public and who have taken the route of contesting the claims against their land.”

But he acknowledged companies that have been co-operating, saying they were in advanced talks with forestry giant Mondi.

“Together … we have settled nine claims amounting to R38 million.”

Mphela said the most expensive claim settled was the Dube land claim on the KZN north coast. The 3 000 ha cost R600 million.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.