We must tackle the issue of the Ingonyama Trust in land reform in KZN — Mkhize

2013-07-24 00:00

UNTIL people are brave enough to tackle even the sensitive issues of trust land, talks on land reform cannot move forward.

This was the stern warning by Premier Zweli Mkhize when he addressed a rural development summit in Durban yesterday.

He made reference to the Ingonyama Trust Board and amakhosi, who recently won a court case against the eThekwini Metro, who took them to court over payment of property rates.

“After the summit we don’t want to come back and say we don’t know how to deal with this issue,” Mkhize said at the two-day summit to map the province-wide rural development plan and consult on strategy for rural transformation, among other things.

Mkhize said the summit should consider the different forms of land models such as leasehold and freehold, which were issues of concern to the municipalities and the Ingonyama Trust Board.

“There is nothing personal here. We need to look at what is best for our communities,” he told delegates.

The board’s Judge Jerome Ngwenya was not immediately available for comment.

Mkhize said other challenges, like the role of amakhosi in social upliftment in their areas should equally be discussed “even if we don’t resolve them”.

He added that rural development programmes should not only be about agriculture, but that the 20-year vision for KZN rural development should be about decent living standards where there was viable development, growing economies, healthy and skilled people, full employment and access to basic social services.

Also speaking at the summit, Professor Thokozani Xaba of UKZN called for collation of existing data and information on rural development.

“The challenge is to find a central place to analyse and make it useful for rural development,” Xaba said.

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