Khoi-San dialogue epic - Nkwinti

2013-04-16 14:22

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Kimberly - Talks between the Khoi and San in Kimberly mark an epic and historical moment, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said on Tuesday.

"It re-affirms government's commitment to address the concerns and needs of the Khoi and San communities, and to social cohesion and nation-building," Nkwinti said in a statement.

Inputs made at the talks would help government in the process of lodging land claims by the descendants of the Khoi and San.

During his state-of-the-nation address on 14 February, President Jacob Zuma said government was considering re-opening the claims process to those who had not lodged claims by a 31 December 1998 deadline.

Zuma said it was also considering making exceptions to the 19 June 2013, cut-off date to accommodate claims on heritage sites and historic landmarks by the descendants of the Khoi and San.

Nkwinti said the dialogue was the first big, practical step in implementing Zuma's announcement.

About 1 000 Khoi and San representatives and stakeholders attended the two-day dialogue in Kimberley in the Northern Cape.

It would help them lodge their claims and help the department to reverse the "negative effects of the 1913 Native's Land Act", Nkwinti said.

"This Natives' Land Act contributed a lot in creating triple challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality confronting the country today," he said.

"These challenges are mainly felt by the majority of South Africans, particularly the 12 million South Africans living in rural areas of our country."

The department had already started the process of amending the Restitution of Land Rights Act to provide for reopening the lodging of restitution claims.

Read more on:    jacob ­zuma  |  gugile nkwinti  |  kimberly  |  culture  |  land

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