Do not give back your land to white farmers - KZN premier

2016-02-25 14:15
KZN legislature speaker Lydia Johnson, Premier Senzo Mchunu and his wife Thembeka arrive at the provincial State of the Province address (Amanda Khoza, News24)

KZN legislature speaker Lydia Johnson, Premier Senzo Mchunu and his wife Thembeka arrive at the provincial State of the Province address (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Pietermaritzburg – KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu on Thursday urged rural communities not to lease back or sell land to white farmers.

Instead, Mchunu said communities should work together to benefit economically from the land.

Delivering his State of the Province Address at the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg, Mchunu said rural communities were quick to relinquish land they had fought so hard for.

“The problem is that our people rejoice once they get the land. Once they realise how difficult it is to manage it they want to give it back.

“Don’t give back the land once you have acquired it,” said Mchunu.

He said people should work together to develop the land to benefit communities.

“People can work together instead of fighting over who should rule. Remember that this is land we did not have. We don’t have to fight about something that we have been trying to get for so long. Do not sell land and do not fight over it.”

Mchunu said government had made significant strides in resolving land reform and restitution issues. He also admitted that programmes in the province had been slow.

“Limited budgets for land reform programmes have resulted in a slow pace which has created a perception that there is no commitment on the part of government.”

Mchunu said government had observed problems that needed urgent attention.

“Land that has been returned gets leased back to the white farmers and sometimes it is sold outright. Another challenge is that efforts aimed at speeding up land reform are stalled by quarrels and disputes arising after the land has been returned.”

Mchunu said this created a perception that government was not committed and corrupt.

He said the programme was also affected by post settlement conflicts involving trustees and Amakhosi [traditional leaders].

“There is no reason why trustees and Amakhosi cannot co-exist on settled land,” said Mchunu.

Read more on:    senzo mchunu  |  pietermaritzburg  |  land  |  agriculture

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