Process to give Zuma title deeds to Nkandla land to start soon

2016-06-10 16:16
The swimming pool at Nkandla. (Matthew Middleton, News24)

The swimming pool at Nkandla. (Matthew Middleton, News24)

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Durban – Issuing title deeds to people living on communal land administered by the Ingonyama Trust in KwaZulu-Natal, such as President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead, is expected to start soon.

This was according to King Goodwill Zwelithini's advisor, Judge Jerome Ngwenya.

Ngwenya, who is also the chairperson of the Ingonyama Trust Board, said the complicated process would take many years to conclude.

A meeting was scheduled to be held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on June 30, where amakhosi (chiefs) and izinduna (headmen) would be informed about the plan.

Zwelithini announced during the opening of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders in Ulundi that title deeds would be given to people living on land under the trust.

Zwelithini is the trustee of the Ingonyama Trust, which administers 2.8 million hectares of land in the province. It was established in 1994.


Ngwenya said amakhosi would be briefed on how the processes would be rolled out, so they could communicate it to communities to avoid conflict.

"Most of the land under the trust is undivided and surveyed land and categorised as agricultural land.

There would be a “mammoth consultation process” and a presentation to the agriculture minister so the plan could be endorsed and they could get a budget for it.

Ngwenya said while Zwelithini was responsible for preserving culture and looking after his people, he was mindful about of the Constitution's prescripts.

"The rights of the people living on communal land are vulnerable because they are 'impermanent' citizens. As the leader it is important that he makes sure that citizens are equally protected."

Ngwenya said the process aimed to provide people with security of tenure.

Complex process

He said in most instances, people on communal land used local landmarks, instead of addresses, to provide the locations of their homes.

"They will tell you about a tuck shop nearby or a library next to their house. When they go to apply for things they will bring councillors’ letters proving that that is where they live.

"Banks don't give loans to people living on communal land because those people cannot prove that that is indeed their property."

Ngwenya said as trustee, it was Zwelithini's prerogative to distribute land, as long as it was constitutional and within the law.

Property expert Louis Kruger of Schindlers Attorneys, Notaries & Conveyancers, agreed with Ngwenya, saying that issuing title deeds would not take place overnight and was complex.

While he did not know exactly how Zwelithini planned to implement the roll-out, Kruger said the trust could choose to either subdivide the various farms or establish new townships on the farm land. 


"Either of the aforesaid options are laborious and require the input of various professionals, for example conveyancers, town planners, and land surveyors.  

Local municipalities dealt with applications for subdivisions and or township establishments. The newly-promulgated Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act set out the legal processes to be followed. Each municipality had to promulgate its own by-laws.

Kruger said generally, the procedure started by appointing a land surveyor to survey the affected properties and prepare diagrams setting out the proposed subdivisions or townships. 

The Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act required that consent be obtained from the department of agriculture prior to the subdivision of any agricultural farm land.   

Land summit

Kruger said once all formalities were complied with, it was up to municipalities to issue approvals and set out further requirements to be fulfilled by the trust.

"Ultimately, once there is full compliance with all imposed conditions and requirements, the subdivisions and or townships can be registered in the relevant Deeds Office, followed by transfers of the individual even to the occupier entitled thereto," said Kruger.

Chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal House of Traditional Leaders, Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza, said culturally he was not permitted to discuss matters pronounced by the King. The matter first had to be officially presented to the House.

An Ingonyama Trust delegation would explain the matter in a land summit, he said.


Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  pietermaritzburg  |  nkandla upgrade

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