Can Land Affairs deliver on mandate?

2009-09-09 00:00

THE Democratic Alliance (DA) has questioned the capacity of the Land Affairs Department to deliver on its land redistribution mandate, after it emerged that hundreds of farms that had been gazetted for redistribution have been de-gazetted because the claims were “frivolous and invalid”.

It recently emerged that at least 72 farms in the Bergville area were de-gazetted two months ago, because the claims were apparently illegitimate.

DA KZN agriculture spokesman Johann Krog said most of the farms should never have been gazetted in the first place.

He alleged that Land Affairs staff lack the knowledge and understanding of objectives, the workings and the framework of the Land Restitution Act.

Krog said the gazetting of a farm means work comes to a halt because the farmer can no longer raise finance on his land, and may not sell or develop it.

He said some farmers had been stuck in that situation for 12 years.

He said the DA will call on KZN Agriculture MEC Lydia Johnson, to investigate.

Acting director of the Association for Rural Advancement (Afra), Musa Zakwe, agreed, describing the report as a severe indictment of the capacity of Land Affairs to finalise restitution.

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