Minister apologises for slow Land Restitution Programme

2011-05-11 00:00

MINISTER of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti has apologised for the crippling delays in the Land Restitution Programme that have created frustration for land claimants and land owners.

Speaking during at a conference in Pretoria at the weekend, Nkwinti said the government has not moved fast enough in addressing challenges facing the programme.

“I acknowledge that we have not done well in managing the restitution programme as government, causing strain, pain and frustration.

“Some of the people who were expected to have benefited from the restitution programme have even died. On behalf of government, I apologise,” the minister said.

Among the successes of the programme, delegates said, is that it has restored human dignity, dispossession of land has been compensated financially, and alternative land has been provided.

The shortcomings, they said, are that the right to restitution was limited by the imposition of June 1913 and December 1998 cut-off dates; implementation of the “willing buyer, willing seller” principle and manipulation of land prices.

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