Protest at slow land claims

2010-10-11 00:00

THE Bishopstowe community has given the Provincial Land Claims Commission seven working days to finalise the issues surrounding their land claim, which has apparently been dragging on since 1998.

On Friday the community marched under the Sobantu-Bishopstowe land claim banner from the Eastwood area to the Land Claims Commission head offices to hand over a memorandum of grievances.

According to the community, they registered a claim in 1998 on large farmlands in Bishopstowe, including a vacant plot across Glenwood.

This land was recently invaded by people from the Thembalethu area after a spurious rumour emerged that people from Jika Joe settlement would be moved there.

The claim was supposed to be settled financially by the commission.

Among the complaints in the memorandum, the community claim that for the past 12 years, they have yet to hear of any progress being made.

They said they are concerned because their information shows that some portions of the land they have claimed has been de-registered without their approval.

Furthermore, they claim that a department official handling their claim has misled them. They allege the official told them that they would receive financial vouchers as compensation for the land and they should open bank accounts to deposit the vouchers.

Bhekuyise Zuma, one of the community leaders, said the community decided to march to the offices because they feel that the commission is taking their grievances for granted. “It has been over 12 years since this whole thing started, but there has been no progress at all. We are here to voice to the commission that we are not happy with their slow progress.”

Tempers flared when the community were informed that the official of the commission, known only as Walter, who reportedly had “confounded their grievances”, was in a meeting in Pretoria.

The communication officer for the land claims commission, Nokuthokoza Ndlela, confirmed that the community were aggrieved by lengthy process of settling their claim.

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