Mbombela - Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti has visited the Mala Mala Game Reserve in Mpumalanga to discuss the way forward following a successful land claim by the Nhlangwisweni community. Speaking at a press conference at the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, Nkwinti said a transitional agreement was reached to allow the current Mala Mala operating company to continue to manage the business while negotiating a business partnership with the land claims beneficiaries. "During this period the community will receive an amount of R700 000 occupational rental per month,” Nkwinti said. According to the minister, the parties have agreed on a co-management model that will ensure that the business operations remain sustainable and continue to contribute to the economy of the country. The community has been awarded 13 184ha of land. “As part of the first phase of the broader Sabi Sand Game Reserve, the state has paid R1.1bn for the acquisition of the Mala Mala Game Reserve. The remaining portions will be dealt with in different phases,” Minister Nkwinti said. According to Nkwinti, the government’s interest is to ensure that a win-win situation is realized in the partnership going forward. “The game reserves holds part of our heritage as South Africans, for us the key issue in settling this claim is about social investment, and as government we believe we have made the right decision with the Mala Mala land hand over,” Nkwiti pointed out. Perry Sambo, chairperson of the N’wandlamharhi CPA, expressed his gratitude for the settlement package. “This deal has a potential to bring change in the lives of our members, including the neighbouring communities who stand to benefit from job opportunities emanating out of the business,” he said.