Land claims come closer to home

2015-04-30 14:50
Gugile Nkwinti, rural development and land reform minister, and Jeff Radebe, minister in the presidency, cut the ribbon on the mobile land claims office.

PHOTO: 
nicole
mccain

Gugile Nkwinti, rural development and land reform minister, and Jeff Radebe, minister in the presidency, cut the ribbon on the mobile land claims office. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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Restitution will be travelling the country in the form of four mobile land claims offices.

The rural development and land reform department has launched specially equipped vehicles fitted with technology to process applications for land clams on site.

Four buses and two all-terrain 4x4 trucks will be deployed to various communities over the next four months, in an effort to improve access for those individuals and communities wishing to lodge land claims in rural areas.

Gugile Nkwinti, rural development and land reform minister, unveiled the mobile lodgement offices on Tuesday last week.

“Following the cut-off date for the lodgement of land claims, it became evident that many individuals and communities which qualified to lodge claims did not do so. One of the key issues highlighted by various communities was that they were not aware of the programme,” the minister says in a statement.

The buses will travel through the Western Cape in August. They will follow nine communications vehicles which will be used first to inform the community about who is eligible to lodge a claim.

Each mobile office is also fully accessible to accommodate disabled claimants.

Khoi San representative and administrator for the Korana king, Belinda Petersen, says the venture will bring the department to the community. “Often people don’t have transport money or don’t understand what documentation is needed to lodge a claim,” she says.

“We are moving forward and it’s a step in the right direction.”

Around 54 500 claims have been lodged with the Land Claims Commission since the claims process was opened in July last year

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