Locals protest dissolve of Ingonyama Trust

2018-04-12 06:02
PHOTO: suppliedMembers of the NRFP took to Port Shepstone streets in protest of the impending repeal of the Ingonyama Trust.

PHOTO: suppliedMembers of the NRFP took to Port Shepstone streets in protest of the impending repeal of the Ingonyama Trust.

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MEMBERS of the National Religious Freedom party (NRFP) took to the Port Shepstone streets to protest against the impending dissolve of the Ingonyama Trust Board recently.

They protested against the matter which is currently being reviewed by Parliament. NRFP leader Wilson Ngcobo said the NRFP will protest the repeal by any possible means.

“If the Ingonyama Trust is dissolved, their land is placed in the hands of corrupt government officials.

“This is why it should remain in the hands of traditional leaders so that it is shared with the people who own it,” said Ngcobo.

The dissolve of the Ingonyama Trust has been widely debated on various platforms. It has also been widely reported that the ANC resolved, at its national conference in December 2017, that traditional leaders should surrender custodianship of the land held in trust by the government and transfer the land to the people who live on it.

The recommendation to dissolve was first made in a report by Parliament’s High Level Panel on the assessment of key legislations and fundamental changes released in November last year.

In their report, the panel recommended that the Ingonyama Trust Act be repealed or amended and that the Ingonyama Trust, which owns about 3 million hectares, be dissolved.

Speaking on the issue, the Association for Rural Advancement (Afra) NGO said the trust makes the bulk of its returns on leases rather than the Permission to Occupy (PTO) agreements with the owners of the land.

“The Ingonyama Trust receives over R90 million a year in income from leases, according to its 2015/2016 financial report submitted to Parliament.

“The rent it receives in terms of leases is significantly more that it would receive in terms of PTO’s,” said Afra spokesperson advocate Nokuthula Mthimunye.

“Communities have reported cases where the chief has sold or given leases on land which has been occupied and used by families for 100 years, to businesses.

“The trust threatens the rights of rural communities by authorising mining activities and other developments on the land. In cases where a mining company uses the land, compensation has been paid to Ingonyama and not the people who have been deprived of the use of that land,” said Mthimunye, adding that Afra supports the repeal of the Ingonyama Trust.

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