Govt plan for redistributed land

2013-06-20 14:31

Johannesburg - Government is working on a plan that will help prevent redistributed land being used as collateral, Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said on Thursday.

"We know that when people are in trouble, they go to the bank and use it [their land] as collateral, and the land is taken away," he said at a televised The New Age breakfast briefing.

"We don't want them to lose their land for a second time."

Nkwinti was referring to the Khoi-San people and their descendants, who were dispossessed of their land after the 1913 Natives Land Act, and who are now benefiting from land restitution and financial compensation.

He noted that the Khoi-San people had lost land even before 1913.

Wednesday marked 100 years since the passing of the act.

Basic production unit

Nkwinti said land redistribution was not only about owning land, but also about production and sustaining it.

Government wanted every household to be treated like a basic production unit, he said.

It wanted to introduce a new system where banks could not use redistributed land as collateral.
The briefing heard that most of the claims lodged were for financial compensation.

Nkwinti said out of 76 000 claims, about 71 000 claimants wanted financial compensation. He said R6bn was used for this.

Some 5 856 people had wanted land.

"It's a challenge we must engage on... we encourage them to go for land.

"KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga go for land; the others go for money," Nkwinti said.

Quality of life

Deputy Land Reform Minister Lechesa Tsenoli said the land reform programme had helped improve the quality of life of the Khoi-San people and their descendants.

"Compensation is a legitimate claim, like for example old people..."

Elderly people and others used the money to better their lives.

"[Elderly] People, they improved the quality of their lives, they contributed to the education of their children... and it has helped deal with hunger problems," he said.

Government was trying to create quality conditions to undo what was done by the 1913 act.

"Part of our work is to rehabilitate soil... environmental protection..." he said.

Former land affairs department director general Gilingwe Mayende said cash payouts were a substantial proportion of the settlement.

Expensive programme

The more equitable approach was land benefits.

"It is a worrying phenomenon... but people have a choice. They must decide whether they want the land or the cash."

Mayende said in rural areas, more people opted for land. But in urban areas, more people opted for cash to improve their living conditions.

But, land reform was on a positive trajectory despite problems.

"As we speak, something around eight million hectares [of land] has been redistributed in the space of about 18 years."

One problem was that the programme was expensive.

"It's close to R30bn... that has been spent on [land] redistribution..."

Earlier in June, Nkwinti reportedly said R16bn had been spent in settling 77 148 claims since the beginning of the land restitution programme.

He told the National Council of Provinces that R10bn was spent on land acquisition and R6bn on financial compensation claims that would have required 1.9 million hectares to be bought by government.

Nkwinti said then the objective of land reform was to rekindle the class of commercial farmers which was destroyed by the 1913 act.

  • Ebony Love - 2013-06-20 15:41

    mmmmmm a plan????? your next plan will be your first!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mc Apple - 2013-06-20 15:49

    Let me test my math skills here. According to geographical information South Africa’s landmass is roughly 1.2 million square kilometers. There were 76 000 land claims. Thus 1 200 000 square kilometers / 76 000 claims = 15.79 square kilometers per claim. Now there will be more? I seriously doubt that everyone claimed roughly 15 square kilometers and that included unusable land mass so where is all the land coming from that is being claimed? Please tell me I’m not the only one that finds this strange or is my math lacking?

  • Herman Potgieter - 2013-06-20 16:18

    Government is the biggest owner of land. Here is a thought, give the people land, spend the current wasted billions of redistribution to make this unproductive land productive, teach the people skills to ensure sustainability, buy new technology implements so that these new farms are cost effective. Potential benefits: reduce the housing backlog, increase skills, reduce unemployment that is sustainable and not project driven. Potential reasons for it not working: Somebody in government must actually get of their #$% and work, the I want we demand brigade will have to work for what they want instead of it being given on a platter.

  • Payricia Bull - 2013-06-20 16:33

    Here it comes ! ..... R20 = 1$

  • Al Loots - 2013-06-20 17:08

    Class of commercial farming destroyed by the 1913 Act? Can someone please give us a proper breakdown of what this implies?

  • Tebogo Molefe - 2013-06-20 17:45

    People lost their lives when this land was stolen and it is still happening in this era of our freedom! let alone the fact that they got nothing for it. SA government is very lenient on these land thieves, we should not pay to give the land back to their rightful owners. It's saddening to that those who are now educated through the sweat of our fallen forefathers have not even spent a second to understand the instruments and process that government has put in place in order to assist these poor communities to apply them and start claiming their rightful land back. All you do is complain....hai bafowethu government cannot do it all alone.

  • Gerhard - 2013-06-20 20:01

    So, if I understand this plan, they want to give people land and at the same time deprive them of means to raise finance to cultivate it. So we will have more barren spots where the trees will only have leaves where tho goats can't reach... And that will not be the fault of the beneficiaries.

  • Elize Strydom - 2013-06-22 07:40

    Hahahahaha!! A plan?? What plan?? They've had plans for 19 years but nothing happened. Not in education, healthcare, crime, unemployment!! Al your task reams and planning sessions have all amounted to NOTHING!

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