DA trusts Ingonyama

2018-07-13 16:18
The Pietermaritzburg Ingonyama Trust Board offices.

The Pietermaritzburg Ingonyama Trust Board offices. (File)

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday became the latest political party to rally behind Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini in his battle against proposals to remove control of land from the Ingon­yama Trust.

Briefing the media in Durban, DA KwaZulu-Natal provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said the party was opposed to calls for the trust — which has Zwelithini as its sole trustee, to be dissolved.

“What we would support as the DA is the amendment of the 1994 Ingon­yama Trust Act to ensure that people residing on communal land should have the security of tenure and enjoy the full benefits of land ownership,” he said.

Given that there were still a significant number of rural dwellers who believe that traditional leaders have a particular role to play when it comes to tribal land, Mncwango said security of tenure in rural areas may not necessarily mean title deeds. “Depending on consultations between traditional leaders and people residing on communal land, security of tenure could take any form. The most important thing is that people should own the land they are occupying,” he said.

The DA, Mncwango said, was concerned tribal land would be diverted to the politically-connected elite if it gets removed from trust control.

“It is a well-known fact that corruption is widespread within ANC-led municipalities. If the land was to be transferred there is no guarantee that the poor would benefit,” he said.

Parliament is considering a report by a High Level Panel calling for the repeal of the 1994 Ingonyama Trust Act from which the trust derives its mandate.

In December the ANC national conference passed a resolution to transfer all tribal land in the country to the State for redistribution. However, the party has since backtracked on its resolution, with President Cyril Ramaphosa having recently assured Zwelithini that the ANC-led government had no intention to remove tribal land from the control of tradition leaders.

The Ingonyama Trust debate takes place parallel to public hearings on land expropriation without compensation.

Members of the public in provinces were the hearings have taken place have overwhelmingly endorsed the proposal to amend section 25 of the Constitution to all allow for land expropriation with compensation.

Speaking at the same media briefing, DA Member of Parliament Vusumzi Magwebu, however, told journalists that the hearings were a “farce” as they have been hijacked by the ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

“The people speaking at these hearings are not members of the public making genuine submissions, they are party supporters merely reading a script handed over to them by their leaders,” he said.

KZN hearings start next week, with the one in Pietermaritzburg taking place on Friday.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  ingonyama trust

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