More than 140 000 new land claims lodged

2016-04-26 17:55


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Cape Town - A total of 143 720 new land claims had been lodged across South Africa by the end of March 2016, Chief Land Claims Commissioner Nomfundo Ntloko-Gobodo said on Tuesday.

Of those, around 27 696 were lodged with the help of officials who used mobile offices to reach those too far from the commission's 14 offices.

The process was intended to right the wrongs done to millions of South Africans who lost their land to white administrations and governments over centuries.

This was the second round of land claims, after the first claim period ended in December 2008.

The passing of the Native Land Act in 1913 was currently the cut-off date for land claims. Many, including President Jacob Zuma, have questioned whether this covered the full horror of the history of land deprivation in South Africa.

Ntloko-Gobodo said many people had not lodged claims before because they did not know about the programme.

"The large number of claimants reached so far is evidence that we are making good progress with the mobile lodgement offices campaign," Ntloko-Gobodo said in a statement.

Parliament had been steadily introducing new laws to speed up the land restitution process, which many believed was too slow. There were disagreements over whether land owners should be compensated if land was expropriated, as per the Constitution.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema said during an interview with Al Jazeera, which was broadcast on Sunday, that the Constitution should be "stretched" on this, with an application for a declaratory order on whether compensation should be awarded.

Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti would address the National Assembly on Tuesday on how the department planned to spend its budget.

According to the department's annual performance plan for 2016/17, byNo vember 31, 2015:
- 78 483 claims had been settled, of which 59 758 were finalised;
- This involved the awarding of 3 290 685 hectares of land to claimants, at a cost of R19.3bn;
- 1 444 million hectares had already been transferred to beneficiaries, and;
- 7 584 land claims lodged by December 31, 1998, were still awaiting finalisation.

Read more on:    gugile nkwinti  |  land

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