Current land claims will take 178 years to clear, says researcher

accreditation

Cape Town – Land reform has progressed so slowly in South Africa that current claims alone would take 178 years to conclude if government were to continue working at the same pace.

This is according to Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) researcher Professor Ruth Hall, who spoke at a land reform debate organised by the University of Stellenbosch's business school on Thursday morning. PLAAS is a land rights research institution housed by the University of the Western Cape.

The debate comes at a time when Parliament is preparing to investigate the need to amend the Constitution, with a view to allowing the state the power to expropriate land without compensation.

During his last appearance before the National Assembly, President Cyril Ramaphosa urged South Africans to “wake up and smell the coffee” when it came to the urgency of the land question.

Hall said the 3.5 million hectares of land which had been restored to people might sound impressive, but next to the sheer volume of land claims lodged before the previous deadline of the late 1990s, it was insignificant.

“At the current pace, it is estimated that in order to address all the claims sitting with the government now, it would take another 35 years. And we are sitting with a situation where courts have ruled [that] government cannot process new claims without concluding the current claims,” she said.

Hall added that the new claims that followed the late '90s deadline are so numerous that it is estimated processing them would take government a further 143 years.

“So that is 35 years plus another 143 years. We got to this point [due to] the state of the economy, but also because the ANC and the EFF mean different things when they talk about expropriation,” Hall said.

* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
15.04
-1.4%
Rand - Pound
20.67
-1.3%
Rand - Euro
17.44
-1.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.30
-1.7%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-1.8%
Gold
1,797.17
+0.2%
Silver
24.08
-0.3%
Palladium
1,961.53
-2.4%
Platinum
1,013.50
-1.8%
Brent Crude
86.40
+0.5%
Top 40
60,874
-0.3%
All Share
67,475
-0.2%
Resource 10
63,082
-0.9%
Industrial 25
87,253
+0.1%
Financial 15
14,054
+0.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Facebook is facing a fresh crisis after a former employee turned whistle-blower leaked internal company research . Do you still use Facebook?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the benefits outweigh the risk for me
26% - 355 votes
No, I have deleted it
44% - 589 votes
Yes, but I am considering deleting it
30% - 396 votes
Vote