Almost 2 million hectares of land have been transferred to communal property associations (CPAs) and trusts since 1994, Land and Rural Development Minister Gugile Nkwinti has revealed.
In a Parliamentary reply on Monday, Nkwinti said that 1 809 856 hectares have been transferred nationwide in post-democratic South Africa, with the biggest transfers taking place in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng however recorded miniscule transferrals relative to the other provinces.
The figures per province, in hectares, are:
KwaZulu-Natal – 433 871
Northern Cape – 412 942
Limpopo – 406 615
Mpumalanga – 242 539
North West – 250 060
Free State – 48 262
Gauteng – 6366
Eastern Cape – 5661
Western Cape – 3537
In another reply, Nkwinti revealed that there have been a further 47 applications from CPAs and trusts for land transferrals in the last financial year.
All had been approved, with the most, 15, coming from communal trusts in Mpumalanga.
Land audit before Cabinet
Land has taken centre stage in the national dialogue since President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address in February.
MPs across the political spectrum on Friday lamented the slow pace of land reform during the department’s budget vote in Parliament, News24 reported.
Nkwinti delivered his department’s budget to the National Assembly on Friday, and said research capacity is a problem.
Government is therefore working towards transforming the Land Claims Commission to a Chapter Nine institution.
He also said the second phase of his department’s long-ranging land audit, determining the race and gender of land owners, needed to be accurate, but is now before Cabinet.
He repeated that the idea of “willing buyer, willing seller” was not in the Consitution, but rather it spoke of and provided for “fair and equitable” transfer.
He said the office of the Valuer-General, one of the few institutions of its sort in the world, will determine what was just and equitable compensation.
Several opposition MPs complained that the ANC government is not handing over title deeds to land reform beneficiaries.
Democratic Alliance MP Ken Robertson suggested his party was more serious about land reform, as they handed over title deeds where they govern.
Economic Freedom Fighters MP Sam Matiase criticised the ANC for refusing to change the Constitution to allow for speedier land reform, saying the ruling party will be remembered for “having no balls”.
Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenewald said the government dragged its feet with land reform so that it could use it as a political football.[Source: News24]