Nearly 5 500 new land claims

Cape Town - Just under 5500 new land claims have been lodged around the country, but most of the claimants want money, not land, the rural development and land reform department said on Wednesday.

“(A total of) 5495 claims have been received at lodgement sites across the country. The majority of these have been lodged in the Western Cape (1363 claims) followed by Gauteng (956 claims),” it said in a statement.

A piece of state-owned land nestled between Firgrove Way and Spaanschemat River Road in Constantia has been earmarked for land claims in terms of the old process. The claimants awaiting the settlement of these claims are among hundreds whose claims are yet to be settled. Photo: MICHAEL WALKER. Credit: CAPE TIMES

The new five-year period for lodging land claims - which opened at the beginning of the month - ends in June 2019.

“We have noted that the majority of those who have lodged claims since the re-opening of the lodgement of land claims have opted for financial compensation,” chief land claims commissioner Nomfundo Gobodo said in the statement.

He urged claimants to opt for land restoration rather than money, which would help address unequal land ownership patterns in South Africa.