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State intervenes in land claims fight

Polokwane - Government officials and land claimants in Limpopo's Vhembe district met on Wednesday in a bid to defuse disputes halting production on farms.

The meeting was called to resolve squabbles between beneficiaries, land reform department spokesman Avhashoni Magada said.

File picture. Credit: AP

Food production had stopped on some farms following prolonged bickering over control of farms or use of funds allocated to help beneficiaries use restored farmland.

In some areas, communal property associations or trusts were accused of failing to hold annual meetings and failing to report to other members.

“There are internal conflicts among beneficiaries, especially in Levubu, Zebediela, Soekmekaar,” Magada said.

In most cases these conflicts were about financial management.

“The meeting is aimed at discussing (a) strategy that could be followed while development food production (goes) ahead.”

In Levubu and Soekmekaar some farms were left lying fallow as strategic partners left communities indebted after apparently being pushed into partnerships by government.

Zebediela Citrus Estate beneficiaries said they had become spectators to the use of their own land.

Magada said some people alleged department officials were part of the problem.

Sapa

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