File image: Deputy President, David Mabuza. (IOL).

CAPE TOWN - The Draft Communal Land Tenure Bill will reportedly remove land that is owned by traditional leaders and award it to the people, according to Deputy President David Mabuza. 

Mabuza, while responding to questions in the National Assembly yesterday reportedly said that regarding customs, land that is owned by traditional leaders was actually owned by the people. 

As a result of this, the Deputy President said that the bill will ensure that the matter is dealt with, reports Business Day. 

Meanwhile, Mabuza added that President Cyril Ramaphosa will in the next three weeks announce a panel that will deal with the land issue and the question of the expropriation of land without compensation.

Mabuza steered clear of the debate raised by former president Kgalema Motlanthe who reportedly called traditional leaders village “tin pot” dictators. 

Mabuza said he will meet traditional leaders soon to discuss the issue of land and expropriation of land without compensation.

Traditional leaders were up in arms over Motlanthe’s comments and demanded to know if this was the position of the government.

Mabuza said Parliament will have an opportunity to deal with the report tabled by the panel led by Motlanthe.

Mabuza insisted expropriation of land without compensation was going ahead.

There were many options to pursue to ensure all those who lost their land get their land back, he said. This was not only land in private hands. There was land in the hands of the state, municipalities and State-Owned Entities.

“That land will be expropriated and given to the people. We must emphasise and stick to the words of the president that we will try to work very hard not to disrupt production,” he said.

“I heard the traditional leaders are unhappy. We are planning to have an urgent meeting with them to discuss land issues because we need to agree with them,” said Mabuza.

In the next three weeks Ramaphosa will announce a panel to deal with the question of land. The government also wants to do an audit on patterns of land ownership in the country, Mabuza said.

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