Land restitution plan is welcome and department has laid ground

I am very pleased that the president has signed the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act and the Property Valuation Act into law. The signing of the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act paves the way for South Africa’s victims of land dispossession to lodge claims, for a period of five years to 2019.

Given our country’s sad history of land dispossession, the restitution of land rights programme is a necessary intervention for redress, reconciliation and nation building; which is in line with the National Development Plan’s goal towards the elimination of poverty and reduction of inequality by 2030.

The issue of access to land is one of the fundamental elements to the transformation of the rural economy of our country, where the burden of land dispossession was mostly felt.

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has developed a manual in all official languages for distribution at the claim lodgement offices and municipal offices across the country. Mobile units will be deployed to the remote areas of our country to ensure that we reach every citizen who qualifies to lodge a claim.

The citizens’ manual will help people not to fall victim to fraudsters and, among other things, assist them with lodging their claims. This manual will clarify what people are expected to do and what they should not do.

South Africans should know that lodging a claim is a free government service and anyone who is charging money is doing so illegally. It is also illegal to submit a fraudulent claim, including the failure to disclose other potentially interested parties. It is also unlawful for a person to obstruct another from lodging a claim.

The public should report their suspicions about any illegal activity.

Tshepo Diale

Nkwe Estate

Freedom Charter is finally being fulfilled

It was the late Nelson Mandela who called for land restitution by signing the Restitution of Land Rights Act into law on November 25, 1994. The act provides for restitution or equitable redress to persons and communities who were dispossessed of land rights after June 19, 1913, due to past racially discriminatory laws or practices.

As we mark 59 years of the adoption of the Freedom Charter, we witness our country finally moving forward through the reopening of land claims.

Rights such as “the right to restitution” are instilled in the bill of rights of the constitution of South Africa. The third clause of the Freedom Charter says: “The people shall share in the country’s wealth.”

This states that the national wealth of our country, the heritage of South Africans, the mineral wealth beneath the soil, the banks and monopoly industry shall be restored and transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole.

Clause four further states: “The land shall be shared among those who work it.” This means that restrictions of land ownership on a racial basis shall be ended, and all the land redivided among those who work it to banish famine and land hunger.

Clearly, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti is implementing exactly what the Freedom Charter instructs. We must at all times remember that this priceless document remains relevant in ensuring that South Africa unitedly moves forward.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done,” Mandela once said.

Nthabiseng Matabane


Beef raised on maggots will be fed to the poor

The political talk of appropriating farmland for redistribution has unintended consequences. With rising costs, I have considered how ordinary South Africans are going to afford meat in the future.

On July 4 Business Report ran an interesting article which answered the question: “Insect farms: investors see big profits in thinking small”.

This editorial confirmed that farm animals will be fed housefly larvae as the production of fly larvae is 15 percent cheaper than fish meal. The project near Cape Town was conceived by environmentalists and scientists racing to find protein alternatives as the rising production of livestock feed such as soy gobbles up valuable farmland.

Since locals are oblivious to genetically modified food that is slowly being introduced into our food chain, I wonder who will object to beef burgers fed on fly larvae. Recent media reports confirmed that azodicarbonamide, a chemical used to make shoe rubber, is used to soften our bread. Already meat and poultry are injected with brine which we cannot eat but pay for.

At the Food Hospitality World international event held from May 26 to28 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, a Malaysian professor explained the link between the microbiology of food and human behaviour.

According to the professor, Malaysian educational authorities were studying the influence of certain foods and their relationship with misbehaviour at school. This was a result of incidents that occurred at several educational facilities.

The future suggests that the wealthy will be eating fresh beef that is fed on natural products, the middle class will eat beef that is fed on fish meal, and the working class will eat beef fed with housefly larvae.

Have we learnt nothing from the mad cow disease that ruined farming in England just a few years ago?

It seems as if those who are concerned about the certification of food as halaal and kosher have much more critical issues to worry about.

Councillor Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress

Numsa strikes to boost image before election

Once again, economist Loane Sharp is correct in his analysis (“Numsa strike is ‘just posturing’”, Business Report, July 2).

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) needs to boost its membership and increase power when it starts to “paddle one’s own canoe”. The union has been sabre rattling for the past four years, and as we approach local elections, we expect to see it launch its own political party.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union gained many members, much power and a lot of print space when it went on its entirely destructive and non-functional platinum sector strike. Numsa is using this vehicle to create space for themselves, and to create the headlines.

It is time the Department of Labour, and the ANC government, step in to ensure that their wayward partners in the alliance are brought to book.

Michael Bagraim

Cape Town