KZN set for provincial land summit in April to address management of land

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 16, 2022

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Durban - A KwaZulu-Natal land summit is set to be held in April with the aim of dealing with the management of land and not ownership, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala said during his opening address at the provincial government lekgotla currently under way in Mayville, Durban.

Zikalala, speaking on Wednesday on the opening day of the three-day lekgotla, said the summit would help the ANC-led provincial government deal with the plight of farmworkers and farm dwellers.

“There are people that are living in appalling conditions that could not be accepted any more. We must be comforted and applaud the work of the executive council that at least the Office of the High Master is now agreeing with us that we must undertake a thorough assessment of some of the trusts that own land on behalf of the people, especially where there are allegations that the trustees are benefiting themselves.

“I think that milestone will need to be replicated in other areas that are affected by a similar challenge. The interventions that we are seeing led by the government in areas such as Normandien (farming community in Newcastle), where farm dwellers were denied access to services and today they are getting those basic basic services such as electricity, need to be upscaled,” Zikalala said.

He said the government could not live happily and be satisfied when there were people living without water, sanitation and electricity just because they reside in farming communities.

“We need to attend to that, while we also need to attend to and pay attention to the issue of farm killings that is also prevalent in the province,” Zikalala said.

Aside from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, he said KwaZulu-Natal had faced two further challenges in the passing of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu and Regent Queen Mantfombi KaSobhuza Zulu within months of each other.

He added that while faced with the double blow of their loss, the province also had to deal with the civil unrest in July last year which further tested its resilience and resolve as a people to rise against all odds.

“Thus today, we look back at this unique set of challenges that no one else has faced but KwaZulu-Natal, standing firm in the conviction that we will conquer and ultimately prevail.

“The winds of tribulation are now behind us, yet we have to soldier on for the sake of the people of KwaZulu-Natal who look to this government with hope and promise for a better world. This lekgotla is for the people of KwaZulu-Natal who were buffeted by these three winds of Covid-19, the royal deaths and the July civil unrest,” Zikalala said.

He said it was significant that they emerge from the three-day lekgotla with a clear programme that addresses the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

“After three days we should be better prepared to address the pressing provincial priorities of water provision, jobs and crime, economic growth and the development of a capable, ethical, developmental state.

“We are of the belief that it is important to make critical progress in the above key sectors in order to start making a quantifiable, meaningful impact,” Zikalala said.

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Political Bureau

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