Ministers to study land reform report
Cape Town - Government departments have been given two months to make inputs on the report of the panel of experts on land reform and agriculture, Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu said on Thursday.
Speaking at a post-Cabinet briefing in Parliament, Mthembu said the Cabinet on Wednesday received the final report of the panel of experts on land reform and agriculture, which was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa last September.
“The Cabinet welcomed the report. It did not delve into discussion.
"There was a presentation made,” Mthembu said.
The report made findings on the status quo and made recommendations that would assist in accelerating the work of the government in redressing land distribution.
Mthembu said all departments were now required to make inputs on the report.
“The Cabinet directed that all ministers, through their respective departments, must study the report and its proposed recommendations and revert to the Cabinet within two months.
“The Inter-ministerial Committee on Land Reform, chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza, will oversee this process,” he said.
Mthembu also said the panel of experts and Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza would brief the media on the report on Sunday.
The panel’s report is expected to be made for public comment.
“The Cabinet was eager that all South Africans must get the report,” Mthembu said.
The minister stated that the work done by the executive on land reform would not impact on the parliamentary process to amend the Constitution to allow expropriation of land without compensation.
“This report of the panel has no bearing on what Parliament has started and is engaged in because that is the executive initiative. Parliament will continue with determination whether they should amend the Constitution,” he said.
“Whatever we do at the Cabinet does not nullify what is in the domain of Parliament, ”he added.
Mthembu also said the Cabinet was not feeling under attack from the Office of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane despite investigations into some members of the executive.
“No, we have never felt that by anybody. You will know that the president has said we respect all structures that are created by the Constitution,” he said.
“We will support those structures in fulfilling their constitutional obligations,” Mthembu said.
His comments came amid Mkhwebane’s office confirming fresh investigations into the affairs of the SA Revenue Service (Sars).
The probes are connected to complaints alleging maladministration in the recruitment and selection processes followed before new Sars commissioner Edward Kieswetter was appointed by Ramaphosa based on recommendations by the panel. This took place against the backdrop of reports released by Mkhwebane in connection with Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, who have since lodged judicial review applications.