No shift in land reforms cut-off date
Parliment – Government was not formally considering shifting the cut-off date for land claims in South Africa, Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti said on Tuesday.
Addressing journalists as part of a briefing by government’s economic sectors, employment and infrastructure development cluster, Nkwinti said President Jacob Zuma had raised the prospect of opening up claims to people dispossessed of land prior to the current 1913 cut-off date several years running.
“It has not come forward formally to us to say this is what we should be doing,” Nkwinti said.
“Hopefully that matter will be dealt with now that the President has raised it three times in three years. When that matter is brought formally to us we will engage it.”
Nkwinti was responding to Zuma’s speech to the National House of Traditional Leaders in Parliament last week in which he again proposed shifting the goalposts in terms of land claims.
“I believe, as a son of a black man, being black, being on my own as always, that you need to shift that cut-off date, but you need to find a reasonable way of addressing the issue, within the Constitution, within the law,” Zuma had said.
The President raised the question of whether the appropriate cut-off date for land claims should not be the 1800s.
“Was a decision to make 1913 the cut-off date correct? Perhaps yes, but was the land taken in 1913?” Zuma asked.
“I believe in, percentage wise, that the land taken after 1913 is very small, very insignificant than the land that was taken…particularly in 18-something – that’s when the biggest chunk of land was taken.”
African News Agency