The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza
The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza

R2.1bn spent on land claims as at March 2021

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Oct 19, 2021

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THE Land Claims Commission has settled a total of 324 land claims and also finalised 384 as at the end of March.

In its 2020/21 annual report tabled to Parliament, the commission ascribed the high number of claims settled to reprioritisation against project registers, identifying claims at advanced stages and approval of projects consisting multiple claims in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.

It also said resolving issues pertaining to challenges regarding the transfer of state land to communities in North West and Western Cape and speeding up financial compensation to claimants helped increase the number of claims finalised.

The report said all submissions approved resulted in over 65 134.2348 hectares of land being settled to the tune of R772 million.

A total of 39 372 beneficiaries benefited to the tune of R1.3 billion in the form of financial compensation.

The breakdown of the figures showed that

• Eastern Cape settled 40 and finalised 74 land claims at a cost of R599.3m;

• Free State settled only two claims at a cost of R13.3m and none finalised;

• Gauteng settled 46 and finalised 37 land claims at accost of R35.5m;

• KwaZulu-Natal settled 37 and finalised 84 land claims to the tune of R397.8m;

• Limpopo settled 112 and finalised 31 land claims at a cost of R354.2m;

• Mpumalanga settled 39 and finalised 66 land claims, spending R229.4m;

• North West settled six and finalised 15 land claims to the tune of R239.4m;

• Northern Cape settled two and finalised 18 land claims at a cost of R3m; and

•Western Capes settled 40 and finalised 60 land claims to the tune of R286.5m.

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza said while noting the parliamentary process to amend the Constitution to allow confiscation of land without compensation, it was necessary to recognise the strides made to restore land claimants’ dignity under the current constraints.

Didiza said the number of claims settled since its inception stood at 82 198.

“The settlement of these claims has resulted in the award of 3.7 million hectares of land to beneficiaries at an amount of R24 billion.

“The programme has, furthermore, approved over R18 billion in the settlement of claims involving financial compensation, and has allocated an amount of R5 269 346 522.95 in development grants to beneficiaries of land restitution,” she said.

Didiza also said the restitution programme has benefited 2.2 million individual beneficiaries who are members of 442 948 households.

“Of those, 169 625 are female-headed households and 1 208 are households headed by persons living with a disability,” she said.

However, Didiza said there was a need to hasten both the pace of process and remaining less than 9 000 old-order claims, and to significantly improve the outcomes of restitution in relation to farm productivity and job creation.

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Political Bureau

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