Deputy President David Mabuza and the Commission on the Restitution of Land Rights have handed back land to the community of Ubizo in Empangeni, in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
Mabuza says land issues must be speedily addressed in order to heal the wounds of the past.
Speaking during the handing over of title deeds, Mabuza says the finalisation of the Ubizo Community Land Claim signifies the restoration of dignity to the beneficiaries.
“To this society, to this community, I truly believe that there could be no greater joy or service than to give to our people what is rightfully theirs. To hand back your land knowing very well that our is a painful past, many years of struggle for our freedom, for our land. The finalisation of this land claim marks a significant day in the history of this community; the return of this land to the rightful owners signify the restoration of dignity to this community and justice.”
One of the beneficiaries, 66 year old Bongekile Cebekhulu has lived in the community all her life. She is one of the people who lodged a land claim in 1995.
She’s among the Ubizo community who was given title deeds for more than 2 500 hectares of land.
It’s currently being used to produce sugar cane.
“This day is historic for the community; we want to make sure that everyone in the area benefits from what is being produced.”
The claim costs more than R130 million.
Mabuza says government must speed up the process of handing over the land to the original occupants.
“Freedom without land cannot be sufficient. And government must fast track the process to deal with the injustices of the past.”
Government’s reiterating its commitment to resolving the land issue.
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