The expropriation of land without compensation has been under the spotlight during a meeting between the Land Reform Minister, Maite Nkoane-Mashabane and the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leadership.
The Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders and the Land Reform Department met in Bhisho, where they discussed land expropriation without compensation.
Traditional leaders have expressed fear that the land under their custodianship will also be expropriated.
The Xhosa Royal house and the Thembu Royal house are the latest monarchs to raise concerns over the issue.
The traditional leaders in the Eastern Cape want clarity from the government on Section 25 of the Constitution.
Former President Kgalema Motlanthe’s remarks on the role of traditional leadership in overseeing land use also caused a stir.
The government has committed not to tamper with communal land.
Nkoane-Mashabane says, “13% of the land should not be provoked and it’s not what we are discussing. I’m repeating the message that South Africans have listened to and heard. We are in the business of accessing the 87% – so that we can continue with rural development.”
This position is appreciated by provincial traditional leaders.
Chairperson of the provincial house of traditional leaders, Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana says some of the land must be transferred to traditional leadership.
Nonkonyana says the land expropriation process should be inclusive and also benefit ordinary people.
“We want our people to be beneficiaries because as we speak there are many of our people who have no place to live and we want homes, gardens and everything else. We want ploughing lands, we want grazing lands for our people. The land they are occupying does not expand and our people have expanded ever since.”
The Eastern Cape traditional leaders have called for a summit in November, to discuss issues of land restoration.
The land expropriation public hearings are also scheduled to take place in the Eastern Cape in the last week of July.
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Today marks 105 years when the 1913 Natives Land Act was enacted. It prohibited so-called Natives from owning, leasing or acquiring land in the Union of South Africa. The Act was repealed after 1994. Who should the land belong to?
— SABC News Online (@SABCNewsOnline) June 19, 2018