Marhubeni community up in arms over land

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The community of Marhubeni Administrative Area, outside Libode in the Eastern Cape, have vowed to render the town ungovernable if the Department of Land Affairs fails to meet them on the 13th of this month as promised.

Scores of residents protested outside the Nyandeni municipality demanding the transfer of their communal land back to them.

The residents claim that the municipality is refusing to return their land after they reached an agreement with the Rural Development Deputy Minister, Mcebisi Skwatsha, on the issue in December.

According to them, the municipality has built a shopping centre on a part of their land.

“What we need is the Department of Land Affairs to fast-track the land registration and land transfer as soon as possible because if Land Affairs does not come here on the 11th to the 15th we will make chaos. There is a mineral of clay there. We want decent jobs for our people. We want that project to be handed over to the community,” says Community Leader, Samnkelo Nongawuza.

Member of Mayoral Committee responsible for Infrastructure Development at Nyandeni, Zama Nondlevu, says the municipality has a letter from the department of Land Affairs, promising to meet the community next week to discuss the land issue.

“The Land Affairs used to do the communication with the municipality and also the Marhubeni people and that is what we know as the municipality; because we had an agreement that we had agreed on with the municipality and also with the people of Marhubeni that the settlement agreement will be implemented as we had agreed on.

“So the department had agreed that we come here on the 11th to the 15th. And specifically on the 13th, we’ll be meeting with the community of Marhubeni, dealing with that particular issue,” Nondlevu explained.