Land Reform colloquium engages stakeholders

Monday, December 10, 2018

Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has acknowledged the important work of the Advisory Panel on Land Reform, saying its contribution will refine the modalities of an effective land reform process.

The Minister said the land reform process is aimed at securing the dignity of the landless and the restoration of the birth right of all South Africans.

The panel hosted a colloquium this past weekend which was attended by Members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Land Reform.

Nearly 200 delegates from across the public sector, including parliamentarians, private sector, civil society, academia and other concerned citizens, were in attendance.

The Presidency said the colloquium consisted of participants with diverse views as the panel is framing discussion papers towards formulating policy proposals.

“The latter will be presented to a bigger, more representative audience in February 2019, prior to the submission of the final report to the Presidency in March 2019,” the Presidency said.

Chairperson of the Panel Dr Vuyo Mahlati said the panel has not formulated positions or scenarios as yet.

“We have been engaged in data collection and analysis, and were only presenting questions and emerging conceptual ideas from inputs considered.

“The Colloquium was used to solicit responses to these, and learn more about international experiences, as well as fill-in data gaps,” he said.

The Presidency said the colloquium acknowledged the Parliamentary process and deliberated on Panel presentations. Emphasis was on the following gaps in data and approaches:

  • Sources of knowledge and evidence considered by the panel must include the lived experiences of the voiceless and under-represented communities. This includes the transformation of the tenure system that requires discussion with the communities.
  • Land Reform Policies will not be effective without effective and efficient Land Administration Framework and Land Governance Systems. This includes the establishment of the Land Observatory that must record a continuum of rights, land use, water, minerals, leases and usufruct.
  • More work to focus on compensation models (including zero compensation), in line with developments on Expropriation without Compensation.
  • A Private Land Acquisition Strategy to be urgently developed to fast-track redistribution. The willingness to donate land by Churches, Mining Industry and white commercial farmers must be guided by a clear policy to avoid unintended consequences.
  • Prioritize the Redistribution Policy and National Spatial Development Framework.
  • Beneficiary Selection Strategy and Women Land Ownership.
  • Agricultural and Urban Models.
  • Land evictions to be stopped.