Land Restitution Bill could be finalised by December

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pretoria – Deputy Chief Land Claims Commissioner Thami Mdontswa has told Parliament he expects the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill to be finalised by the end of December.

Mdontswa, who was briefing the portfolio committee on rural development and land reform on the bill earlier this week, said the bill was expected to be finalised by the end of the year and signed into law by President Jacob Zuma to allow the new land claims process to be opened.

According to media reports, he said the Department of Rural Development expects to spend between R129 billion and R179 billion on new land claims after the process is reopened.

Government will be reopening the claims process to allow those who missed the 1998 deadline and others, who were excluded, an opportunity to lodge claims.

According to newspaper reports, Mdontswa said the department had appointed consultants to do a regulatory impact assessment for the new land claims and to look at the possible number of claims that would be lodged.

He said based on the assessment that 397 00 valid claims are likely to be lodged, it could cost between R129 billion and R179 billion.

The bill proposes that the President appoint judges to sit in the Land Claims Court to resolve any disputes that arise from the process, that lodging fraudulent claims be criminalised, among other things. – SAnews.gov.za

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