- Deputy President, David Mabuza added fuel to the debate on land on Tuesday with his comment that traditional healers are only custodians of the land
- Mabuza believes that the land belongs to the people and must be given to the people
- The Constitutional Review Committee extended the deadline for public submissions
Deputy President, David Mabuza, told Parliament that Government is working on addressing issues relating to rights of ownership of land.
Questions were put forward to Mabuza on Tuesday afternoon in an oral reply to the National Assembly.
DA member, Thandeka Mbabama, asked a question in which Mabuza responded in which he commented about land reform. The questioned was one enquiring as to what steps government will take to provide direct ownership of land to persons, such as communal residents who have insecure rights.
Briefly.co.za learnt that Mabuza’s reply was that the Constitution makes provision for a person whose lease of land is legally insecure due to past racially discriminatory laws or practices, and is entitled through an act of Parliament to have their tenure legally secured or redressed.
Mabuza also explained that there are issues regarding the security of tenure that stem from the misunderstandings that land is owned by traditional leaders. He stated that this is a false view and government will address this issue and remove any possibility of unwarranted conflict informed by distortion of customary law.
“It is the people who own the land – traditional leaders are only the custodians of people’s land,” he said.
“Government is seeking to address this issue to give certainty and remove the possibility of unwarranted conflict and distortion.” Mabuza said that the communal land tenure bill has been published for comment.
“Land belongs to the people. Through this bill, (we) see it as a process part of intervention of the country to conclusively deal with land.” It should aid the development of people.
Mabuza address concerns on how the implementation of land reform will be handled.
“Expropriation of land without compensation is one option that seeks to restore land to those people that were deprived, or their land taken from them. It is going to happen.”
On the topic of those who worked the land, Mabuza commented that many options will be followed in order to redress the matter for the land to be given to those people.
“It’s not only land that is held in private hands, we have got land that is under the leadership of the State, different departments are holding land, different municipalities are holding land - that land is going to be expropriated and be given to the people.”
Mabuza added that government will provide assistance for those people to work the land “That is going to happen,” he emphasised.
Reiterating the views of President Cyril Ramaphosa, Mabuza said that land reform will not disrupt production.
“These efforts of trying to take land back to the people that were wrongly deprived of the land should not disrupt the productive capacity of our country.“That is going to happen, and you are going to be there - all of you as we take this journey.”
The Constitutional Review Committee extended the deadline for public submissions on the review of Section 25 of the Constitution dealing with land reform to June 15, 2018.
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