Presidential Advisory Panel on land reform makes headway

SABC News Prof Ruth Hall Twitter @ECA OFFICIAL 300x169 - Presidential Advisory Panel on land reform makes headway

The Presidential Advisory Panel on land reform is beginning to make headway on making proposals to fast-track land reform. The Panel is currently reviewing stumbling blocks in the process.

It was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in September 2018.

The Advisory Panel says the land administration in the country is in “crisis” and, as a result, the landless are not just disadvantaged, but are also denied their constitutional rights. It also says current policies and the legal framework is inadequate and needs to be rationalised.

It goes on to point out that 80% of the citizens reside in rural areas or townships and two thirds of inhabitants do not have title deeds. The Panel also notes that Land Expropriation Without Compensation must be accompanied by a criteria for the selection of beneficiaries.

Chairperson of the Panel, Dr. Vuyo Mahlathi, says they want the introduction of the Land Records Bill that will track down the success of all land reform beneficiaries.

“A national land reform framework that begins to pull together all the issues assisting in addressing the issues mentioned, but also accommodating the changes as far as the climate change amongst other things, but also including the areas of Expropriation Without Compensation.”

Prof. Ruth Hall, Advisory Panel member, says that they are proposing a Land Rights Protector.

“We are proposing that a Land Rights Protector, something like the Public Protector, that could become an Ombudsperson to provide oversight of the whole land reform process including tenure rights violations. And we want to promote land donations, particularly for farmworkers to upgrade the tenure and labour tenants, so that they can become owners including providing subdivisions on large farms.”

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