Land reform takes centre stage as women, the youth and those with disabilities are prioritised by Deputy President
7 Sep 2020
Deputy President, David Mabuza, has called for ‘humane decisive action’ by authorities and other land custodians, in responding to the recent spate of illegal land invasions. On 4 September, Mabuza chaired an inter-ministerial committee meeting on land reform and agriculture. The meeting considered, amongst other things:
- Progress on the State Land Allocation plan,
- The challenges, which included the land invasions,
- The Beneficiary Selection and Allocation Policy.
The committee also considered two Bills, namely the Land Court Bill and Expropriation Bill, for processing to Cabinet and finally Parliament.
Reflecting on the land invasions, the meeting mandated the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to consider setting up an internal conflict resolution mechanism that would allow Government to amicably address land disputes, especially those related to land invasions.
On the matter of Beneficiary Selection and State Land Allocation Policy, the meeting re-affirmed government’s commitment to prioritising women, youth and people with disabilities in the allocation of land.
“The youth and women constitute the majority of our population and together with people with disabilities, have long been economically marginalised.
Therefore, measures adopted by our government in allocating land, must place these categories of people at the forefront,” said Mabuza. The Land Court Bill was also discussed.
The purpose of this Bill is to,
- Enhance and promote access to land on an equitable basis,
- Promote land reform as a means of redressing the effects of past discrimination
- Facilitate land justice in the country.
The meeting noted the progress made and supported the submission of the Expropriation Bill to Parliament.
Finally, the meeting also reflected on the issue of farm murders that is affecting farmers, farm workers, farm dwellers and rural communities. The meeting called on police to take a preventative stance on farm murders, by addressing underlying issues that lead to violence in farming communities.
The committee will discuss this matter further at its next meeting, noting that farm murders disrupt and hamper agricultural production. This also discourages aspirant farmers from entering the agricultural sector, thus threatening its sustainability and contribution to the economy.
Source: Randburg Sun