Standing on his 849 hectares and looking out into the distance‚ 35-year-old factory worker Zwelihle Dlamini is elated at the prospects his newly acquired land will bring.
“With this land we are hoping to continue farming and maybe even build a community hall.”
Dlamini is a part of eight families‚ all members of the Dlamini clan‚ who have become recipients of a massive land claim in Mchobololo‚ near Richmond in KwaZulu-Natal.
While many of the families dispossessed of the land chose to take financial compensation (to the tune of about R25.3-million for the combined 114 households)‚ the eight Dlamini’s took the land – which was worth just shy of R10.6-million.
The land was previously used for farming and grazing.
The Office of the Chief Land Claims Commissioner officially handed over the plots on Friday in Richmond.
Funizwe Dlamini said that claiming the land was the only way “our ansestors would be very happy”.
“They always knew we would once again own this land‚ that is why they named me Funizwe (which translates to ‘seek the land’) and my clansman Zwelihle (‘beautiful land’)” he said.
Funizwe said he hoped the land claim victory – which came after six years of waiting – would be an incentive for his nine children to head into agriculture.
“There are no jobs these days. There is no use studying to be a teacher or a nurse if you aren’t going to get work. Now that we have this farming land they can study something in agriculture and come back home and work‚” he said.
Although both Dlaminis are grateful to government‚ they said they would now like assistance to sustain the land and maintain its productivity.
“We would like government to help us clear most of this land so we can be able to farm more‚” said Zwelihle.
KZN head of Land Claims Commission‚ Advocate Bheki Mbili‚ said that although they are willing to help successful land claimants it was “everyone’s responsibility to make sure the land is sustained”.
Source: TMG Digital.