A provincial perspective towards South Africa’s land debate

THE QUESTION OF LAND: Xolile Ngomeni, chairman of the Eastern Cape Farmers Association, addressed the various commission chairs at the recent land reform seminar, held over three days in East London

Multiple stakeholders including the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR), in conjunction with the Institute for Development Assistance Management (IDAM) of the University of Fort Hare as well as from public service offices, organised private sector, the academic community, cultural and traditional institutions and  non-governmental organisations, among others recently attended a three-day seminar on land reform.

The seminar took place from January 23 to 25 at the East London International Convention Centre to gather information and compile a list of recommendations that will shortly be presented to the provincial government regarding the issues around land reform.

Highlighting the need for reform, and dealing with aspects of the historic/traditional, legislative and economic issues surrounding land expropriation the seminar made many recommendations in an attempt to get the issues in the open so they can be dealt with.

The attendees recommended that the South African government ensure the land redistribution process is accelerated. They said the laws in place since 1994 have not solved the problem and that the law alone will not help South Africans get the land back to where it belongs. “The land was taken by force and the laws were formulated later,” states the conclusions of the seminar.

For the full story, see this week’s Talk of the Town.

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