Extension of security of Tenure Amendment Bill [B 24-2015]

Call for comments opened 30 November 2015 Share this page:

Submissions are now closed (since 18 December 2015)

Rural Development and Land Reform

The Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform invites you to submit written comments on the Extension of security of Tenure Amendment Bill [B 24-2015].

The Bill seeks to amend the Extension of Security of Tenure Act, 1997, so as to:
• amend and insert certain definitions; to substitute the provision of subsidies with tenure grants;
• further regulate the rights of occupiers;
• provide for legal representation for occupiers;
• further regulate the eviction of occupiers by enforcing alternative resolution mechanisms provided for in the Act;
• provide for the establishment and operation of a Land Rights Management Board;
• provide for the establishment and operation of Land Rights Management Committees to identify, monitor and settle land rights disputes.

The languages used for the print media of this Bill are English, Afrikaans, IsiXhosa, IsiZulu, SiSwati, IsiNdebele, Sepedi, Setswana,-Sesotho, Tshivenda and Xitsonga. The advertisement to invite people from respective communities will be specific to the languages spoken in their constituency. The advertisement will also be forwarded to the Parliamentary Democracy Offices in all nine provinces in their respective languages. These offices will also be used as liaison points.

Please indicate your Interest In making a verbal presentation.

Comments can be emailed to Ms Phumla Nyamza at pnyamza@parllament.gov.za by no later than Friday, 18 December 2015

Enquiries can be directed to Ms Phumla Nyamza on tel (021) 403 3852 or cell 083 709 8492.

Issued by MP Ngwenya - Mablla, Ms PC; Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform.

Background
Despite the existing legislation on evictions, land rights protection and land access programmes, a significant proportion of the population, including occupiers, still face insecure tenure and other forms of land rights violations including evictions from their homes. The Extension of Security of Tenure Act, 1997 (Act No. 62 of 1997) (ESTA), in its current form has a number of limitations that make it easier for farm dwellers to be evicted by landowners. Firstly, the concept of ‘‘occupier’’ which is used in law is too broadly defined and interpreted. For instance, by categorising some farm dwellers as the main or primary occupiers while others (for example wives and children) are considered secondary occupiers, the law wrongly exposes large populations of vulnerable occupiers’ families to undue eviction processes. This vulnerability arises especially upon the death of ‘‘primary occupiers’’. In addition, ESTA fails to provide clarity around the general concept of residence. Many farm dwellers have established home bases in commercial farming areas while working in other places of the country including in mines and urban areas. There is also no clear and adequate obligation on providing alternative accommodation for those that have been evicted. It has furthermore been found that the existing institutional arrangements and capacities have also not been sufficient to address the quality and scale of land rights conflicts and tenure securities found in commercial farming areas. In order to address this shortcoming it is proposed that the Land Rights Management Board (LRMB) be established as a stakeholder forum to institutionalise land rights management and land dispute resolution, in order to promote the effective realisation of land tenure security among all actors within freehold land tenure areas. In order to assist the LRMB in the execution of its functions it is proposed that Land Rights Management Committees (LRMC’s) be established at the district level to strengthen participation in land reform and rural development processes. The LRMC’s will also explore and attempt to resolve local land rights conflicts. In order to deal with the challenges outlined above, it is proposed that the ESTA be amended as indicated in paragraph 2.