Draft Communal Land Tenure Bill

Call for comments opened 07 July 2017 Share this page:

Submissions are now closed (since 07 November 2017)

Rural Development and Land Reform

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform invites you to submit written submissions on the Draft Communal Land Tenure Bill, 2017.

The Bill seeks to :
▪ provide for the transfer of communal land to communities;
▪ provide for conversion into ownership of land rights in communal land to communities that own or occupy such land;
▪ provide for the transfer of ownership to communities and community members of land acquired by the State to enable access to land on an equitable basis;
▪ provide for the right to use by community members of land owned by the State;
▪ provide for registration of communal land; to provide for conditions of registration of communal land;
▪ provide for general plans for communal land;
▪ provide for the award of comparable redress;
▪ provide for land rights enquiries;
▪ provide for acquisition of more land for use as communal land;
▪ provide for the choice on the administration of communal land;
▪ provide for the establishment of households forums by communities;
▪ provide for community rules;
▪ provide for the establishment of communal land boards;
▪ provide for dispute resolution mechanisms;
▪ provide for the provision of municipal services on communal land, to amend and repeal certain laws.

Comments can be emailed to CLTBill@drdlr.gov.za or sello.ramasala@drdlr.gov.za by no later than Monday, 4 December 2017


Background
The Communal Land Tenure Bill (“the Bill”) seeks to regulate communal land. Communal land encompasses land occupied mostly by African communities in the former homelands. As the racist policies and laws of the apartheid government would provide, ownership of such land could not be registered in the name of a native. Land occupied by natives was registered in the name of the South African Native Trust which was governed by the Governor-General, who, according to the Black Administration Act, 1927 (Act No. 38 of 1927), had the title of the Supreme Chief of all Natives. Communal land continues to be held by the State in trust for communities and thereby perpetuating legally insecure land tenure for those communities. The Constitution, section 25(6) in particular, seeks to reverse the above remnants of the past by placing an obligation on the State by providing that a person or community whose tenure of land is legally insecure as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled, to the extent provided by an Act of Parliament, either to tenure which is legally secure or to comparable redress. Section 25(9) provides that Parliament must enact legislation referred to in section 25(6). The Bill represents such legislation in the making. As required by the Constitution, the Bill seeks to ensure that land tenure envisaged in section 25(6) is made legally secure by converting precarious tenure into ownership and other forms that guarantee persons’ or communities’ rights in land.