The Committee tabled and discussed its draft reports on the Annual Reports of the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights (CRLR), Ingonyama Trust Board and the Department of Land Affairs (as it was then named). All three reports were adopted, with minor grammatical errors. In respect of the CRLR Annual Report, Members also requested a detailed breakdown of statistics, and it was noted that the collapse of South African Farm Management (SAFM) would be dealt with in a report to be given to Members the following week. Members also noted the need to fill the critical vacant posts within stated deadlines. In respect of the Ingonyama Trust Board, Members noted the need to give more clarity on the claims and constraints, and this would be added to the recommendations. In respect of the Department’s Annual Report, Members noted that the Committee was still awaiting submission of a Bill, wished to have more detail on how Communal Land Rights were being dealt with,
and stressed that they had been concerned about the forensic audits and purchase of land at greatly inflated prices. It was suggested that perhaps documentary proof of transactions should be considered to replace audits, details of collaborations with other entities should be provided and that consideration be given to sourcing other financial aid. Members felt that the available funds should be used to process current land claims, and that there must be closer collaboration with the Department of Public Works. Some of the issues would be raised again in the following week.
Committee Reports on Annual Report presentations
Commission on Restitution of Land Rights (CRLR)
The Chairperson asked that Members peruse the draft Committee Report and comment on it.
Minor grammatical changes were suggested by Members in relation to page 2.
Ms A Steyn (DA) suggested that a thorough breakdown of the statistics be provided on page 3. She explained that the Committee needed to know the total number of claims submitted per year in relation to how many were addressed. She reasoned that this would help give a clearer picture whether there had been failures or successes in this programme.
Ms Steyn further inquired about the cause of the collapse for the South African Farm Management (SAFM) mentioned on page 4. Her concern was what the Department had done to rectify the situation which gave rise to the collapse.
The Committee Secretary pointed out that this issue had been addressed in previous meetings and a report would be issued to Members the following week.
Ms P Ngwenya remarked, in relation to page 5, that the critical vacant posts should be filled soon, and that the Department should be given a deadline by when this needed to be achieved so as to speed the process and avoid further delays.
The Chairperson stated that the suggestions be added to the list of recommendations on page 6, and all written responses should be handed in for the next meeting by the Secretary.
Members of the Committee adopted the report with amendments.
Committee Report on Annual Report of the Ingonyama Trust Board
Members perused the report and made some minor grammatical changes.
Ms Steyn advised that the report needed to be more specific with regards to the budget constraints and the land claims referred to on page 5. She added that clarity was needed as to what the claims and constraints were.
The Chairperson stated that Ms Steyn's advice would be added to the recommendations.
The Committee adopted its report, with amendments
Committee Report on Annual Report of the Department of Land Affairs
Members read through the report and corrected grammatical errors.
The Chairperson stated that the Committee was still awaiting the Bill referred to on page 7. She noted that the previous request had lapsed at the end of the Third Parliament.
Ms N November (ANC) requested that more detail be added on how the Communal Land Rights were introduced, and whether the Members could be of assistance in that matter.
The Chairperson said that the reports would be provided to Members on that issue.
She noted that the performance of the forensic audit and purchasing of land at three times the market price caused some disquiet during the meeting and Members had expressed that these audits were costly and consumed time, as they should be performed in all nine provinces.
Ms N Hangana (ANC) suggested that it would work out cheaper and faster if proof of all the transactions were submitted, and this could replace audits.
Mr Z Nkosi added that the Department should make available the information on the purchased land, especially from whom it was acquired.
Ms A Steyn requested detailed information on the collaborations made between the State and private entities and what the role of these partnerships was. She further suggested that to address the budget constraints, considerations should be made with regards to sourcing financial aid.
Ms November said that the available funds should be used to process current land claims. She added that plans needed to be made between the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, and the Department of Public Works, and pointed out that since the two departments work was co-related they could assist each other in resolving challenges faced. She also wanted to know about the policy reviews. Her concern was the extent of the Committee's involvement in this, and at what stage would Committee participation be required.
The Chairperson stated that Ms November's enquiry would be tabled in the next meeting.
The Committee adopted the report with amendments.
The meeting was adjourned.
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