Ingonyama Trust Board Strategic Plan 2012

Rural Development and Land Reform

25 April 2012
Chairperson: Mr P Sizani (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Secretary of the Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB) gave an overview of the Board’s mandate, objectives and jurisdiction. The ITB aimed to improve the welfare and lives of the people living within the ITB lands, and to support the communities through empowerment. The Board was governed by the ITB Act, and could act only in terms of this legislative mandate. This was particularly significant because although most of the population of KwaZulu Natal lived on land falling under communal and local authorities, about 248 traditional councils were situated within the ITB land, but about 51 were not, which put them outside the mandate of the ITB. The strategic goals for 2012/13 included improving the benefits, material lives and social wellbeing of communities, and the priorities included management of land to support the traditional authorities. One key indicator was the tenure rights approved, and in this regard it was explained that people who lived on ITB land should be given secure tenure rights, although it was only compulsory, at present, for these rights to be confirmed in respect of businesses that wished to operate on communal land. Awareness campaigns would be conducted on tenure rights, and ITB would continuously update the register of land tenures. ITB had quarterly targets also for reaching traditional authorities, of around 248 registrations, and involvement of 23 leaders in each quarter of the financial  year. ITB generated its own funds as well as receiving an allocation from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. The budget, which would be explained in more detail during a future meeting, had declined because the new building was nearing completion, and should be ready to move into by June 2012.

Members asked about the land rates matter, noting that it was still before the Court, asked for clarity on the awareness campaigns and road show, questioned the figures in the budget for cookery and cutlery, asked if the human resource management strategy and community strategy would be outsourced, and how the social upliftment projects were intended to address challenges, as well as why nothing was included in this year’s plan around bursaries. The targets for tenure and acquisition of state land were interrogated, although there did not appear to be specific answers given. The question of businesses needing tenure was further explored, and Members asked about the changes implicit in the move to the new building. They also wondered what had happened to the writing of the history book, why the budgets differed, what had happened to money not accounted for, who was holding land not yet transferred and further explored the fact that so much land fell outside the ITB, asking how this could be addressed.  It was noted that amendments would be required to the legislation.

Meeting report

Ingonyama Trust Board Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan 2012/13
Mr Mduduzi Shabane, Secretary of the Board, Ingonyama Trust, gave an overview of the Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB), and noted that its objective was to improve the welfare of the people living within the ITB lands, and to support the communities through empowerment. The legislative mandate that guided the ITB was the Ingonyama Trust Act 1994 (Act 3 of 1994), and its financial and administrative regulations.

The land of ITB fell under communal and local authorities. It was ascertained, during the last census, that most of the population of Kwazulu Natal lived within that land. There were about 249 traditional councils within the ITB land, and of the approximately 300 traditional leaders, about 51 were not situated on ITB land, meaning that some of the traditional areas were also not within the ITB reach and mandate.

Mr Shabane noted the goals for 2012/13 (see attached presentation for full details). These looked to the benefit factor, the material factors, and the social wellbeing of the communities who lived within the ITB land. In order to support these goals, certain priorities were identified, including consideration of land management to support traditional authority. There were three main strategic objectives. In relation to the first, administration of ITB land, the key performance indicator looked at the tenure rights that were approved. People who lived within ITB land should have secured tenure rights, and although it was not compulsory for local people at present, these were compulsory for business people. The previous target set was 700, and this rose, in 2012/13, to 1 031. It was necessary, in this regard to ensure that businesses were aware of the need to get tenure rights from ITB, but other departments, such as Departments of Economic Development and Human Settlements would not give rights until they had been approved by the Board. The ITB would continuously update its register of land tenures.

Another important indicator was the land that involved stakeholders. ITB dealt directly with the traditional authorities and there was a debt particularly in relation to land management. The targets were assigned quarterly achievement objectives. In order to achieve the target of 1 031 approvals, at least 238 must be achieved in each quarter, with 237 in the final quarter.

Projects were also assigned to particular quarters, and there was an annual target of 23 leaders to become involved in the tenure system.

Mr A Mia, Financial Manager, ITB, tabled and explained the budget (se attached presentation, slides 10 to 15). He explained that ITB generated its own funds, and funds were also received from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. The overall budget decreased for this year, in comparison to previous years, because the budget in 2011 had included an allocation for the new building of the ITB. It was noted that there was too little time to go into details on slide 13.

Mr A Trollip (DA) asked if the appropriate tenure had not yet been transferred to people concerned. He wanted to know who paid the balance of the ITB land rates, which had not been approved.

Mr Shabane said that matter concerning land rates was before court and until this case was finalised, the ITB could not comment further on it.

Mr Trollip asked that ITB clarify the road show arrangements.

Mr Shabane answered that the road show would deal with the structure of the ITB and the services that would be rendered, so it really dealt with educating communities on the activities of the ITB.

Ms P Ngwenya-Mabila (ANC) asked what informed the budget on cookery and cutlery, noting that there had been an allocation of over R10 000 to this.

Mr Mia explained that the ITB needed new cutlery when it moved to the new offices.

Ms Ngwenya-Mabila asked whether the ITB was intending to outsource the human resource management strategy and community strategy.

Mr Shabane said there was no internal capacity to deal with these at present, and so many of the HR policies were outsourced.

Ms Ngwenya-Mabila asked how much each beneficiary of the budget would get.

Ms Ngwenya-Mabila asked how the social upliftment projects were intended to address some of the challenges identified by the President in the State of the Nation Address.

Ms Ngwenya-Mabila noted that although the last year’s strategic plan had spoken about bursaries, there was nothing in this year’s plan and she wondered if this indicated that the bursary holders were no longer being supported.

Mr Shabane said that, in relation to bursaries, most of resources obtained were ploughed back and the activities were dependent on the requests that came from communities. Not all of the 249 traditional communities had resources that they could offer to the ITB, and in these cases, there were more programmes linked to and focused on poverty eradication, provided that funds were available for them.

Ms Ngwenya-Mabila wanted more clarity on the public awareness campaign.

Mr Muni responded that, in relation to public awareness, the ITB would inform the Minister if there was money needed, but the ITB tried, as much as possible, to stick within its budget.
Mr R Cebekhulu (IFP) asked whether the ITB took pockets of land and whether it received community assistance on land. He also asked how much state land ITB had acquired so far.

Mr J van der Linde (ANC) noted that the number of target tenures for the last year was 700, and asked if the ITB had achieved that target for tenures.

Mr Shabane said the previous targets had been used as a baseline for the improved new targets.

The Chairperson pointed out that Mr van der Linde’s question had to be answered specifically, as it related to actual achievement on targets.

Mr Shabane noted that in this year, a training manual would be issued and the training sessions were increased, so that it was hoped that more would be achieved this year than had been achieved in the last year, when not enough training materials were available.

The Chairperson noted that the objectives of the ITB Act used wording such as “benefit” and “well-being”, and he wondered how this would be translated into ITB practices.

The Chairperson asked why it was compulsory for businesses to get tenure rights, what exactly was meant by these rights and why ordinary citizens were finding it so hard to obtain tenure.

Mr Mia explained tenure rights by noting that people living in rural areas were not compelled to apply for a lease, but anyone who wished to set up a business, such as a liquor outlet, would not be allowed to do so without first applying for tenure, and then for a lease.

The Chairperson also needed further clarity on what was included in land audits, agricultural projects, and empowerment of traditional leaders.

The Chairperson asked why new functions were added after the move to the new building of the ITB.

Mr Mia explained that the arrangement in relation to the new buildings, which would be completed in June 2012, meant that the staff would have to move to the new offices in June, and the park homes the ITB staff had used formerly would be arranged into districts.

The Chairperson asked what had happened to the writing of the historical accounts.

Mr Shabane said that the history book would be included in the report of the Board on the activities for 2011

The Chairperson also asked the Chief Financial Officer to explain why the income last year was much lower than the income projected for this year, and why there had not been disclosure on this point.

Mr Shabane noted that lawyers had been asked to investigate the money that was not accounted for in the last financial year.

Mr Mia added that some of the money used last year came from the reserves, which was why the figures for this year seemed to be so different.

The Chairperson asked who was holding the land that had not been transferred.

Mr Mia said that there was a total of 2.2 million hectares falling under traditional communities, and he further explained the ITB had no mandate to incorporate this land, so  not everyone on communal land fell within the ambit of the Ingonyama Trust Board.

The Chairperson noted that this appeared to be discriminatory towards the people on communal land; as surely the ITB would be auditing this land as well.

Mr Shabane said that the ITB would only administer land that it was mandated to administer and had not power over any land falling outside its mandate. Some of the land that was mentioned as land to be audited was not in fact surveyed at the time of the creation of the ITB, and it was communally settled outside the board area. It would be in the interests of the people living on this land if the land was brought within the ITB area or jurisdiction, but this would require an amendment to the legislation. Land to be audited was mentioned as one of the projects and targets were attached to this project.

Nkosi M Nonyonyana (ANC), asked about the 290 chiefs who did not wish to fall under the ITB controls, asked how the ITB would deal with this issue and how the ITB would ensure that such land was brought under the Act, whilst the necessary authority retained by the traditional leaders.

Mr Shabane said that that question would be best answered by what was set out in section 249 of the ITB Act.

The Chairperson noted that another meeting would be arranged for April, during which the ITB must address budget issues, and its operational plan, which would include specific tasks to be performed.

The meeting was adjourned.


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