1913 Native Land Act Centenary Workshop with parliamentary committees, MPLs & other stakeholders: day 1

Ad Hoc Committee on the 1913 Native Land Act

07 June 2013
Chairperson: Ms N Dambuza (ANC), Ms T Sunduza (ANC), Ms P Mabuza (ANC) and Ms N Qikani (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Members were told by the Chief Whip of the majority party that there had always been a struggle over land in South Africa. Black people had been forced onto a small portion of land. Without proper access to land, people would not be able to erect proper housing. They would be restricted in their ability to grow crops for both food and medicine. Another consequence of the removal of land was that sites of religious importance were on privately owned land and access to these places was difficult.

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform briefed the meeting on the state of communal land tenure reform. A third of the population had been forced onto just 15% of the land. A Green Paper had been approved in 2011. The four tiers envisaged were state ownership with leasehold tenure, privately owned land with freehold tenure, but with a limit on the amount of land an individual could own, land owned by foreign nationals being restricted, and communally owned land with institutionalised use rights. This would develop the rural economy on non-racial lines, ensure equitable land allocation and sustain production discipline in the food industry.  The roles of municipalities and traditional structures would be clearly defined.

Members asked if beneficiaries of land reform would be given the title deeds.  People were being sidelined in rural areas while chiefs enjoyed the benefits of mineral exploitation.  Planning of new developments was felt to be below standard. The registration of land ownership was incomplete.  Members wondered how viable financial compensation was as recipients might waste the money.

Guests raised questions over access of land to women, and over the difficulties some small farmers found in purchasing land.

Professor Nick Vink said that agriculture should contribute to the National Development Plan through the creation of jobs and the stimulation of the rural economy. In the past, black commercial farming had been suppressed while commercial farming by whites had been supported. Commercial farmers were still being support but not emerging farmers. Food production industries were not located in the rural areas. Land reform should protect property rights while creating equal opportunities in the sector. All farmers should have equal access to natural resources. All should have access, but those benefiting from land reform should also display their ability to be productive before being given full ownership.

The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa supported claims by the Khoisan people and those dispossessed before 1913.  People would need capital otherwise even access to land would still leave them in a state of serfdom. Land should be controlled by the traditional leaders, who would distribute it to those that needed it. Families should have some land to build homes and grow crops for their own use, but all other land should be communal. Mining companies should give shares to the communities in which they operated. The “willing buyer willing seller” principle had failed due to high prices being set.  Giving individuals title deeds might lead people into going into debt by using these as collateral.

Members felt that there would be confusion where individuals staked claims to what traditional leaders considered communal land, or where people had moved from one traditional authority to another over the years. Where land was sold for redistribution, it was often the case that all infrastructure was removed by the seller.

A history expert told Members that the colonial system had created a dual system of both direct and indirect rule. The question of race had been fundamental in the formation of the Union of South Africa. All of the natives of South Africa had been placed under traditional leaders and had also been subject to other discriminatory laws. 

Guests and Members suggested that there be legislation to promote customary law and small-scale farmers.  The abolishment of community property associations might lead to uncertainty. Forcing people to live under the authority of traditional leaders could be seen as undemocratic. It was suggested that agricultural education should be introduced as a school and university subject. Traditional leaders were recognised in the Constitution. Members felt that a lack of development in the rural areas would lead to greater urbanisation. Traditional leaders felt that they were always under attack.

Presenters from the Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies identified seven questions to be considered in land reform.  These were the identification of beneficiaries, the type of farming to be supported, the manner in which land transfers were made, the way in which land was valued, and the security of tenure for farm workers and dwellers, residents on communal land and for the beneficiaries of land reform. There had been three phases of land reform, but the ideal solution still had to be found. The poorest areas in the country still coincided with the boundaries of the former bantustans.

Members and guests felt that subdivision of farms was still possible in some areas. Those who were still on a probationary period would find it difficult to secure loans. It was time for action. Agriculture should be a tool for creating wealth, and modern technology should be embraced. There was scope for multiple livelihoods.

The Human Sciences Research Council had conducted research on pilot programmes under the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme regarding the use of technology.  These projects were mainly in the former bantustans.  There were examples of the use of indigenous knowledge.  There were cases were immediate needs were the basis for development rather than national priorities.  Skill levels did not always allow for the use of technology.  There needed to be a balance between state support and entrepreneurship.  Better monitoring and evaluation was needed.

Members commented that there was a lack of planning. A major problem, especially for emerging farmers, was the lack of access to markets. Projects were often not supported at a local level.

The South African Local Government Association presented on the role of municipalities in land reform.  Integrated Development Plans should be put to better use. There was a lack of clarity on the roles of the different stakeholders. Municipalities could assist with project management and capacity building.

Members commented that land reform should start with state-owned land. The access to land was a major problem, and there were areas where land owned by foreigners was causing a problem. There was a role for private-public partnerships.

Meeting report

Ms N Dambuza (ANC), Chairperson, Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, welcomed those present and outlined the programme for the workshop. 

Mr M Johnson (ANC), Chairperson, Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, also welcomed Members and guests. People had come from all over the country to attend the workshop.  It was now time to act on land reform. The process had been open since 1996. The issues were straightforward.  Some had missed the opportunity to make claims. The Khoisan people had not been addressed in the Land Act of 1913. The media were best at telling stories and investigating. It might be time for the media to research the way the Europeans had settled in 'our land'. South Africa was a constitutional democracy.  The spreading of rumours must stop. Food supplies would be secured. 

Mr Johnson said that the aim of the workshop was to bring people together. The lodgement processes would be re-opened. It was of critical importance to find common ground. There was no reason to take land back, but government had a responsibility to ensure food security.

Address by Chief Whip of Majority Party
Dr M Motshekga, ANC Chief Whip, re-iterated the majority party's belief that South Africa belonged to all who lived there. Ownership and control was an emotive issue. Land reform was about redressing the wrongs under colonialism and apartheid.  This was the responsibility of all South Africans, black and white. Finding a solution would benefit all South Africans. Peace could not be guaranteed if there was no solution found.  He regretted the confrontation in the House between Mr A Trollip (DA) and Nkosi Z Mandela (ANC). Mr Trollip's remarks had been considered provocative. Many children had been watching either in the House or on television, and there was an impression that matters of national interest could not be debated in a civilised manner. That being said, honest debate could not be suppressed. 

Dr Motshekga said that the struggles in the country had always been about land. White people had arrived and established kingdoms.  A struggle for land had begun, and had been won by those with the superior arms.  Blacks had fought on both sides of the Anglo-Boer War in the hope of attaining freedom, but had found themselves the victims when a peace settlement had been reached. Blacks had been left with 7% of the land, and had been forced to reduce their livestock and tilled land. Africans had been turned into tenants.  By 1936 it had been recognised that the crowding was no longer sustainable, and the ration of land for blacks was increased to 13%. Communal land was the barren land given to the majority of the people.  Privatising this land would mean that the poorest of the poor would need to borrow money from the banks to develop the land, and the banks would ultimately reclaim the land when the farmers failed. 

Dr Motshekga said that the land disposition raised another problem, namely the destabilisation of African communities, leading to the creation of internal exiles.  He raised the example of Limpopo after the Rain Queen had been conquered.  The land claims process was slow, and there were several chiefdoms still in exile in that area.  This was leading to tension amongst the people.  There were similar exiled communities in the Venda areas.  These issues had to be addressed.  If not, there would be a new and serious sense of tribalism caused by conflicts over land. 

Dr Motshekga said there would be no peace without land. Land produced food and medicine, with 85% of the latter being produced on the land. Without the land to produce crops for medicine people would continue to succumb to disease and suffer malnutrition. African religion could not be sustained without land. There were a number of shrines on privately owned land, and access to these sites was difficult. This was leading to moral decay through value systems decaying. Climate change was another consideration. 

Dr Motshekga said that, considering Queen Madjajde and Queen Mantatisi, their land had been seized because they were women. These women had fought wars of resistance. Giving women land would simply be resurrecting the right of women to access land. 

Dr Motshekga said that in rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal, people had been able to build respectable houses.  This would not be possible in rural areas without access to land. People did not want mass-produced Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) houses. Land had to be made available. This went to the heart of the matter, namely human dignity. Space was needed for family and domestic animals.

Dr Motshekga said that community property associations (CPA) were causing destabilisation in rural areas.  A CPA might be declared in land under a chief. Elections were held in secret. This created conflict. Trusts were now being formed which should be used as the model for further land development. 

Briefing by Department of Rural Development and Land Reform
Mr Mduduzi Shabane, Director-General (DG), Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR), briefed the meeting on communal land tenure reform. About a third of the country's population had been forced onto 15% of the land surface in the Communal Land Areas (CLA). A comprehensive policy had yet to be developed.  This matter could be debated for the entire day. There had been ten land registers in the country. In 1994 these had been consolidated into a single deeds office, and many title deeds had gone missing in the process. The traditional system was distorted by apartheid.

Mr Shabane said that a Green Paper had been drawn up in 1997. A policy on land tenure had not been drawn up. The Green Paper on Land Reform had been approved by Cabinet in 2011. The aims of this were to create a four-tier system. Whatever the state owned through the different spheres of government should not be sold, but leased. Privately owned land should have limited extent, which was a topic of hot discussion.  There had to be a ceiling on the amount of land a single person could own. There were now about 30 000 farms, almost 20 000 fewer than in 1994. The trend was towards consolidation. The question was how this principle could be achieved. There were firm policy proposals on the table.

Mr Shabane said that land currently owned by foreign nationals should be retained under freehold arrangements. No more foreign ownership should be allowed, and the model of ownership should be revisited. The current proposal was a leasehold arrangement of a maximum of 30 years. DRDLR was mindful of the implications on investment. The final area addressed in the Green Paper was communal land.  This would continue to be kept in the current state.

Mr Shabane said that three guiding principles were deracialisation of the rural economy, democratic and equitable land allocation across race, gender and class, and a sustained production discipline to ensure food security. Those with access to the land should keep it productive.

Mr Shabane said that these factors had led to the agrarian transformation system. The four elements were community, cropping, land and livestock. The policy and legislative reforms would be underpinned by these institutions. The Land Management Commission would be finalised in legislation shortly. Prices would be stabilised by policies currently open for public comment. Where the original document had been eleven pages, each of the eleven areas addressed had now grown to fifty pages after public comments.

Mr Shabane said that policy objectives were promoting rural economy transformation, strengthening security of tenure of communal areas, including the right to bequeath land to children, clearly defining authority and responsibilities, spatial reconfiguration of crowded communal areas, placing the household as a human agency to drive change, and deliberate community investment interventions.

Mr Shabane said that expected outcomes included strengthened land rights for all communal areas, clear democratic land governance, active promotion by the State, which had been lacking in the past, and recognising households rather than individuals as the primary basis for ultimate authority over land.  Communal areas would be decongested through a new developmental approach by creating more access to land outsides these areas. There would be an institutional reconfiguration of local land administration.  Measures would be put in place to prevent its loss through reckless investment, speculation and other means with the state having the right of first refusal. He presented a communal tenure model. At present, developers were dictating the direction of development rather than planners. People were building on arable fields or in ecologically sensitive areas. There should be proper schemes in each area.

Mr Shabane said that the policy would outline the functions and responsibility of municipalities and traditional councils. Municipalities would conduct spatial planning and land use management, and would provide basic services and essential infrastructure. Rural municipalities might be weak in this area. Traditional councils would administer the land, facilitate community involvement, communicate community needs and recommend appropriations. They would be the authority in the area of custom and tradition, in participatory land administration, community and household conflict management and indigenous knowledge.

Mr Shabane said that the community would be the drivers of participation in local affairs. The community would be the rightful owners of the land, with the responsibility of paying rates and taxes, using resources sparingly, obeying the law and partaking in local affairs.

Ms C Madlope (ANC) said the DG was correct in that the struggle had been over land. A proposal had been made. She was not sure if this had been communicated to the ordinary people on the ground. She asked if there had been awareness workshops. Beneficiaries of land claims were still not enjoying the benefits of their claims and were still staying with their bosses. They were not been given the title deeds. Members visited different farms in KwaZulu-Natal, and nothing had changed compared to 1994.  Farm workers were still living in mud houses. 

Mr L Gaehler (UDM) said that foreigners should not be allowed to own land when South Africans were landless, and these properties were only used as holiday houses. He found that property prices in the Western Cape in particular were ridiculous and unaffordable for South Africans. He asked if the policy would deal with this.

Mr M Swathe (DA) asked if the DG was implying that people would be given the title deeds. At this stage they were only being given PTOs. The municipality would take the role of spatial planning. He felt that rural people were being sidelined in mining areas as traditional leaders were taking the benefits.

Mr K Sithole (IFP) asked how land ownership for houses could be linked to wealth. If new towns were to be created, adequate land had to be available. In terms of spatial planning, the Integrated Development Plans (IDP) of municipalities and town planning were not up to scratch.  He asked how planning would make sense between the three stakeholders. There had to be holistic development of rural communities where new towns were to be created.

Ms N Phaliso (ANC) asked the DG for clarification on the right of first refusal proposal. She asked how reckless investment could be allowed. There was not a single registry. Some of the land had not been recorded.  She feared that there might be conflict as some lodgements were stalled, as it was not possible to verify the claims.

A Member asked the DG how 'stolen land' could be reclaimed in the absence of documentation. On the CPAs, there were challenges to productivity. A few people were running with the show and were ignoring the beneficiaries. She asked what was being done on financial compensation. The objective was to redistribute land, but claimants also had options of financial compensation. She asked if compensation would achieve these objectives.

Ms P Xaba (ANC) asked about financial compensation.

Ms P Ngwenya-Mabila (ANC) asked if there were any better ways than financial compensation. She had seen cases where claimants had spent their compensation and been left destitute afterwards. She agreed with DG that if the state was to look after the well-being of citizens, it should provide land to the landless.  This meant that the state must take custodianship of all the land. She asked if he meant this literally, and how it could be achieved. The Zambian government had legislated in 1985 that no foreigner could own land, and all land had been nationalised.

Ms Rolene van Rensburg, Rural Women's Agricultural Reform, Centre for Law and Society, asked how infrastructure support would be provided. There was a group living in precarious conditions on communal land in the Stellenbosch area. Land for women should be seen as a priority.

Ms Van Rensburg said that there had been protests among farmworkers. Apart from the salary demands, there had been a demand for land to grow food. Her organisation had found that 56% of farmworkers were experiencing hunger despite growing food on the farm. A number of those evicted from farms were going hungry. She asked when farmworkers would get ownership of the houses they occupied on the farms.  The apartheid government had helped the farmers to build these houses.

Ms Aninka Claassens, Rural Women's Agricultural Reform Director, Centre for Law and Society, who represented farmworkers in the Stellenbosch area raised questions over access to train services.

Mr Gert Stuurman, a farmer from the Drakenstein area, was a supervisor on a farm in the Drakenstein area.  He had applied in various towns for a farm. He had been on the waiting list for sixteen years. He had worked on the farm of an English person. He had run the farm, which the owners had bought with no knowledge of agriculture. The farm had later been sold at a huge profit. He asked how he could get a farm.  Anybody, even with no experience, could acquire a farm, but his fifty years of experience counted for nothing.  Farms were being given to friends and families. He thanked the DG for the opportunity to raise this issue.

Mr Shabane replied that one of the reasons for the Green Paper was the recognition of the limitations to the land reform policies of 1994. DRDLR was trying to deal with existing challenges. There had been recognition in the weakness of monitoring systems. Land had not been used effectively. The question of leasehold rights for foreign citizens only really applied to agricultural land, but would apply across the board.  Different spheres of government had different powers. Municipalities had different property rating regimes for charging rates. The national department had limited powers to intervene in this case.

Mr Shabane was proposing individual titles for every household, but the rights of each household could be specified in the plan. Municipalities were the planning authorities for extending settlements, including creating new towns. National government could only provide a framework. Many small towns were dying, and the reasons for this had to be determined. 

Mr Shabane said that the question of recapitalisation had to be considered. More emphasis was needed on recapitalising the farms that had already been acquired lest they collapse. Proper support was needed for farmers at all levels. There had been cases of reckless investment. Communal land was locked into irrevocable long term agreements. There were many examples across the country, both legacies of apartheid and in agreements concluded since 1994.  

Mr Shabane said that there was a different department that allocated mining rights. There was sometimes a coordination challenge between departments.

Mr Shabane said that the land management commission had been established to determine who owned what land.  CPAs were a challenge. There were over 1 200 of them. The law might be amended, and the scope of application might be restricted. A land management board was being created which would provide mediation services.

Mr Shabane said that people had the right to opt for financial compensation. In some instances, people had been removed from areas that were now well developed and could not be restored to the original owners.  At the same time, descendants in urban areas had no desire to return to rural areas. If the money was spent, nothing more could be done.

Mr Shabane undertook to engage with the small-scale farmers from Stellenbosch.

Land Reform, Agriculture and Rural Development in the context of the National Development Plan
Prof Nick Vink, University of Stellenbosch, said that the essential part of the National Development Plan (NDP) was the creation of employment. There were opportunities for small farmer development. Care must be taken not to disrupt the market. The New Growth Path (NGP) and NDP had come up with similar arguments, namely about 300 000 livelihoods amongst small-scale farmers. One had to focus on agriculture.  In terms of rural development, people had said that these areas were about more than agriculture.  However, without agriculture one could forget about the other aspects of the rural areas.

Prof Vink said that apartheid for the rural areas had been about people and more specifically about land.  People liked to quote Jan van Riebeeck celebrating the first wines of the Cape in 1659, but in 1652 Van Riebeeck had already seen the need for slave labour. The Land Act of 1913 laid the foundation for what was to follow. There were three phases of what had happened. The 1913 Act had created segregation in the form of parallel markets.  Segregation was only one of three evils under apartheid. Another was the suppression of black farmers in the commercial sphere.  This impact was still being felt. The third leg was the support given to commercial farmers.  This was not neutral, and distorted the geography of farming areas. South Africa was about the only country in the world where maize had been milled in the cities. The same applied to abattoirs.  These areas had been addressed recently.

Prof Vink said that there had been consensus in the 1990s over the aspect of dualism. The consideration was whether to address this through the land market or through policy reforms. Nowhere in the world was agricultural support neutral. The support to white farmers had been withdrawn in time without support to emerging black farmers. Large commercial farmers were still being favoured. All commercial farmers were favoured over small-scale farmers. This allowed the big farmers to get bigger due to their access to resources.  There were many examples of these advantages.

Prof Vink said that the issue of dualism had been made worse. The countryside had been left bereft of food processing.  Integrated farmer support services had to be put on the table. This could not be done through makeshift programmes. The approach had to be comprehensive. Land reform had to ensure property rights and access to capital. These were not synonymous. Access to markets had to be provided in a flexible way.  Fair access was needed to natural resources. Policies had to be tailored to the circumstances of specific people and places. Flexibility was also needed to overcome the high cost of entry into the market.

Prof Vink sketched the elements of farmer support. These included land rights and access to markets amongst others. Physical infrastructure to reach markets was needed. Smart subsidies were needed.  There were conflicts between the elements, but they all had to be on the agenda. 

Prof Vink said that the land reform part of the NDP had three elements. The first was the establishment of land control committees. Seventy to eighty experiments needed to be done. A tender basis should be used to demonstrate the intent to utilise the land. The third element was the funding model for land access. At least 20% of current commercial farmland should be transferred in a process where the state would not have to pay the full market value, and the farmers should assist in the process. These mechanisms would be complex. The intent was to give people the chance to have access to land, and for people to show their ability to farm. A three-year period of rent-free use of the land would be followed by a four-year phasing-in of full costs, at which point a bond could be registered. 

Ms Madlope said that Prof Vink was probably correct on the reduction of the number of commercial farmers, who were not being funded by government. On this issue there were many policy challenges. It was not clear whether there was transformation of the industry. There were also many challenges for farm workers and residents. It was a question of how the industry could be harmonised. The rights of the farm workers had not been raised. Policy matters should be holistic. 

Mr Swathe asked how the district land committees would work.

Prof Mohammad Karaan, Commissioner: National Planning Commission, said that past injustices had to be addressed.  Much of what speakers had said was in line with the NDP. In doing this, the rural economy had to be made more viable. The sector needed to be more profitable and create employment. A target of 1 million livelihoods had been set. There had to be support for farmers in terms of finance, water and other services. 

Presentation by Contralesa
Nkosi Phathakele Holomisa, President of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa), said that the indigenous people had borne the brunt of the colonial and apartheid onslaught. Contralesa supported the call of the ANC for the Khoisan people to lodge land claims, as well as the lodging of land claims for dispossessions before 1913. All South Africans should have land to build homes and grow food for themselves. Contralesa hoped that Parliament would look at the African land tenure system. The land reform programmes of the democratic government had been premised on a person having money, otherwise that person would have to continue living as a serf.  Natives in the homeland areas found themselves in overcrowded settlements. The land restored to original owners was a small portion of what white settlers had taken away. The solution could only lie in redistribution.

Mr Holomisa said that Africans had been ruled by traditional leaders. When this land was restored, it should be placed under the control of the traditional leaders. Negative perceptions of traditional leaders were a myth.  It was a folly for the democratic government to create CLAs. The majority of these had failed to meet the objectives set for them due to squabbles between leaders. These institutions should be democratised.

Mr Holomisa found no sense in residents of communal areas having mineral rights. These people were also entitled to the benefits of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE). Companies exploiting mineral resources should cede shares to the communities where they operated. Living conditions should improve as services were provided. Amenities and basic services should be provided to rural areas. The basic necessities of life should not be just for those in the towns. 

Mr Holomisa said that the leaders could distribute land fairly to those that needed it. People should not have to live on the streets or in squatter areas. This was not seen in the communal areas. The state must have the power to take custodianship of all land in the country. Land should be identified for distribution to the landless. The 'willing buyer willing seller' approach had failed due to exorbitant prices being set. Land should not be sold to foreigners, and Contralesa knew of no other country where this was allowed.

Mr Holomisa concluded that the formation of the ANC was a reaction to the impending Native Lands Act.  He honoured the kings and queens who had helped to form the ANC. With the liberation struggle successfully concluded, the ANC should be helped to achieve its historical task. If this was not done, there would be more violent protests in the townships and the mines.

Ms Madlope agreed with the views of Contralesa. Many people had died in the resistance. Even today, people were forced to live in flood zone areas because of land restrictions. 

Mr Swathe said that people had been under traditional leaders before 1913. People were claiming land for themselves as they had been given the land without the involvement of traditional leaders. He asked how lawful it would be to give such land to traditional leaders. People from different areas had been clustered into new areas. They claimed land in different areas. They had been transferred from one leader to another. He asked if the traditional leaders would recognise their claims and what rights they now had.

Ms Dambuza said that for three years, a piece of land given to the community had lain fallow due to a lack of funds.  A business plan was needed for start-up funding.  When a farm was sold to government, the farmer took all the infrastructure such as pipes away. DRDLR was doing nothing about this. Land was being bought with public finance. The period between lodgement of a claim and the transfer of a claim should be shortened.

Mr Holomisa replied to Mr Swathe that each family in a traditional area was entitled to a piece of land to erect a home and grow some food. The rest of the land was shared by the community. Title deeds could be used as collateral for loans, and could plunge themselves into poverty if things went wrong. It was true that some communities were being sidelined by agreements between mining companies and chiefs. It was illegal even in terms of tribal law to make such agreements. The communities should be part-owners of companies licensed to undertake mining operations.

Mr Holomisa said that it had been government policy to encourage people to make claims. Traditional leaders had recognised that the land had been under their custodianship. Government officials would approach traditional leaders by various methods, whether bribes or threats of imprisonment, to part with their land. These rights could not go away. CPAs were creating a conflict by creating another traditional authority.  Even if people had been evicted from the land and had gone to live elsewhere, there was no area where land had been taken which had not belonged to a traditional leader.

Mr Holomisa said that financial compensation did enhance the solutions to land dispossession.

Mr Holomisa said that governments of the past had been bold, and had passed laws to claim ownership.  There were vast tracts of land that were unoccupied and should be claimed by the state. Land belonged to families, so everybody had access. An unmarried women with dependants was as much entitled to land as men.

Ms Dambuza asked presenters to consider providing solutions as well as challenges. The Departments invited to the workshop had to make their contributions on land ownership, where people would be settled, issues of culture and a range of other issues.

Historical Analysis of the 1913 Land Act and its impact on the South African Society today
Ms T Sunduza (ANC), Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture, took the chair for the next part of the programme.  Land was the heritage of the country, and the story of land had not been told. The Khoisan people had been the first in the country, but their heritage had been turned into tourist sites. Only urban intellectuals seemed to be able to assist. It was thus difficult to determine where people had lived.  She had visited Israel, where the state did own all the land. In some places, people had inherited land.  Land was the economy. What had been communal land was now privately owned, and often people could not even visit the graves of their ancestors.

Dr Maanda Mulaudzi, Department of Historical Studies, University of Cape Town (UCT), said that many of the issues he would have spoken on had already been raised.  The Natives Land Act of 1913 had deep historical roots. The process of colonial conquest provided the roots of a culture of dispossession, and these dated back as far as the seventeenth century.  By the nineteenth century much of what is currently South Africa had been colonised. 

Dr Mulaudzi said that an important issue was what to do with the people in the territory being conquered.  On several continents the ‘native question' had arisen. In South Africa, Khoisan people were not regarded as being native people although no one could be regarded as more native than them. In the colonial society of South Africa, there had been two approaches.  One was direct rule in which the 'natives' were incorporated into colonial society with no recognition of customary law. They might be entitled to the franchise, as had been the case in the Cape Province. There was a similar system in the Orange Free State and Transvaal.  In Natal, there was a different experience of indirect rule due to local dynamics. The Zulu kingdom presented a different dynamic. In this area customary law held sway.

Dr Mulaudzi said that by the end of the nineteenth century and the South African War, it was more a matter of political process.  There was a vastly different context in that instead of two colonies and two republics, the modern South African state was emerging. Native legislation figured prominently in the compromises that were struck in the founding of the Union. This was linked to the 'Indian question' and 'Coloured question'.  By the early twentieth century, the term 'Coloured' was now referring to a specific group of people whereas before it had been used for all persons other than whites and Indians.

Dr Mulaudzi said that a Native Affairs Commission was set up to consider a number of issues affecting black people. Those classified as 'natives' were given equivalent rights, but in their own separate areas. Tribal boundaries were changing at the time due to a number of factors. The colonial government was still not willing to grant rights to people they considered to be uncivilised. Once the solution to the 'native question' was seen as being a tribal approach, it made a fundamental difference to the concept of traditional leadership. 

Dr Mulaudzi said that the founding of the Union of South Africa in 1910 was seen to be excluding British subjects from the rights granted to others. Solomon Plaatjie had fought on the side of the British forces in the war, and considered himself British. Appeals to the Colonial Secretary had failed, and the Union was created. In other countries such as New Zealand, indigenous populations had been decimated by disease.  The 1913 Land Act consolidated events from the previous century. One of the things of segregation went to the core areas of the economy. The Mines and Works Act of 1913 was an attempt to arrest the tide of integration, specifying labour of whites as skilled and well paid and that of blacks as unskilled and lesser paid.

Dr Mulaudzi said that the Native Land Act was about the very being of the state. It determined whether all the citizens would share the land with the same rights. 'Natives' were subject to custom rather than being seen as citizens with rights, and were subject to chiefs rather than being citizens.

Dr Mulaudzi moved on to some of the effects. Mr Plaatjie had suggested that the Native Land Act was a revolutionary act achieved by the stroke of a pen. Thousands born within the country were turned into pariahs.  A floating proletariat had been created by the employers of labour. Various scholars had traced how a rising peasantry had fallen as a result of the Act. The Act was only introduced immediately in the northern districts of the Orange Free State. Most farmers relied on share croppers. The effects of the Act were felt gradually.

Dr Mulaudzi said that segregation would occur under separate education. The state of education was affected.  In the rural area there was an insistence that the tribal model was the only way to go. The question was to what extent the former homelands had been transformed. It might be time for the people that were subjects to speak for themselves on customary matters. CPAs had been described as a problem. The answer should not be to close them down if there were problems. Local government was a problem, but the problem should be fixed. The question was on how to balance the needs of subjects who should become citizens rather than hide behind the shield of traditional leadership.

Mr M Madlala, Chairperson, Gauteng Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, opened the meeting to the floor while acting as Co-Chairperson.  A different procedure would be followed than normal.  Members should contribute and not just ask questions.  He expected that people would express their views.

Mr Henk Smith, Attorney, Legal Resources Centre, said that the 1913 Act, and others, had been passed in the very room in which this meting was being held. Such engagements should be held more frequently. He was interested in the proposal to promote customary law. The meeting had been told about various kinds of suppression. Small-scale farmers had borne the brunt of the these measures since 1913, and by three other Acts. He proposed that there should be legislation to promote customary law and small scale farmers.

Ms Nolundi Luwaya, Researcher, UCT Centre for Law and Society, said that CPAs had raised concerns over the transfer of land. If these bodies were to be abolished, communities would be worried about to whom land would be transferred. She noted that there were communities that identified with community authorities. It was important not to write such authorities out of the history of the country. These were a valuable part of the history of the country.

Mr Swathe was touched by Dr Mulaudzi's presentation.  The issue of subjects to tribal authority would take the country backwards. The concept was undemocratic.  People had fought to be free and to have their rights.  The people should not be subjected to 'Balkanisation' of the highest order.  Some so-called traditional leaders had been installed by the previous government.  In order to redress the past, a vision of the future should be adopted.

Mr A Trollip (DA) said that Dr Mulaudzi had stressed that the plan should not be to revert back to 1913.  People should speak for themselves. A constitutional democracy with a Bill of Rights had been introduced in 1994. Twenty years later there were still homelands. There were people who were opposed to traditional leaders talking on their behalf. Whatever came out of this process should deliver a better life for all.  The 'homelands' were still providing migrant labourers.

Mr Moses Mayekiso, Gauteng Member of the Provincial Legislature (MPL), thanked whoever had felt it appropriate to re-open the issue of land. Most of the land had been taken away forcefully before 1913. The issue of food security was central. The 'native' would be responsible for this. Investors should be encouraged to leave in order to democratise society. Many people forced into urban areas still wanted to return to the rural areas. He proposed that the issue of agricultural education should be introduced at schools and tertiary institutions. This would prevent a situation where people were given land but did not know what to do with it.  He asked if financial capacitation should only be left to government institutions. If government allowed the continuation of discrimination against people in the former homelands, this would be wrong. 

Mr S Sizani (ANC), Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform, warned legislators that the Constitution of the country recognised the chiefs and assigned them certain responsibilities, such as customary law. There must be legislation to facilitate them in playing this role. All the parties, including those that had now questioned it, had created the Constitution. Democracy meant nothing to someone in the rural areas if he had no means to exercise his rights. People accepted that they were designated under chiefs. The people must use the theory for themselves. He quoted an author who said that capitalism penetrated all areas. The market in the rural areas would be the land, where the people had no money. People would be made workers on their own land. This had happened in Kenya when BEE was implemented there.

Ms Ngwenya-Mabila said that many people in rural areas had difficulty in accessing land. There was something wrong if people in urban areas could make claims within half an hour. The Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) was there to redress racial imbalance, but it needed to be properly financed.  Unless rural areas were well developed and the rural economy improved, people would continue to flock to the cities and create squatter camps. On commonage, most policies were good but there was a problem in implementation. Municipalities could apply for land on behalf of township residents.  Land was needed to grow crops. Every South African should have land to grow crops. There had been a process, declared unlawful, to allow rural people to participate in their own development. The issue of share cropping would help to verse people in agriculture and would promote food security. When initiating bodies such as CPAs, there would be challenges but solutions had to found. The CPAs needed to be capacitated in order to comply with the Act. CPAs needed to meet as required. Monitoring mechanisms needed to be strengthened.  There were structures to ensure effective public participation. There were legislative procedures. Many structures had been formed, but needed to be capacitated. Rural dwellers needed to be capacitated to ensure their own development.

Mr B Bhanga (COPE) said that all South Africans were equal before the Constitution. The most important aspect was to balance customary law with other legislation. Some aspects might be over-emphasised.  Ownership came a long way. The cornerstone was the evolution of a feudal society. South Africans needed to ask questions on models of ownership. He did not think that there were subjects in South Africa, as this applied to monarchies. People were citizens. 

Mr S Masango, MPL, Mpumalanga, said that the formulations should be challenged. He asked why the 'native, coloured and Indian questions' had been asked.  People were colonised and the colonisers had to deal with the consequences. The Khoisan were not designated as natives.  The land was the economy and was a place of worship. People of Ndebele ancestry met for cultural purposes, but individuals could still exercise their cultural duties.

Mr N Nkuswayo, Contralesa, was tickled by the presentation. People had been prompted to look beyond the obvious issues. On empowering subjects to become citizens, Africans tended to be particular on tribal descent. He quoted from a different book. South Africans had found themselves part of a system for which they had no ownership. He queried the developments since 1994. The first people to be attacked were the traditional leaders. The regional experience should be considered. King Cetshwayo had been brought to Cape Town as a prisoner. The descendant of the Khoisan captives had made representations for the release of the Khoisan kings. This had been done, with some land being given as compensation. Since 1994, the definition of 'native' was still locked in. Government structures had been inherited. There was an element of people who had organised themselves since 1900 and who could be applied to be exempted from tribal rule.  The heritage was that Africans were there before 1510. Khoisan leaders had resolved to protect the land from the first settlers, and had killed all those who had landed from the ship. Structures had not been maintained, and were expensive to maintain. He asked how the issue of worship could be defined.  Contralesa had sponsored the creation of Freedom Park.  There was a programme on Umkhozi Radio that addressed the 1913 Land Act.

Ms A Steyn (DA) spoke as a colonialist. She had not been able to find any examples from other countries on land redistribution. While the land issue was debated, there was no debate on who belonged in a country.  Depending on who was in government, certain groups would feel excluded. The country could not move forward without looking backwards.

Kgosi Pilo, Contralesa, reminded Members that every institution had a role to play in the issue the country found itself in.  Most of the problem was the lack of developmental strategies for rural areas. One of the major problems was that land in these areas was not zoned for development. Perhaps government should take a role in this. Development would come, and would boost rural residents. On traditional leadership, it was a Constitutional issue. People should seek to amend the Constitution if they felt change was needed.

Dr Mulaudzi replied that there was a question as to who was 'South Africa' in 1900, where 'Dutch' and 'British' were seen as separate races. The issue was how the broad framework of the Constitution was implemented. He felt that the tribal model had not necessarily changed African societies. Customary law had been in effect since before colonialism. People felt that they were forced back into customary areas where the traditional law was applied by force. The living customary law was different to that which was written. In the colonial context, the chief was the custodian. In many of the pre-colonial institutions, there had been two constraints. These were internal peer constraints, and popular constraint. People would want to leave if they disagreed with the chief, but were forced to remain. It seemed that the tribal model was being entrenched.  Processes were in place to address this. The rural areas were being capacitated under different conditions.  The state was not playing the central role that it had in the past. Farmers in the Soutpansberg area had been supported, but now were being left to the whims of the market.

Ms Sunduza agreed that it was an emotive issue. Peoples' feelings should be understood. South Africa had experienced the worst type of discrimination. South Africans should share what they had inherited. Some farmers had done this. Transformation would lead to challenges. Social cohesion was needed.

The meeting was adjourned for lunch.

Presentation by Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies
Ms C Mabuza (ANC), Chairperson, Portfolio Committee on Public Works, took the chair for the next session.

'Beyond the problem' narrative
Prof Ruth Hall, Associate Professor, Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), said that land reform was in constant flux.  She suggested that there were seven key questions. The legislature should oversee the process of making policy. The first question was who should get the land. The target of 30% of commercial land had been set, but not the target group. There had been a few different phases in the approach, which was currently all black citizens not employed by the state. This made 20 million people eligible for the programme, but only about 800 households a year were benefiting from the process. While the process was being opened up, a condition was being set that land would only be given to those who could use the land effectively. This test was not applied to current property owners. There were huge racial connotations to this.

Prof Hall's second question related to the type of farming to be conducted. The initial focus had been on small-scale farmers. The current strategy focussed on transferring whole commercial farms without changing the unit of production. The NDP envisaged increased small scale production. The Subdivision of Land Repeal Act had been passed in 1998, but had still not been implemented. The overwhelming impression was of smaller farms being consolidated into larger ones.

Prof Hall said that the third question was how land would be transferred. The approach now was to do this on a district level. If the market did not determine which land would be transferred, the state needed to work with local communities. The mechanism of how this would be done had to be clarified.

Prof Hall's fourth question was on how the land would be valued. There were many factors in determining the value of land. The Department of Public Works (DPW) played a crucial role in expropriation, and she asked if a common approach would be followed. This might alleviate challenges.

Prof Hall said that the next question was over security of tenure for owners of farms, farm workers and tenants. There had been talk of ensuring long-term rights. By 2001, the then Minister had acknowledged that the rights of farm dwellers were not being protected. The question was still not resolved. There had been a proposal that the state should subsidise the development of housing stock on farms, and develop agri-villages. In the absence of alternate legislation, opportunities were not being used. 

Prof Hall moved on to the question of security of tenure for state tenants.  Many people lived within the boundaries of the former bantustans. There had been a temporary law in 1996. A draft policy framework had been presented earlier in the day. Land might be transferred to communities, but a person could lose land as a punitive measure. 

Prof Hall's final question was over security of tenure for land reform beneficiaries. The original plan had to been to provide full ownership through CPAs. This had been reversed, with the state retaining ownership and instead providing short leases.  This was initially seen as a temporary measure pending successful farming operations. The state was now retaining ownership and enforcing 'production discipline'. It was a 'use it or lose it' situation. A mooted amendment to the CPA Bill would see the transfer of ownership of some of the CPAs to traditional authorities. A key question was on how the rights of people would be resolved.  Conditional tenure was being used. There should be a uniform application of the law.

Prof Hall said that the White Paper had been published, but subsequently many contradictory laws had been passed. Perhaps overarching policy should come first before laws were drafted. She showed the meeting maps of the multiple indices of deprivation in South Africa. Levels of education, employment, services and health conditions were used to decide this. The maps mirrored the boundaries of the former bantustans.  She submitted that clarity across the seven areas of land reform was needed.

Livelihoods after land reform
Dr Michael Aliber Senior Researcher, Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), presented on the trajectories of change in Northern Limpopo. The implications of land reform had been studied in this area.  Main research activities were an historical overview, agricultural statistics, and thirteen case studies. Two locality studies were also conducted in areas where land reform had been concentrated. 

Dr Aliber said that a book had been produced on the findings.  The main impacts on livelihoods were that projects often collapsed.  About half of the projects had collapsed, also some those that had collapsed had managed to recover.  People derived diverse benefits.  Relocation was an under-rated benefit.  Subsistence and commercial production could be the results.  People would enjoy more freedom in an economic sense.

Dr Aliber said that the delivery systems mitigated against the objectives of the programme. There had been different phases of redistribution. There were official elements, such as grants and eligibility criteria. There were often profound and unexpected results. The first manifestation of distribution was the Settlement Land and Acquisition Grant (SLAG) programme. This was a demand led process, where people would request the state for aid to start farming. A maximum of R16 000 per household could be awarded. Farms were acquired on behalf of a number of households with the intention of being continued as large commercial farms. 

Dr Aliber said that what had actually happened was that owners had approached workers and offered to sell the land. The grant formula specified that a certain number of applicants were needed to make up the asking price. This led to unmanageable projects, and often painful adjustments had to be made, such as shedding members. Flexible labour practices were also needed. 

Dr Aliber said that the next phase was the Land Redistribution for Agriculture Development (LRAD) grant had been introduced in 2001. Applicants had to do more of the groundwork. The grant was increased to R100 000 per adult in the household, without any poverty qualification. In fact, the more the applicant could raise the bigger the grant.  The emphasis was still on commercial farms. The result was that the main beneficiaries, particularly after 2003, were generally pretty wealthy to start with. He mentioned examples of a number of successful businessmen and professionals. This resulted in virtually no poverty reduction, except that farm workers might have been paid slightly better.

Dr Aliber said that there was no allegiance to the farm workers, who did not know how to use the redistribution system. The next phase was proactive land redistribution, but there had been little tangible benefit for poor households.

Dr Aliber said that a key feature was the concept of viability. This concept was to see a benefit to the people, modelled on successful examples of large commercial farms. In the SLAG phase, subdivision had not been undertaken as this would have impacted on the viability of farms. However, in practice the system was unmanageable.

Dr Aliber said that it was still a search for viability. Redistribution was becoming less and less relevant in terms of poverty alleviation. SLAG had been phased out some time ago. The intention had been good, aimed at people of modest means. He suggested a few ways such as proactive land acquisition strategy informed by local knowledge. The strategy needed to work with groups rather than individuals. Commercial farming was not bad, but the needs of the farmworkers needed to be considered. Knowledge of the area was important. Redistribution should be reconfigured to be relevant to those in the former homeland areas.  He stressed the need to experiment with different approaches in order to arrive at an ideal solution.

Mr T Mthembu, MPL, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature Portfolio committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, co-chairing the meeting, invited Members to raise issues.

Ms Steyn was concerned that the Department of Agriculture was absent. She was corrected as there was an official present. This portfolio needed to put forward proposals. DRDLR were focussed on land reform and not agriculture. Subdivision might be feasible in some areas but not others. 

Mr Trollip noted that a number of policies had been implemented, which reminded him of the situation in education. At least the same solutions were not being offered to the same problem. The desired outcomes were not being met. He repeated his call for introspection on the former homeland areas. There was now some research on the table, and areas of success and failure could not be identified. Prof Hall had posed some difficult questions. 

Ms M Pilusa-Mosoane (ANC) said that people were not given all the resources needed to farm the land. A lot of land was still in private hands. She asked if government had the funds to buy the land at market price.  Sister departments should help in providing resources.

Ms N Mnisi (ANC) said that there were no more homelands. The three spheres of government had replaced the system. She mentioned a farmer who had a farm school on his farm. It had to be relocated, but the farmer had refused. The children were now on the street as they could not find other places. She asked if there was any government action that could be taken. The land could not be used as collateral during the five year probationary period, which would make it difficult to develop it. There was no use in letting land lie idle. There were a number of reasons why projects failed. Government gave no support to the poor families on the land. An MEC in Limpopo had allocated significant funds to some projects. She was happy to hear that the Minister would spend R2.7 million on recaptalisation. There was a problem that the Department needed to address. Someone might apply for land to farm with cattle. The land might be transferred in time.  The people had nothing else with which to help themselves.

Mr P Nyoki, Chairperson Eastern Cape Legislature Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, said that the Native Land Act was a law. What presenters was saying was that before even venturing into that area of legislation, there were critical questions to be asked like who, why, how and when regarding reform. These questions had not been asked critically. All agreed that using 1913 as a starting point was wrong. Proposals were not completed or withdrawn due to challenges. The approach needed to be changed. It was a continuing process, but could not go on forever. A time should be set for results. There was a Bill in front of Members regarding spatial management and land use. When critical questions were asked, there were no satisfactory answers.

Mr Masango asked questions about the authentication of land records. He had heard that close to 100% of land in South Africa was registered. Political formations were embarking on a Codesa style forum on land reform. The country must not wait too long to address the issue. The process must start with correct records in the deeds office.

Ms van Rensburg commended Prof Hall on her presentation. She re-iterated the need to target women for the distribution of land.  Women could reduce hunger by up to 100 million people if they had the correct support systems. Environmentally friendly practices were needed, such as refraining from the use of pesticides. There was no support from the Department of Agriculture. In countries such as Brazil, the state had played a significant role in changing the agrarian outlook.

Ms Mabuza was concerned that there was no engagement with the presenters.

Mr Theo de Jager, Deputy President, AgriSA, said that agriculture must be a tool to create wealth. This would alleviate poverty.  At the ANC conference in Polokwane he had asked to see policy documents.  Decisions on land reform had been contained in the document on social policy. He had travelled extensively through Africa, and had never met a happy or wealthy small-scale farmer. This was a poverty trap. While there was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the nation, there must be the chance to make a profit from farming. In the 1960s and 1970s people had been dismissive of Japanese products, but this was now the second largest economy in the world. The same applied to China. South Africa had all the land, all the people, and a suitable climate. Within twenty years South Africa could dominate global agricultural production.

Mr De Jager said that the global environment was fiercely competitive.  The best technology was needed.  South Africa had to leapfrog into the latest technology and access to markets.  The population might be ready for this now.  His plea was that land reform must be a tool to create commercial farmers to compete in the 'A League' of food and fibre production.

Mr Tim Hart, Senior Research Specialist, Economic Performance and Development research programme, Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), said that poverty would not be solved by trickle-down approaches. Rural areas were no longer exclusively agricultural areas. People had multiple livelihoods. All needed their bit of land. Many rural people were using their money to educate children to use technology.  The number of farmers overseas was declining, but this was due to other livelihoods being found.

Dr Aliber replied that there was agreement that there was inadequate support for farmers. The country was far behind from where it should be. There was a tendency to over-support land reform beneficiaries rather than the number of people in the former homeland areas. Bringing people together to farm rarely succeeded.  Capital should be made of the skills of those in the rural areas. People would be able to farm in the former homelands but for the congestion. Most people wanting land did not want to farm commercially, but for themselves. This would not dramatically alleviate poverty, but would assist in some way. If making everybody rich would solve poverty, fine, but this was beyond the means of the country. Large-scale farming was inherently labour saving. Small-scale farming should be favoured, but a better approach was needed.  .

Ms Hall said that the rights of farm dwellers in terms of education, health and other services, were divided between public services which could not e provided on privately owned land. This was a fallacy. Private land could be expropriated for farm schools. She asked if farm workers would always be workers, or if there was any chance of them advancing themselves. Tenure security was one major factor. Most of the people living on farmland were not workers, such as children and old people. While there was more access to the programme, the requirement for productive use would limit those who could benefit. The Land Claims Court had made a ruling on the conditional distribution of land. There was a model of people failing of small-scale farmers to see commercial partners come in. About 144 000 households had benefited under SLAG. Only 2 500 more households had benefited since the introduction of the other one. Incompatible views were being put forward. The bantustans no longer existed as political structures, but were still an economic fact. She thought it was very hard for Parliamentarians to monitor the reform programme due to the lack of information.  She proposed that policy should be informed by proper monitoring.

Mr Sizani asked if the 'use it or lose it' theory was explicit in the legislation, or Ms Hall's interpretation.

Mr Shabane said that the Bill was in the public domain for comment. There would be more consideration and he would prefer not to respond at present. The Bill would look a lot different when finally presented.

Presentation by Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Ms N Qikani (ANC), Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs, took the chair for the final session of the day.

Mr Hart said that the HSRC presentation would reflect on a major national programme. It was clear that putting policy into practice was extremely difficult. Members had been shown maps of former homelands where there was extreme poverty. The original nine pilot sites of the CRDP were indicated, and these areas coincided with those presented earlier. The question was why there was no change being seen. He defined technology, which was any tool or technique used to extend human capacity. Innovation involved things that were new.

Mr Hart described the methodology used. The first step was a desktop study on what was being done internationally. There had then been a qualitative field study. Data had then been analysed. HSRC had been asked to conduct a pilot study in 2010, but many of the points raised then were still relevant. Any project where some form of technology had been used had been studied. At the eight pilot sites, HSRC had come across 113 examples of different activities. There was some overlap. There were 64 projects receiving government support involving some form of machinery. Of these, 39 had been initiated prior to the onset of the rural development programme. There were 27 local initiatives using technology, but receiving no government support. There were 22 examples of indigenous knowledge being used.

Mr Hart said that the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) had looked at the indigenous knowledge component. Many technologies were common across sites. He showed Members an example of a solar lighting project that was being adopted to recharge cellular telephones. He described a tunnel system n the northeastern Free State. There was an acute water shortage, and a tunnel abduction system was used.  There was an example of ventilation for pit latrines. In Mpumalanga, near Paulpietersberg, an entrepreneur was building houses from stone taken from a nearby hill. On the other hand there was also a collapsed project at Riemvasmaak where goats roamed freely through a vineyard. The stakeholders lived far away and could not respond to problems.

Mr Hart said that the whole programme had a preconceived notion of how it should unfold. Social facilitation was not used in a sound way.  Circumstances often determined that the preconceived solutions would not work. The experience of people could not be easily counteracted. These could be used to good effect, but in some cases it was difficult to transform people. Technology such as a computerised irrigation system could not be introduced without a certain skill level. Many projects focused on immediate needs and did not fit into the broader economy of South Africa. For examples, there might be a chicken farm where there was no demand for chickens. Too much government support might kill the entrepreneurship on display, but a degree of support might help. There was a need to consider other poverty alleviation models. 

Mr Hart stressed that the eight sites were pilot sites. Lessons learnt could be used to drive the redistribution programme. Often no records had been kept, and although information was gathered, it was difficult to draw any conclusions. In order for the NDP to be a success, lessons would have to be taken from programmes such as the CRDP.

Dr Peter Jacobs, HSRC, said that 92 wards of the proposed 162 wards had been covered, details of service delivery were not know.  CRDP was considered a means to reverse the legacy of 1913. Information was needed.  HSRC had discovered that some projects were participatory and others elite driven. The objective was to have a participatory means of learning. There were related elements in rural development interventions. According to projections, there should be 68 000 food gardens across the country by 2015.  There was a patch network of reports on CRDP sites. By 2011, there had only been 13 500 food gardens and two food parks. He wanted to emphasise a recent intervention, which was the National Youth Training Corps.  The actual numbers of participants were not known. It was important to capitalise in this investment by the state.

Mr Hart said that a lot of research was done on national programmes. The results needed to be used. With CRDP, he wondered if any introspection was being done. There should be continuous monitoring and evaluation, involving the people on the ground as well as extra mural consultants. Ships turned slowly, and it was extremely difficult to get them back on course if they veered off course.

Ms Steyn had visited a CRDP site in the Eastern Cape. Bulls had been given to the community, but there were no fences or water supplies.  This evidenced a lack of planning. She had visited another site in the province where there was a similar problem. Poverty could not be the only criterion in identifying a site.  Government should first identify a site where it could make a difference. She sometimes felt that people were so overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task that a piecemeal approach was taken. The private sector could come in and spot opportunities, while government departments just wanted to spend their budgets.  New people with new ideas were needed. Land reform was depressing enough, but CRDP made her even more depressed. Corruption also played a role as many people had told of her of proposals that had been turned down due to bribes not being given.

An unidentified Member said that much of the state-owned land in Gauteng was not suitable for agriculture.  Different standards were used in farming practice. In Mpumalanga there was a place where there were three big buildings earmarked for chickens. The Department had spent more than R4 million only for the developer to pull out before the project had even started.

Ms Ngwenya-Mabila said that there was a challenge in the information being provided.  She asked if there had been any successes in the CRDPs.  There were many income generation projects in rural areas.  The challenge was the market.  Self-introspection was needed.  If there houses to be built in a specific area, the services of local contractors should be used wherever possible.  Even government departments did not support local projects.  Co-operatives should provide food supplies to local hospitals and schools.

Presentation by SALGA
Councillor Originia Mafefe, South African Local Government Association (SALGA), introduced the SALGA presentation. The presentation would reflect on the role of municipalities in land reform. The CRDP did not seem to have addressed the role and function of local government.  IDP processes were not used effectively in municipal development initiatives. The IDP should deliver the product that municipalities deserved.  Government had embarked on several rural development strategies since 1994. There were still institutional challenges. Rural development was not clearly defined in legislation.

Ms Mafefe said that CRDP mainly revolved around agrarian transformation. Land reform was also involved, as was rural development and a wide range of activities involving numerous stakeholders. The current CRDP was driven by DRDLR. It was a facilitator for community involvement. The Department acted as a catalyst in transformation of rural areas. The CRDP was a new development paradigm combining a variety of features from previous initiatives.

Ms Mafefe said that workshops had been held in 2011. Key issues were a lack of clear direction and strategies on the role of municipalities. Land reform would stimulate the small farmer sector. The national Spatial Development Framework (SDF) focused on major urban centres, based on poverty alleviation.  There was a belief in using the formal economy as a driver for growth. She suggested that there were inadequate analyses of diversified livelihood based approaches.

Ms Mafefe said that institutional arrangements should respond to specific dynamics of particular communities. Various stakeholders should be involved, including traditional leaders, municipalities, academic institutions and government and non-government organisations. The role of the various stakeholders was not clear. Municipalities would play a central role.

Ms Mafefe said that institutional capacity building would ensure that rural people could participate meaningfully, provide various development initiatives and develop the capacity of communities. Various development agencies were swamping rural spaces with initiatives. There was a lack of clear roles.  Training partnerships were needed. The role of local government had to be defined.

Ms Mafefe said that challenges included the diversity between big and small municipalities, lack of clarity on the roles of the different spheres of government, tension between these spheres, participatory systems not being strong enough and economic policy needing to be mobilised. Municipalities should play a role in project management and capacity building. Partnerships needed to be developed. Training and coordination interventions should be offered by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Mr Swathe said that what was clear was the role expected of local government. Capacity was a major issue.  Rural development would be an extra burden on already struggling municipalities. IDP and SDFs should be properly constituted. Town planning was also an issue. This needed to be properly planned.

Mr J Steenhuizen (DA) remarked that 55% of the land in Gauteng was held by the state. This was where land reform should start.

Ms Clara Sodlolashi-Motau, MPL, Gauteng, said that all technical information came out in forums. She had not seen anything in the presentation on the progress of local government with spatial development plans.  There had been an outcry for special development plans for ten years. Government wanted more land for developing houses, and government had to go and buy land from private owners. Some municipalities were struggling to develop houses for farm dwellers who had been evicted. People in government could not be above the law. Land reform plans were in place, but the land was the problem. 

Ms Xaba said that in Midrand in Gauteng, there was a huge piece of land owned by people who had since moved to countries such as Australia, Japan and England. She wanted to know what role SALGA would play in bringing back that land to South African ownership. The body of a girl abducted from a college had been found on this land. The vacant land was a danger to the community.

A participant said that South Africans could live anywhere in the country, but most land was in the hands of agents. Prices were high. She asked what plans SALGA had to transform the land ownership situation.  Towns would remain the place for the rich. There was a concern on the role of municipalities in the CRDP forums, which should inform the DRDLR. She felt that there was a lack of coordination.

Ms Nompi Nhlapo, MPL, Gauteng, said that Gauteng was the smallest province. The majority of land was owned privately.  Challenges of land distribution were not being addressed. Privately owned land was being invaded and government was unable to provide services. It was now 2013 and there had been nineteen years of democracy. Transformation on land was well overdue. Inter-governmental relations (IGR) needed to be intensified. There were some integrated programmes. Private-public partnerships (PPP) needed to be strengthened. The private sector also had a role to play in land reform.

Mr Sizani pointed out that Members were dependent on buses for transport. He proposed for the following day that all presenters should write down three or four things that could be done to hasten the pace of land distribution. He proposed that some areas had not been touched on which had not even been included on the programme, such as farm evictions that confined people to squatter camps. Such matters should be listed together with proposed solutions.  He proposed that suggestions should be made on what Parliament could do better. He proposed that a follow-up meeting should be held which would be more than a talk shop. All present were stakeholders on land, and should produce an action plan. This was not a land summit but a group of activists. Members wanted to see some follow-through on the proposals made.

The meeting was adjourned.


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