Legacy of Native Lands Act: proposals from Departments Agriculture, Arts, Public Works, Rural Development, Commission on Restitution Land Rights, Afrikaanerbond

Ad Hoc Committee on the 1913 Native Land Act

19 August 2013
Chairperson: Mr J Thibedi (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Several departments and entities briefed the Ad Hoc Committee, to assist it in formulating recommendations that would be incorporated into its report to Parliament, which was expected by 20 September 2013. These entities outlined what they were doing, or what they recommended was needed, to address the legacy of the Native Land Act of 1913.

The Land Claims Commission outlined the status of land claims in the country, and the number of awards made already. An amendment to the legislation was pending which would open a new window for lodging claims. An electronic system would be introduced to register claims, which would be more efficient than the current manual system. Mobile units would be provided to combat the problems faced by people in rural areas. Standard procedures would be used. Electronic claims form would be compiled with the assistance of regional staff. This would reduce the number of rejected claims. It was easier to process claims in urban areas. Research institutions were assisting. The new legislation, as well as opening new windows and addressing some of the problems with administration in the past, would also make provision for dedicated judges in the Land Claims Court. It was conceded that it was difficult to make awards where people had been forcibly moved from one area into another under the control of a different traditional authority. Various options existed, ranging from granting the land claimed, or alternative land, or financial compensation, which was seen as the last resort. Members agreed that this was the correct approach. They urged that people needed to be informed on how claims could be lodged, and they noted that government no longer had the racial profile of land owners, and land was also owned by non South African citizens. A Commission would be established to conduct an audit on land ownership to provide this information.

The Afrikanerbond agreed that some form of restitution was needed, but claimed that the wrong approach was being followed. The Constitution provided for a form of affirmative action, but not for discrimination based on race. Since people were no longer identifying with particular ethnic groups, they suggested that merit should be a requirement, and that the best farmers should have access to land, with some form of selection and monitoring criteria needed. Ownership of the land was not as important as the effective use of this valuable asset. Food security should not be compromised. The system of communal land was described as “a curse” and it was suggested that the best results came from situations where individuals were rewarded for their efforts. There should be some form of state intervention to correct poor practices. Market forces should be the determining factor. Expropriation of land should be seen as a last resort. Farms should be commercially viable. There was room for the small-scale farmer, but they should form co-operative agreements and partnerships to benefit from economies of scale. It was counter-productive to give land to those who were not committed to working it, as a high proportion of land given to claimants had already been abandoned.

Members responded emotively to the presentation. They challenged the view on the history of the country as put forward in a separate Afrikanerbond document. They noted that the purpose of the Native Land Act had been to create a source of cheap labour, following the start of migration to the developing mining industry. Some Members agreed with the content, but disagreed with the tone in which the presentation had been made. Members disputed the claims that the land left in black hands was good quality. The plight of farm workers also had to be considered. The response from the Afrikanerbond indicated that it was prepared to discuss issues further, and the Chairperson agreed that further dialogue would be useful.

The Department of Public Works noted that it was the custodian of all state owned land. Comprehensive asset registers needed to be maintained. Much of the land that was the subject of land claims was used for developing infrastructure and conservation areas. Expropriation was allowed by the Constitution, but adequate compensation had to given. The powers of expropriation were widespread, and already existed for various departments. The interests of the holders of unregistered rights also had to be considered. Some aspects of the proposed new Expropriation Bill were outlined, and it was noted that public comment had been solicited and taken into account in effecting amendments to the draft. Members felt that the Department was failing in communicating the successes it was achieving. They wanted more clarity on the time frames associated with compensation payments and for lodging objections. They asked for more details on the financial implications. Members were also curious on whether farming equipment was left for the new occupants where land grants were made.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries stated that its main concern was food security. It had devised a number of schemes to support beneficiaries of land claims in developing their arms and in providing finance, which were outlined. Members, however, questioned whether it had really achieved its aims, expressing their concern that many of the irrigation schemes were not functioning and that although tractors had been supplied to assist emerging farmers in all provinces, n many cases these could not be accounted for. Not enough was being done to support farmers. The figures put forward by the Department were questioned. Members asked how effectively the loans granted under the Mafisa scheme were being utilised, and whether recipients were able to service these loans. Another major concern was the effect of weeds and invasive plant species on both the growing of crops and on livestock. Because there was insufficient time to address the questions in full, the Department was asked to provide further responses, in writing, within the next two weeks.

Meeting report

Chairperson’s opening remarks
The Chairperson noted that Parliament had created the Ad Hoc Committee in order to address the restitution of land. A variety of stakeholders had been invited to address this meeting in order to determine how the obstacles could be overcome. He indicated that whilst the majority of Members also served on the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform, a number of other Portfolio Committees were also represented. The mandate required this Committee to report back to the National Assembly by 20 September 2013, but he explained that because it was established only just before the recess, it had not managed to meet in the second quarter. Three provinces, the Afrikanerbond and government departments had been invited to participate.  

The Chairperson noted the apologies from the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, and from the Deputy Minister of Public Works. The Departments were represented by senior officials.

Department of Rural Development and Land Reform briefing
Ms Nomfundo Gobodo, Chief Land Claims Commissioner, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, noted the presence of the Chief Directors (formerly known as Land Commissioners) of all nine provinces.

Ms Gobodo said that the Restitution Act of 1994 had established the Commission for Land Rights and the Land Claims Court. The Commission was appointed by the Minister. She presented statistics on the work of the Commission. 10 483 claims had been lodged in rural areas, and 69 119 in urban areas Of these, 3 190 claims had been dismissed. 368 000 households had benefited by claims. The area involved was about 3 million hectares. The costs involved were R27 billion. There was more financial compensation than redistribution in some of the provinces. 77 000 claims were still being processed. 1 500 claims had been settled but not yet entitled. She stressed that one claim form could involve more than one land right.

Ms Gobodo presented the number of land claims in each province. In the Western Cape, most of the claims were in urban areas, and were often easier to settle than those in the rural areas. The highest numbers of unsettled claims were in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Often more than one farm was involved in a claim, and DRDLR had to negotiate with each farmer. The legitimacy of the claim was often challenged. A five phase approach was needed. There were in total 59 000 unfinalised claims.

Ms Gobodo described some of the circumstances which might see a case going to the court. Most of these cases were in the three provinces named before. At present 235 cases were before the court. A lot of work still needed to be done, but there was a plan in place.

Ms Gobodo explained what was meant by backlog claims. The five phases were research, verification, validation, negotiation and finally the submission to the Minister. If a claim was not finalised in the financial year (FY) in which it was approved, the claim was indicated as a backlog claim.

Ms Gobodo said that 100% of the allocated budget had been spent, and an unqualified audit report had been achieved. 602 new claims had been settled, against the target of 133. 306 backlog claims had been settled. It was often easier to settle new claims.

Ms Gobodo said that the President had raised the possibility that new claims might be accepted. An amendment to the current legislation had been put forward to reopen the process. This should be submitted to Cabinet during September. A task team had been meeting weekly on this issue. Once the Bill had been submitted to Cabinet, there would be further instructions and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR or the Department) would take it forward. There should be a focus on the specific tasks to be carried out. An opportunity had been created to assess the current situation and address those areas where mistakes had been made. During the first phase in which the country was dealing with restitution, a number of lessons had been learned. It was important to align the old and new processes in moving forward. Claims already lodged should be finalised. There was agreement on creating a facility for electronic lodgment. To help avoid problems in the completion of forms by claimants, officials could facilitate the input of the required information into the system using the electronic process. Once all the information was captured, a printout could be made to register the claim. The systems should be aligned with information from the Deeds Office and the Land Use Unit. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) database would also be accessed. When a claimant came in with the information, the property should be immediately identifiable. This would also inform the Commission on whether there was already a claim on this property, and how it was registered. This would eliminate many of the current problems.

Ms Gobodo identified some issues to be dealt with. Two sites would be needed around the country to cater for all municipalities. Many claimants were in the deep rural areas. There was engagement with various processes, including the Department of Public Works (DPW), which had agreed to make more office space available. Security issues still needed to be addressed so that the lodgment types could be made available to handle the new claims. There were negotiations with Telkom for the hosting of information. The user manual had to be finalised. Officials would need to be trained on this and deployed in the provinces.

Ms Gobodo said that standard operating procedures had already been adopted for the lodging of claims. The Commission was looking to develop a uniform standard for the work done in each office, to avoid the problem of different interpretations that were sometimes made in the past. There was a communications strategy. There was an anti-fraud campaign in place, as some people were charging claimants for submitting claims on their behalf. There was a knock-and-drop campaign in the rural areas to explain the process. A lodgment structure had been developed. Work was being done on security to satisfy these requirements. One mobile unit would be provided for each province to access the rural areas.

Ms Gobodo said that the financial implications of reopening the claims process would be about R1 billion. Some of this would be used to upgrade hardware. Phase 1 was to ensure readiness to receive claims. As none had been received yet, the DRDLR had been able to move on to phase 2.

Ms Gobodo listed the critical activities (see attached document for full details).

Mr Sanjay Singh, Chief Director, DRDLR, said that the Commission had broken down the outstanding claims according to the different phase of processing in which they were found. Phase 1 was the lodgment. Phase 2 was screening and categorisation. Phase 3 was about quantification. Phase 4 was about negotiation. Phase 5 was the phase discussed by Ms Gobodo. Phase 6 was settlement. The figure of 8 760 excluded those claims that were already in Phases 5 and 6. The fewest outstanding claims were the fourteen in the Free State, most of which were before the court at the moment. There was a total of 2 705 claims in Mpumalanga, the vast majority of which were in the research phase.

The Chairperson said that the report presented would assist Members in assessing the current state of readiness. There was a serious problem needing a response. The move towards an electronic system might lead to more complexity, but would make the processing easier. The manual system should be retained as a back up.

Ms A Steyn (DA) had a few questions. On the language issue, she noted that the documents would be translated into all eleven languages. She asked if the claim form itself would be translated. The person capturing the information might not understand that language used. She asked when DRDLR would finalise the initial claims. She asked how much land had been sold by the claimants who had been awarded land.

Ms Steyn also enquired how many backlog cases were at court. This was one of the big stumbling blocks, and she wanted to know if there was any movement. She noted that there was a lot of money in the trading account, which had been established to hold allocated funds where the beneficiaries could not be found. She asked how many judges were in the court, as the lack of judges had hindered progress in the work.

Mr M Swathe (DA) asked where the proposed regional offices would be, and cautioned that people might become confused. When a lodgment was done, he asked if the claimant would be able to claim land. He also asked if the existing claims would be finalised first.

Mr R Cebekhulu (IFP) detailed some of the history of forced removals. People had been forced to move to areas controlled by traditional leaders, and there had been resistance. Another problem was that people under the authority of one leader were lodging claims for areas under the authority of another.

Nkosi Z Mandela (ANC) said that urban claims were lodged quicker than rural claims, and asked why this was so. He thought that rural residents were being treated as second class citizens.

Mr L Johnson (ANC) said that compensation was one factor. People should value land more, and should be discouraged from opting for cash awards. It would be interesting to see what type of land was claimed, whether productive agricultural land or land for other types of development.

Mr N van den Berg (DA) said that it was important to verify the figures. There was some uncertainty about who owned what land. Land was in the hands of trusts, the state and private citizens. In order to move forward, certainty was needed on where the current ownership lay, before land could be distributed. There had been contradicting figures in the past.

Mr van den Berg asked what message this Committee would convey to the people. It should be constructed in a way to encourage the people that they and their rights would be recognised. The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture was working hard on social cohesion, and this exercise was an important part of this plan. Everyone should feel himself part of the democratic South Africa. Cohesion was needed, not just taking from one to give to another.

Mr S Mokgalapa (DA) asked what would be done with the current backlog, and if these claims would be treated differently to new applications. While integrated information technology (IT) was welcomed, this could present its own challenges such as integrity, and the system could be manipulated. In relation to the human settlements, he asked at what stage the Land Claims Commission (the Commission) would identify the land for settlements. In many cases claimants had opted for financial compensation. There was a lack of prime land for human settlements.

Ms P Ngwenya-Mabila (ANC) asked what the reasons were behind the claims that were dismissed. There was a challenge of documents going missing. There was also a challenge with providing feedback to claimants. A process needed to be put in place. Noting that there were 12 500 cases to be settled, she asked when these would be finalised. On the R1.3 billion required for the new process, she asked if this was in hand or if there had been negotiation with National Treasury. Lodgments could be opened at any time, but could not be settled without resources. She asked when the 8 760 claims still to be settled would be completed.

Mr M Cele (ANC) said that the previous Act had confined the DRDLR in its activities. Persons had been classified into ethnic groups and had been forcibly removed. The area from which they had been removed had been occupied by another group. There should be services for communities in this position, for dislocated communities often did not have basic services such as primary health care clinics. Services should be provided for the disadvantaged. Financial compensation did not help the community. He asked if there was any other mechanism that could assist the poor in this regard.

Mr Mashanga, Member of the Provincial Legislature (MPL) of Limpopo, asked how financial compensation was applied. He asked how effective farms could be developed. Successful black farmers were needed.

Mr Lepelle, MPL, Eastern Cape, asked for more specifics on the areas highlighted in the Eastern Cape. People were waiting for the claims process to be opened. Assistance was needed.

Ms Gobodo replied that the citizen's manual had been translated into all languages. The claim form would be translated, but the emphasis would now be on the electronic form. Officials would assist with the capturing of information. This would be the responsibility of the mobile units. The manuals had been distributed, and claimants would know what evidence should be submitted. The supervisor would ensure that information would be captured correctly, and a written acknowledgement would be issued. A back-up would have to be considered. It would be best if officials captured the information. This was a problem in the rural areas. Urban plots were well defined and their ownership could be researched easily. Solutions were being found.

Ms Gobodo said that time frames had been set. There had been engagement with research institutions such as the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and universities that could concentrate on the complex research. Backlog claims were difficult to account for. As soon as a matter was signed off by the Minister it became a backlog. She would try to break the information down. There was an acting Judge President for the Land Claims Court, assisted by acting judges from other courts. Dedicated judges would be addressed in the amendment.

Ms Gobodo agreed that claims on different areas had to be resolved. One community could have a valid claim over that of another community who had claimed earlier, or moved on to the land. In the case of a fraudulent claim, the fraudulent lodgment would be considered a criminal offence. Answering the questions on financial compensation, the Commission urged claimants to take land as the first option, but the choice lay with the claimant. Where the land claimed was not available, alternative land would be offered. Claimants could challenge this. There should be a focus on the Department's Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP). The nature of the land should be identified, and its possibilities. There were units dealing with rural development. It was important that there be a plan to deal with this issue comprehensively. The land handed over should be sustainable and viable.

Ms Gobodo suggested that the Committee's message should be that everybody who had a right to claim should know how to go about making a claim. In terms of the Land Act there was a five year lodgment process. Not all the claims had to be submitted on the first day. The mobile units would assist with the process. The programme of the units would be made known to the communities.

Ms Gobodo confirmed that no new claims could be dealt with ahead of current claims. The provinces were working to move on settling backlog claims as quickly as possible. Often there were budgetary constraints. The full budget had been spent in the previous three years. The DRDLR’s youth programme (NARYSEC) youth were being used to partner with the Commission. New claims would have to be received. Processing could be started before all claims were received. A procedure would be set up to identify which could be processed with a minimum of difficulty. An integrated approach would be followed. There would be consultation with other Departments on bulk infrastructure. She quoted the example of a joint project in Gauteng.

Mr Singh, Regional Land Claims Commissioner, said that the Commission operated with a suspense account rather than a trading account, when claimants did not come forward to claim their compensation. There was about R800 million in this account at present. Currently, the Commission was working with the National Geographic Information Service (NGIS). Evaluators would assess what was happening on each farm, and a database would be compiled.

Mr Z Pityi, Regional Land Claims Commissioner, Eastern Cape (EC) explained that the logic behind the lodgments was that each district would have a site. This policy was being reviewed due to the chaotic situation in some areas. This was being done in conjunction with Department of Public Works. There was a different situation in the EC. People had been dispossessed in a different way in the province, which had resulted in communal land, when their own land had been taken and used for urban developments, forestry and other developments. Financial compensation was the only recourse in these cases. If the land was restored, there could be conflict between different communities who had occupied the land at different times. R1.8 billion was used, of a total of R6 billion, in this province for financial compensation.

The Chairperson asked if financial compensation could reverse the effects of dispossession.

Ms Gobodo said that claims were dismissed where claims were lodged that were not based on dispossession under laws passed since 1913, but for other reasons. There was close cooperation with IT and security to ensure that documents did not get lost. Sites were hosted in a secure fashion. The claim form manual would have certain security features.

Mr Peter Chiapasco, Acting Deputy Director-General, Department of Public Works, said that there was a client needs assessment. DPW was procuring accommodation. In the planning phase, all instructions had been issued the previous week for 52 sites. There would now be a process of identifying the sites.

Mr Mdu Shabane, Director General, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, said that the Bill of Rights had conferred certain rights on the people. In some cases it was impossible to return land that had been lost. While financial compensation was discouraged, it was up to the claimant to make the choice where land was available. The restitution process had started in 1994. The initial concern was for those who had lost their land. The State now had a whole range of instruments for compensation. The Spatial Planning and Land Use Act had been passed recently. In the rural areas, there were hardly any development plans. Land claims were settled in the absence of a broader plan. A focus area was ensuring that in future, in every space across the country, there would be a special development framework. Each case was seen differently. An Annual Performance Plan (APP) had been tabled proposing rural development plans. This would bring the vision of the National Development Plan (NDP) closer to the districts. It was not just a case of pursuing social justice, but of doing so in a broader social context. Economic value of assets should be realised.

Mr Shabane said that when the President had raised the possibility of reopening the lodgment window, DRDLR had immediately entered negotiations with National Treasury. However, the normal budget cycle had to be followed. The Department's budget would have to be augmented. Operations needed to be set up, and the existing budget would need to be re-prioritised in the interim. These might impact on the number of claims that would be settled until more funds became available.

Mr Shabane said that the nature of forced removals and dispossession was that people were moved from one area to another. Various self-governing areas had been created. People had been effectively dispossessed in the process. The Commission had to consider if people had been removed from their land under apartheid legislation. A different policy process would look at such claims. The question would be if land should be restored to individuals or to the clan.

The Chairperson said that social cohesion was very important. However, the mandate of the Committee was to address the legacy of the Native Land Act, and as important as social cohesion was, it did not form part of this mandate.

Mr Shabane thought that there was a discussion on ownership of land. The State knew what it owned, through the three spheres of government. It was known how much was in public hands. Of that which was privately owned, it still had to be determined who owned the land in terms of racial classification. It should also be determined how much was owned by non-citizens. A policy had been finalised and a Bill was being drafted on land management. An active judge would lead the Commission created by this Bill. It would provide for land audits, with powers of subpoena. The land registration system in the Deeds Office could pick up racial classification before 1994, although this was no longer possible. It was also impossible to determine if the owners were judicial or natural persons. An electronic system would put this information at the fingertips of government. An Electronic Registration Bill had been presented to Cabinet.

The Chairperson said that the discussion would be ongoing. The information received would help the Committee to formulate a report. Members now had a better picture of the obstacles and challenges.

Afrikanerbond presentation
Mr Pieter Vorster, Chairman, National Council of the Afrikanerbond, said that the document presented that morning was the only one that should be used in this meeting. Another document held by one of the Members might be from a presentation made at a previous meeting.

The Chairperson said that the document referred to had been provided by the Chief Secretary of the Afrikanerbond, Mr Jan Bosman. He had seen this, but it must have been distributed by the Afrikanerbond and not through the Chief Whip.

Nkosi Mandela said that both documents came from the Afrikanerbond office. Members would interrogate any discrepancies.

Ms M Mabuza (ANC) said that a common understanding was needed. In the previous document, there had been quotes from a book dealing with issues from 1652 onwards. She referred to other books relating to inequality in the country. Even Julius Malema was quoted in the document, and this was provocative and should not be allowed. She could not overlook the electronic document she had received. Tax money could not be wasted. A table presented needed to be questioned. Matters should be discussed in the meeting.

Mr Johnson said that the way forward should be to accept that there was a document circulated, although he did not have a copy of this. The document distributed for this meeting was a background document. He did not see any contradictions, but said that a briefing document was needed for the meeting.

The Chairperson concluded that the document distributed the previous week was a discussion document, and the document now being placed before the meeting was a background.

Ms Steyn said she had not received the document distributed the previous week. She proposed that the meeting continue only to consider the document now placed before the Committee, rather than waste time discussing the validity of the documents.

The Chairperson confirmed that the document distributed that day was the information that would be discussed at the meeting. Members would be free to raise questions arising from other documents after the presentation.

Mr Vorster congratulated the Chairperson on his appointment. He was grateful for the invitation to make this presentation. It was a grotesque task. The meeting had heard about the budget for the renewed claims. The budget amount was equal to 200 000 hectares of grazing land. There was only 1.3 billion hectares in the country. Mr Shabane had indicated, correctly, what the restitution process had been about, and the context of the 1913 Act's usage. This had led to the current situation.

Mr Vorster supported restitution and the rights of people to compensation. However, the country faced something that was not only limited to restitution of land, but was a bigger problem. Members had already indicated the different aspects to the challenge. What the Afrikanerbond proposed was that, regardless of the size of the ship and its course, it should be stopped. The anchor should be lowered while the size, direction and appropriateness of the programme was reconsidered. He was also awaiting the outcome of the land audit. This would give a picture of what was really happening.

Mr Vorster could already estimate the amount and value of land in private ownership. The approach to be followed should be creating the opportunity to reflect on what was known and on what had happened in the past twenty years. A historic perspective had been provided. Tables had been presented in the document of how the process had unwound until 1975.

Mr Vorster had made some conclusions. The application of race ethnics was outdated. It made sense if the intention was to continue the process of separation based on skin colour and ethnicity. This was not the intention of the Constitution, which gave the ownership of the country to all its citizens. There was provision for affirmative action, but this did not mean that there should be white and black land. The classification based on race would become increasingly different in a non-racial society going forward. Even the racial composition of companies was difficult to determine in a society in which people no longer saw themselves as members of a particular ethnic group.

Mr Vorster continued that the simplistic view that skin colour determined the effectiveness of land use was mistaken. Farmers were special people, and not all would succeed. However, there were successful farmers in every nation. Factors such as enthusiasm and training outweighed race.

Mr Vorster said that high potential agricultural land was a scarce commodity, and should not be wasted. Food security was of paramount importance. Available land should be accessed by the best farmers. The rules of land usage should be carefully considered and reviewed, and be applied to all.

Mr Vorster added that land ownership and land usage should be seen as separate issues. There were various forms of ownership, but this did not have much to do with the way land was utilised. Communal and state owned land could be used under a variety of circumstances. The major stumbling block was the lack of financial assistance without ownership. Management principles could be applied to remedy this.

Mr Vorster said that communal land use was an African curse. Global experience was that communal situations were far more productive when individuals received benefit from their efforts. Communal land had led to outrageous misuse of land. The use of land to support the poor had been rejected in most countries. There should rather be a system where individuals should be rewarded for the contributions they made.

Mr Vorster said that the state required instruments to ensure optimal land use. It was in the national interest to ensure that this asset was used properly. Individual interests should not be placed above those of the community. The state should intervene where overstocking or other malpractices occurred. Common norms and standards should be used.

Mr Vorster continued that the market was widely recognised as the best mechanism to ensure that groups and individuals reacted responsibly. When prices failed to give correct signals, indirect signals should be considered. Any interventions should be carefully planned with a view to unintended consequences. Transparency was needed.

Mr Vorster said that expropriation should only be used as a last resort. Indirect mechanisms should first be considered before direct interventions were made. Corruption and bribery could result, and this was already evident in the South African context.

Mr Vorster said that the above perspectives would contribute little if past mistakes were not corrected. Resolutions of Parliament indicated the intentions of government. Land use was skewed and should be optimised. Correct and appropriate principles should be applied.

Mr Vorster then spoke to the mandate of the Committee. He proposed that an optimal solution would only emerge if the root cause was identified. It was evident that restoration of the situation before 1913 had not done this. People might be restored to the land only to leave the land. This would threaten the knowledge of farmers expected to give up their land and provide training. Emerging farmers would also be prejudiced. It was evident that the transition should be managed with the utmost care, to ensure a smooth transition in correcting an historic wrong. The challenge was to provide a viable alternative for the future. Land use rights should be affirmed and corrected. The ultimate goal was efficient land usage. Farmers thrived in a competitive environment, based on economies of scale. Small farmers should stand together and share in capital intensive practices, with the support of big farmers. Only a comprehensive approach would be a sustainable proposition. The foundations were there for land reform debate under different combinations of state and free market ownership.

Mr Vorster said that the most appropriate system should be developed. This was not the replacement of people into the same dysfunctional systems. A comprehensive land ownership system was needed. Viable farm units were needed. When farmers were selected, appropriate qualifications and reward systems should be in place. Infrastructure was needed for training, financial, mechanisation and market access. The farming environment was also subject to risks. Small and subsistence farmers could benefit through co-operative agreements. Opportunities for partnerships promised a win-win solution. It was doubtful if the present proposal would achieve this.

Mr Vorster said that the land claims process should be monitored. Only when the optimal land use system was in place could restitution take place. The merits of the claim should be divorced from land use. Compensation should be a legal process dealt with in court. Land grants should be subject to the findings and considerations considered above. An appropriate monitoring mechanism should be established to review the claims process, and the likely impact on development.

Mr Vorster said that the existing land development programmes should be evaluated. This had still not been done. There were reports of highly productive land being neglected to the point of being unproductive. This was happening in several provinces. Rules must all be clearly spelled out to allow for assessment. Monitoring and evaluation should be an external situation. The referee could not be one of the players. Experience should be used to improve the next cycle. From the historical study of the Afrikanerbond, an amount of R1 billion had been voted in 2004 to restore farms. The DA had evaluated 29% of these farms as being failures, with another 29% likely to fail in the future.

Mr Vorster said that blockages should be removed by a new partnership. Agricultural land was a strategic resource that should be used strategically. Land use should be an evolutionary, not revolutionary, process, conducted within free market principles. Emerging farmers should be encouraged. Systems should be in place to ensure optimal production. Employment opportunities should be created within the sector. Selection criteria for farmers should be established. Fair and consistent interventions were needed. He proposed a strategy that there should be fully compatible standards to encourage emerging farmers. Integrated and sustainable rural developments were needed for bulk purchasing, crop production and weed control. Commercial farmers would feel less threatened. Solutions for food security challenges would be addressed by sound corporate governance. A system should be designed for appropriate intervention strategies. A strategy was needed for farmers to be registered as competent, with provision for training. The rating system for farmers had been an important tool for farmers to evaluate themselves, and the internet could be a tool to improve this process. Project plans should be developed to negotiate service level agreements.

Mr Vorster said that successful land reform would depend on partnership agreements and social compacts, using both top-down and bottom-up approaches. International norms and standards should be developed and applied. Ongoing discussion was needed to build sufficient consensus. Lasting partnerships were needed between business and civil society. Once the plan was adopted, it would be advisable to establish a technical team to oversee implementation. Land reform was an important process, and a policy oversight institution was needed. Focus groups and other forums should also play an oversight role.

Mr Johnson appreciated the elaborate presentation, but asked what exactly the intention of the Afrikanerbond was.

Mr Mandela said he had spoken earlier about contradictions. In another presentation, the Afrikanerbond had made the point that there had been no black nations in the southern part of the country in the seventeenth century. He was a descendent of the Thembu nation. His ancestors had settled in the Eastern Cape, where survivors of a Dutch ship had met with them in 1600. He recounted the lineage of the tribe, which had been resident in the area since the twelfth century. The history of the Thembu had been codified from the sixteenth century. The Xhosa nation had resided as far south as the Sundays River. They had been dispossessed by forces under the leadership of General Graeme. He quoted a historian who was discrediting conventional theories of Difaqane, claiming that this was a construction of the apartheid regime. Much of the alleged violence between the black tribes was actually instigated by slave traders. An immense injustice had occurred where many people had been forcefully removed from their land, and the current generation still felt the impact. Land was a right, and the truth should be told about the historical context.

The Chairperson said that land was an emotive issue, but had to be debated.

Mr Mashanga said that a historical basis was always needed to diagnose a problem. History could not be denied, nor its impact. There had been a history of dispossession even under British rule. African males had been forced to leave the countryside to work on the mines. It was difficult to respond, off the cuff, to the documents that had, for the first time, been presented at this meeting. All positive elements should be taken on board. It was not a case of black people fighting white, but a fight against the previous system.

Ms Mabuza said that one of the motivations for the Land Act in 1913 was to ensure a supply of cheap black labour. Already then, many black men were being drawn to the mines. Farmers could not operate without workers, and they were ignored in the presentation. The document was quiet on Dutch and British colonial rule, and should have gone back before 1913. Parts of what was now Limpopo had been seized by force in the days of the Transvaal Republic. A common understanding was needed.

Mr Swathe asked if the Afrikanerbond was aware of forced removals, and pointed out that some of those removed had been good farmers. He asked what the body's stance was on restitution. Land was part of the culture of the people. People were impoverished by being denied the land.

Ms Steyn appealed to the Afrikanerbond that, when discussing difficult issues, a more reconciliatory tone should be adopted, because often it was not what was said, but how it was said, that created a negative impression. There had been a long history of forced dispossession of land. Full historical background was needed, and clarity was needed on where the various ethnic groups had found themselves, as this was a constant source of debate. One could not move forward without understanding history.

Ms P Ngwenya-Mabila said that efforts had been made to get commercial farmers to partner with beneficiaries. She asked how this had worked out. Beneficiaries were seen as subordinates, while they should have had their capacity strengthened. She asked what was meant by communal land being “an African curse”. The purpose of expropriation needed to be understood. Blacks had not been allowed to own a certain percentage of non-productive land, but the report said that the land given to blacks in 1913 was arable. This was not the truth, from her experience. The intention of land redistribution was to address past injustices.

Ms H Matlanyane (ANC) agreed that honesty was needed. The documents presented only recognised the role of the Afrikaner. There were other historical perspectives, and there were many books to document this. Many Members were from rural provinces and knew the conditions faced by farm workers. This was why Members were so emotional over the issue. The intransigence of the Afrikanerbond tested the tolerance of Members. It was not true to say that the ANC government had done nothing. A lot had been done, but there were challenges. Many of the Afrikanerbond members did not agree with the policy of the current government. This type of approach destroyed family unity, and saw brother killing brother. It was not true to say that blacks could not farm, since they invariably produced enough to feed their families.

Mr Cebekhulu said that the culture of having masters and servants had led to the current situation. He disagreed with the contention that communal land use should cease. This system worked satisfactorily. Those who had no money or power would end up being workers on what should be their own land. Many people would be rendered homeless and landless if the proposal were to be accepted. The system would work far better if there was legislation to ensure that people ran the land themselves. In the past, only women had been left to till the land as the men had been used as migrant labourers. This system had led to the current situation.

Nkosi Mandela said that the document presented did not do justice to the totality of South African history. The problems brought by colonisation had not been considered properly. Dutch and British occupation had left the country scarred. President Mandela was a remarkable icon, and had visited the widow of former Prime Minister Verwoerd. This was an astonishing act of reconciliation. He appealed to the Afrikanerbond to act in like manner. The vast majority of the population was denied access to land and this could not be tolerated. He quoted the case of how a queen had been dispossessed in 1906, resulting in the town of Queenstown being so named. He asked if black South Africans would continue to be confined to the former homeland areas. The model of self-governance imposed by the homeland policy led to blacks being confined to certain territories. President Mandela had refused to be conditionally released to the Transkei. He appealed to the Afrikanerbond to search for the truth in their document.

The Chairperson thought that when President Mandela had stated that South Africa would never again experience oppression, it was a call to regard all South Africans as equals. What he was hearing from Members was a plea for healing. The policy advocated by the Afrikanerbond would in fact lead to the country sinking. He urged that this body should reconsider their stance and refine their language. The term 'Afrikaner' carried a negative message. History could not be changed. The passage of the Act in 1913 had dispossessed the people on a major scale. A situation must be avoided where government lost control over legislation. Leaders could not play with the emotions of the people. The people needed hope for change. The situation in Zimbabwe was a product of the delay in dealing with the situation. South Africa should have learnt from the other African countries who had achieved liberty earlier. He agreed on the need for further engagement. South Africans needed each other to resolve the problem. Those who had grown up in the countryside understood the hardships. It was good that the presentation had been made. However, the presenters must take the opinions expressed by Members to heart. The discussion would have to continue. Those who owned the land previously would have developed it themselves, given the chance. The land issue could be delayed, but that would be a recipe for disaster. The opportunity of managing the land properly should not be lost.

Mr Vorster agreed on the need to interpret history correctly. One very important challenge in understanding the problem from the side of those who had suffered under the 1913 Act was in studying whether those who had acquired land since 1994 had in fact benefited. Given a population of 55 million, if land was given to all people living in South Africa, each person would receive just two hectares. He asked if this would solve the problem. Many people had also invested in the country since 1994 and had bought land legitimately. The need to live on land should be separated from those who wanted to farm on a bigger scale and provide the country with food security. He could not understand what must be done in that regard, other than giving the opportunity to people to become agricultural entrepreneurs.

Mr Vorster acknowledged the restrictions in place under apartheid, but said these had been removed in 1994. The developmental aspect should be separated from land allocated for agricultural business. In many parts of the country, especially on the eastern coast of the country, the land was fertile, with high rainfall. This was critical to the success of farming. Farmers knew how devastating climate changes could be. In the same way, thousands of people who had not been deprived would continue to dream about land. Some would only possess the small piece of land around their urban residence. The land allocated for commercial farming led to a difficult road to walk. If the needs were identified in terms of socio-economic development, then land must be provided. Land for food production should not be compromised. The needs of the citizens were important. Housing was one, and houses were built on land.

Mr Vorster said that there was a specific need in terms of food. It would be very difficult if it was not recognised that there would be privately owned land. The interest on the capital needed to buy land could be subsidised for first-time buyers. It was important not to destroy value. Between 60 and 70% of the current market value of land used for commercial farming was used as collateral. Capital must be distinguished from income. An investor must not be chased away. A plan was needed whereby the equal and open opportunity provided by the Constitution to invest in land could be used. Even a land owner or any other citizen could not be allowed to do as he pleased, in a world where there was only 70 days of food supply. Agricultural land should be used in a responsible manner. The needs of the people must be addressed, while on the other hand there was a need for commercial farming. These two needs must be reconciled.

Mr Vorster said that it was crucial for the country to be independent. He urged Members not to judge the presentations on what was perceived as a misconception of history. He was prepared to engage with the Committee, as there was an important contribution to be made. He was ready to hear what Members had said in their robust interaction, but pleaded that Members listened to the good points he had made. The problem would not be solved easily. All South Africans were in this together. He had bought a farm himself, and invested in it. If the legal basis of this transaction was denied, then the country was in deep trouble. Nowhere in the Constitution did it say that a legal, open transaction could be regarded as illegal. He was prepared to work together with the Committee to find solutions, and he pleaded with Members not to destroy the good work that had been done. He would consider the opinions of Members and pleaded that they do the same, with future discussion in mind.

The Chairperson expressed his appreciation for the inputs made. Not everyone wanted to be a farmer, but there had to be room for those who did. People needed money to buy land, but had been denied the chance to build capital. He did not want to see a lateral intervention. The comments made by the Afrikanerbond opened a door for negotiation. If like-minded organisations accepted the principle of discussing the issues openly then there could be movement. The views stated would be considered when the Committee prepared its report. He appreciated the passion, He excused this delegation as they had to leave for the airport.

Department of Public Works presentation
Ms Magdeline Tshabalala, Acting Chief Director: AIM, Department of Public Works, outlined the purpose of the presentation. DPW was the custodian of public land. An auditable asset register had to be maintained. A joint initiative in this regard was under way. One of the key aspects was releasing public land for land reform.

Ms Tshabalala described the process. DRDLR made a request for land. Once the validity of the claim was established, and it was confirmed that the land was nationally owned, it could be released. Since 1 April 1997 DPW had released 661 hectares for restoration and 21 079 hectares for redistribution. Once the Housing Development Agency (HDA) had identified land it was made available for human settlements. Since 1 April 2009, 1 465 hectares had been released for human settlements.

Ms Tshabalala said that DPW supported the rural development programme. It also supported integrated urban development. DPW would unlock the potential of its collective asset base.

Ms Tshabalala said that there were constraints. There was insufficient information on state-owned land. There was insufficient planning in the long and medium terms by users. A strategic approach was not being followed. Some claims did not have the required documentation. DPW was not always able to avail claimed properties for restoration, owing to other committed users.

Ms Tshabalala sketched the way forward. Custodial asset registers should be enhanced. Departments should co-operate on their long term accommodation requirements. Regional land claims commissions should ensure the completeness of accompanying documents. The custodial forum should be championed.

Mr Andre Meyering, Director: Property Policy Unit, DPW, said that the most common property requirement was for essential infrastructure and for conservation. The general framework for expropriation was outlined in section 25 of the Constitution. No law could result in arbitrary deprivation of property, and just and equitable compensation had to be paid. National needs were the need to address land reform and the preservation of natural resources.

Mr Meyering said that the Expropriation Act pre-dated the Constitution. It set out the procedures to be followed. A review was necessary to ensure consistency with the Constitution. Compensation was generally limited to the holders of legitimate rights, but the Constitution extended protection to holders of unregistered rights. Expropriation was determined by property values. Compensation should take all relevant circumstances into account. The Act of 1975 did not embody the principles of just administrative action. There was no provision around the intention to expropriate. Not all affected persons had to be notified. There was no opportunity for making objections. Authorities were not enjoined to consider all inputs before proceeding.

Mr Meyering said that an array of authorities were able to employ the powers of expropriation. Twelve Ministers, many provincial authorities and all municipal authorities had the power to expropriate. There was a need for certainty and guidance for both parties involved. Uniform procedures should be prescribed.

Mr Meyering said that the Minister of RDLR had three pieces of legislation allowing for expropriation, and the same applied to the Minister of Agriculture. The Minister of Arts and Culture could also expropriate. The draft Expropriation Bill had been advertised for six weeks, and extensive submissions from all spheres of society had been received.

Most of the comments were positive with a range of advice to improve the legislation. Some had been embodied in the Bill, which was now being considered by the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac). This process should be over by the end of August, and the Bill should come to Parliament by October.

Mr Meyering highlighted certain aspects of the Bill. The procedures would be applicable to all levels of government. Actions would be subject to the procedures included in the Bill. The powers of the Minister would be confirmed. The Bill was a guideline, containing much detail normally found only in regulations. However, DPW felt it important to include a level of detail in the Bill.

Mr Meyering said that the first phase would be an investigative one, ascertaining the need to obtain a particular building. Then a notice of intention would be published. If the expropriation were to continue, a detailed notice would be sent. There was a process to deal with claims, particularly those with unregistered rights, who could make a claim for compensation. There was a verification process. There was a process to negotiate compensation.

Mr Meyering continued that DRDLR would play a cardinal role in determining the validity of claims of unregistered rights. There was a focus on the process of negotiating compensation. Affected holders of rights and owners would have an opportunity to substantiate their claims, with their own supporting documents. Every effort would be made for parties to reach a just and equitable result. The Court would be the final arbiter.

Nkosi Mandela said that there was an indication of 661 hectares released for exploration purposes. He asked in which provinces these allocations had been made and who the beneficiaries were. These success stories were not being communicated to the public, giving the impression that government was doing nothing.

Nkosi Mandela said that he came from a community that prided itself on the new political dispensation, and on the national symbols. When talking about development, everybody wanted to participate. A community worker had seen her house demolished as it stood in the way of a new road and bridge, and she was now forced to “squat” between various households. She still did not have access to a house, despite assurance from government. He asked how long the process took to be concluded. Other members of the community had still not been compensated for roads built across their fields.

Ms Ngwenya-Mabila asked what the financial implications would be of the Expropriation Bill. She asked what the turnaround time would be for the release of land. She asked if the regional commissioners were aware of the documentation that was required in making claims.

Ms Nomashu, MPL, Limpopo, welcomed the presentations made. She wanted to understand if quality management in DPW was in place. This was essential for every government department.

Ms D Nhlengethwa (ANC) said that although legislation on immovable properties had been passed at national and provincial level, most public property was owned at local government level. There were disputes at provincial and local levels. Rentals were not paid by provincial government as the local government did not know whether to claim from the DPW or the provincial department. In most cases the Deeds Office had problems in determining the ownership. She asked how this could be addressed.

Ms Steyn had checked on the origin of the name of Queenstown, but the source she saw was the town was named after Queen Victoria. Even a Google search of the town showed nothing about Queen Manesti.

Ms Steyn said that if appropriate land was to be sourced, this could not be done without a complete land audit. This could not be stressed enough.

Mr Swathe asked about the time frame for expropriation, particularly for objections.

Mr Mashanga asked if there was absolute control over the land. People should be empowered to do better with domestic cultivation. In some cases people had been removed in order to build a dam. Where homes were demolished in the process of expropriation, alternate housing should be provided.

Ms Ngcengwane asked if any inventory check was done on the equipment on a farm. Government would have to buy replacement equipment. She asked if there was any training on the maintenance of this equipment.

Ms Tshabalala said she would provide a list of areas that had benefited from land reform. The land was released to DRDLR, the Department of Human Settlements (DHS) and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). Reporting on the actions taken by DPW could be improved. The turnaround time once all documentation was submitted was four months. There was still engagement on the regional claims offices. DPW was working on the development on user forums.

Mr Meyering said that the Bill would address a critical area by bringing in just compensation. Compensation could be in the form of money, in which case there were strict time lines with interest being levied. There was a time frame for agreement on alternative accommodation, but this was not legislated. The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) often had to displace communities to build dams, and they had forged relationships with local government to provide alternate accommodation. The financial implications would be unpacked in detail when the Bill was ready. All persons should be informed twice, firstly of the intention to expropriate and when the expropriation was finalised. Documents should be served on owners and affected persons. There would be a financial impact. The periods were thirty days, extendible to sixty, to reach consensus on appropriation.

In regard to local authorities, he noted that state land was listed as property of the Republic. If it was unclear who the owner was, national government would take responsibility. The Forestry Act made the Minister the custodian of the land, trees and any amenities in proclaimed forestry areas.

Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Presentation
Mr Mortimer Mannya, Acting Director General, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said that this Department (DAFF) would implement a number of policies and structures in support of the land reform policy. A food security policy would be taken to Cabinet so that the 13 million vulnerable people would have access to household production. A policy on smallholder development was being prepared. Irrigation schemes would be brought back into production. There would be a framework to support mechanisation. Land reform beneficiaries would have access to training. The training institutions would be transferred to the Department of Higher Education (DHE).

Mr Mannya said that the small-holders producer support strategy would be supported in order to encourage sustainable livelihoods and rural development. A number of strategies had been introduced in recent years to strengthen the capacity of extension personnel. A mechanisation program had been introduced to enable farmers to be supported through co-operatives or provincial government. He listed the types of equipment supported.

Mr Mannya said that the Ilima-Letsema programme would support food security. Underutilised land in rural and communal areas would be brought back into production to ensure household food security. Once farmers received land, the budget had not to date matched their needs. There would be a requirement to match development and production capital. Where fruit trees were concerned, the trees might have deteriorated due to a lack of maintenance and might need to be replanted. People might need capital to finance the equipment needed. Some replanning might be needed on the use of farms. Some farms might need to be subdivided.

Mr Mannya said that legal entities might have to be established in some cases. Productivity might decline in the process. This would impact on food security and exports. DAFF should not be taken by surprise if this were to happen. There was already a backlog on the provision of resources and this might get worse.

Mr Mannya said that the Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme (CASP) had seen an allocation of R5.8 million since the 2004/05 FY. The Ilima-Letsema project would boost production. R8 billion would be needed to support production on 1 million hectares. Even more would be needed as more land was included in the programme. The Mafisa project was a financial scheme to provide low cost loans. An insurance product was being developed to support small-scale farmers.

Mr Mannya showed how the amounts allocated had increased (see attached presentation for full details). In the 2012/13 FY the figure had been R1.5 million. Thousands of households had benefited from the programmes.

Nkosi Mandela asked how long it would take to revitalise the irrigation schemes. The process had been ongoing for two years, without tangible results. He asked what had been delivered in terms of mechanisation. There was a rumour of 72 tractors having been given to the provinces, but then claimed by provincial governments instead of going to beneficiaries. He asked if this meant that the province would be providing a service. One tractor had been stolen in December 2012 and had been recovered in May 2013 in a badly damaged condition. Where communities were robbed of such deliverables, the machinery should be secured and properly serviced. Tractors were often brought to the communities and left exposed to the elements. He asked what DAFF was doing to ensure shelter for these assets.

Nkosi Mandela asked about the targeted hectarage per provinces. Some 150 000 hectares had been restored under traditional councils in the Eastern Cape. He asked what relationship there was to ensure that the traditional councils served the communities.

Ms Ngwenya-Mabila asked why there had been a drop in spending. She asked if mechanisation support was being provided in concert with DRDLR. She stressed that post-settlement support was needed. The Department could give one or a thousand tractors, but they needed to be used effectively. She asked who had the right to use these tractors.

She asked what the criteria were for accessing CASP. People had benefited from Mafisa, but she asked if people were generally aware of this option, and if the beneficiaries were able to repay the loans. She asked what had happened with the mechanisation tools distributed in the Free State, and said that the same investigation may be needed also in other provinces.

Ms Nomashu asked about the revitalisation of irrigation schemes. This was especially the case in Limpopo, where some schemes were not operating and were “white elephants”. She had been embarrassed when hosting a delegation from the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). She had seen the same problem in Mpumalanga.

Ms Nhlengethwa said that many tractors were allowed to rot in the fields.

Ms Mabuza asked how tractors could be provided without providing fertilizer and seeds. Communities were given between 20 and 30 tractors in the Free State. Members of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture had continued to raise the issue, only to be told that once the tractors were given, it was no longer the responsibility of DAFF. Small emerging farmers were often given land full of weeds, which took over huge tracts of land, and farmers complained that their animals were being killed. An astonishing amount of water was consumed by alien plants.

Ms Mabuza noted that a question had been raised over ownership of coastal lands. DPW was unable to answer this. She asked how DPW could de-oxygenate dams without knowing who owned the dams.

Ms Mabuza made the point that there was a lot of forestry land in Worcester. Mayors were asking for assistance in determining the ownership of forestry land. People were unable to determine the ownership of underground assets. The South African National Defence Force had a system of detecting land-mines, but it was apparently unable to use this to determine mineral assets.

Ms Steyn asked if the control of agricultural colleges had been transferred to Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) as yet. A question to the Minister had been referred back to the DAFF. She had visited some areas that revealed a general ignorance of what DAFF programmes were being instituted. The Portfolio Committee on Agriculture was not aware of these programmes. The names changed almost as often as the Directors General. The estimated funding to support beneficiaries was R8 billion, but she had seen amounts of R3 billion on CASP and Ilima-Letsema. DAFF kept presenting different figures. The Northern Cape had only spent 37% of its CASP budget. DRDLR should not be supporting recapitalisation. Their responsibility was buying land, but recapitalisation should fall under DAFF. This Department must improve its performance. It was DAFF's responsibility to get people farming. Earlier in 2013, the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture had been told that 65 000 hectares had been ploughed, but the DAFF had later reported 61 000 hectares ploughed across the country. That Committee had visited the Free State two weeks previously, but had not seen a single tractor or an irrigation scheme.

Mr Swathe said that several beneficiary farmers in Limpopo did not seem to know about CASP. He asked if the recipients of Mafisa loans were using the money effectively. He asked if there was a limitation on the same people being granted loans year after year. Most of the farmers he had spoken to in Limpopo were not getting government assistance.

Mr Mashanga asked if there was a plan to see if those given farms had the capacity to use the land effectively.

Mr Matabane, MPL, Limpopo, knew of some irrigation schemes that had flourished. He asked if these had been refurbished.

Ms Ngcengwane asked what the condition was of the tractors that had been given. She asked how many had been stolen. Where this had happened, she asked what actions had been taken.

The Chairperson asked that the answers be kept very brief, but that further responses be provided in writing. Members' time was limited and their transport would soon be leaving.

Mr Mannya responded that irrigation schemes, once developed, often experienced problems with institutional arrangements. In one scheme, members had sat with R2 million in the bank arguing about who should receive the money. Mobilisation, plans and designs normally took eighteen months, after which funds would be made available. It cost about R102 per hectare to develop a scheme.

Mr Mannya conceded that there had been some teething problems with the mechanisation campaign. Tractors were transferred to the provinces' asset register. They had to be managed like any other government asset. There were variations within provinces. In some cases, the units had been put under the control of the co-operatives.

Mr Mannya said that the issue of invasive plants was being addressed under land care. The land should be restored. Underspending in the Northern Cape was the result of the high allocation to pay for a disaster. An engineer had died, and it had been difficult to find a replacement.

He confirmed that DAFF was working with DRDLR. Once farms were purchased, there were not adequate funds under CASP to satisfy the requirements.

Mr Mannya said that if fruit trees were not properly fertilised, the damage might be evident only two years later. Trees would then have to recover or be replaced.

Mr Mannya said that the process with the colleges was ongoing. At present DAFF was financing them until the final transfer.

The Chairperson asked for the balance of the answers to be provided, in writing, by 21 August.

Agenda items
The Chairperson said that the discussion on the draft Report on the Workshop would have to be deferred.

He reminded Members that there would be a follow-up workshop, on 23 and 24 August, in Stellenbosch, to deal with the issues raised during the workshop in June. Some outside presenters would assist.
Minutes of meeting of 6 August 2013
Ms C Mabuza (ANC) moved that the minutes be adopted, with some corrections, and Members agreed.

The meeting was adjourned.

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