The Committee considered and adopted its report on the Legacy of the Natives Land Act of 1913. Members said that all relevant departments should play a role in helping the Department of Public Works. In addition, they mentioned that lessons learned from the failures of land redistribution should be included in the recommendations, land beneficiaries should be taught about the implications of forming a Trust and the Department of Rural Development and Land Claims Commission should go back to those areas mentioned in the report to address the concerns of the communities. Members further stressed that the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform should be given a deadline to act on the recommendations. A Member felt that the Office of the Land Valuer-General did not exist as yet so it should not be mentioned in the report. The Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform attended the meeting and thanked the Members for heir contribution. She said that her Department would be working on all the recommendations and had already acted on some of them.
Welcome and Apologies
The Chairperson welcomed everyone and stated that Nkosi Z Mandela (ANC), Prince B Zulu (ANC) and Mr S Mokgalapa (DA) had tendered their apologies.
Report of Committee to Exercise Coordinated Oversight on Legacy of the Natives Land Act of 1913
The Chairperson said that the meeting would proceed even thought there was no quorum. He reminded Members that the deadline for the Committee was 22 October 2013. Members were expected to have read the report. He then went through the report page by page and touched on the contributions of Members and the recommendations. (see report)
Ms N Dambuza (ANC) said that the report was silent on nation building.
Ms A Steyn (DA) suggested that the Committee should also learn from the failures of land redistribution and that those lessons should be included in the recommendation. He referred to the recommendations in paragraph 8.2.3 and suggested that the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries should play a supporting role to the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
Mr M Swathe (DA) referred to paragraph 8.1.6 and said that the Office of the Land Valuer-General did not exist as yet so land expropriation could not proceed before the post had been filled. He then suggested that the sentence should be changed.
Mr N Van Der Berg (DA) suggested that the Department of Arts and Culture should be involved because some heritage sites and graves would be affected by land restitution. In addition, he stated that the “people on the ground” were dissatisfied with problems related to land restitution. He further suggested that government should try and do something and act to address those grievances.
Ms Dambuza suggested that the Department of Rural Development and the Chief Land Claims Commissioner should go back to those areas to address the concerns of the communities. People often looked up to parliamentarians to help them. The issue of expropriation fell under the Department of Public Works. Finally, she suggested that the Department of Human Settlements should play a supporting role.
Ms P Ngwenya Mabila (DA) referred to paragraph 8.4.3 and pointed out that the Expropriation Bill was being dealt with by the Department of Public Works and not the Department of Human Settlements.
Ms Dambuza explained that all relevant departments should play a role in helping the Department of Public Works.
The Chairperson concurred with this statement.
Mr L Johnson (ANC) referred to page 32, 2.4 and said that irrigation necessitated the involvement of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. He added that the vision should be aligned to the National Development Plan.
The Chairperson suggested that the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform should be given a deadline to act on the recommendations. He added that the Office of the Land Valuer-General did not exist as yet so it should not be mentioned in the recommendations.
Mr Swathe said that the Office of the Land Valuer-General would be established soon so there was no harm in mentioning it.
The Chairperson inserted the word “envisaged” before the words “Office of the Valuer General” in paragraph 8.1
Ms Steyn questioned the constitutionality of mentioning the Office of the Land Valuer-General as if it already existed. The Committee should not pre-empt legislation. She also suggested that the Department of Justice should look at the issue of trusts because a lot of people did not understand the implications of forming Trusts and Communal Property Associations (CPA).
Ms Dambuza said that communities opted for Trust while they did not know how it would affect them.
Ms Pam Tshwete, Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, thanked the contribution of the Members. She said that her Department would be working on all the recommendations. Some of the issues were already acted upon.
The Chairperson noted that there were sufficient Members present and the Committee could therefore adopt the report.
Ms P Xaba (ANC) moved for the adoption of the report, Ms Steyn seconded the motion. The report was adopted.
The Chairperson said that the report would be published in the ATC on 21 October 2013.
The meeting was adjourned.
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