The Portfolio Committee held a strategic planning session with a number of briefings on different aspects of rural development, land and tenure reform covered. The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform presented its strategic plan and outlined some of the main achievements in land claims settled and support to Community Property Associations. 6339 land parcels were confirmed as vested between April 2009 to December 2015 and 12 379 hectares of State land were made available for sustainable human settlements since April 2009. 1 488 241 hectares of land were acquired and 1 496 farms were recapitalised and developed. 2 202 farmers were trained under farmers skills development. 5 473 jobs were created in the last year. Nine Bills, including the Deeds Registries Amendment Bill would be submitted to Cabinet with specific target dates. Figures for households producing their own food, settlement of land claims, progress in lodgement offices and mobile offices were set out. The Land Claims Commission had developed a stand-alone Strategic Plan for the period 2015-2020 for the restitution programme. The costs for the Communal Land and Communal Property Amendment Bills were summarised.
The Ingonyama Trust Board briefed the Committee, outlining the figures for conclusion of land tenure rights, and the position on transfer of towns. Land was made available for housing infrastructure purposes to the Department of Human Settlements as 20 development rights agreements were concluded, and projects on Ingonyama Trust Land were described. Workshops had been held over the last five years on land management. 120 educational awards valued at R939 000 were given. Royalty income from mining had decrease, and was now being paid directly to the State, and the Board had held workshops to monitor mining activities. Its strategic objectives were to provide effective monitoring and evaluation systems, ensure better performance management and provide secured tenure rights to facilitate development on Ingonyama Trust Land. The Board was currently funded from its trading activities and from the transfer payment received from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. It noted the qualified audit reports arising out of difficulties in valuing the land.
Members were concerned that no mention was made of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act and asked how effective it was, discussed the possible solutions to land grabs by traditional rulers, noted complaints from small scale farmers about the Departmental staff and asked that this be addressed. They questioned the vacant posts pointing out that the organogram was not aligned to the budget, questioned the impact of the vacant posts, insisted that legislation be tabled on time, asked about NarySec learners who had not received their certificates, and asked how the restitution process would unfold effectively. They asked about decreases in the royalties, and what the Department was doing to include traditional rulers.
The Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian studies(PLAAS) briefed the Committee on restitution, redistribution and farm tenure reforms. Nearly 30 000 claims had not yet been finalised, 7 226 claims were ungazetted, 1 507 claims were gazetted but not settled. 8008 claims were partially settled and 12 584 were fully settled but not finalized. The three cycles of land redistribution were summarised with numbers of people displaced and evicted from farms. At the current pace, it was estimated that it would take 144 years to complete land claims and restitution so it was necessary to investigate how to prioritise old claims. Upcoming legislation included Extension of Security of Tenure Amendment Bill, Expropriation Bill and Communal Property Associations Amendment Bill. Oversight would include looking into the current status of the White Paper, and how money was allocated and spent. In 2015/16 the funding available for restitution was R2. 6 billion, compared to R3. 4 billion in 2013. Members asked about the role of municipalities in the ESTA implementation and existing land rights facilities, asking how it applied to the rural communities. They commented that the reporting framework had been problematic for some time, despite following the guidelines and statistics, but were aware that action rather than statistics was needed. It had been problematic to try to coordinate all other departments in rural development efforts and asked how the period for settlements could be reduced. Some Members commented that the Expropriation Bill would have great potential to advance land rights, and asked how the communities who had lost land would be able to get it back.
The Land and Accountability Research Centre (LARC), UCT, noted that the Interim Protection of Informal Land Rights Act (IPILRA) 1996 provided protection for all people living on communal land in the former Bantustans, people living on trust land, and people who previously had Permissions to Occupy (PTOs). However, this Act was routinely ignored and undermined, and people living on Ingonyama Trust Land were told the land belonged to the King. Some traditional leaders insisted they had sole authority to represent the communities or call meetings. Massive amounts were charged for ‘khonza’ fees for land allocation, and those who could not pay were denied proof of address letters. Traditional Council democratisation had failed. The Centre highlighted the problems with Ingonyama Trust's qualified audits over many years and said that it was still treating the land as its own property, and had failed to call elections in Limpopo in the 13 years after the legislation was passed. The Centre suggested that the Act should be amended to make it permanent, and explicitly protect occupation rights of women. Members appreciated the input and agreed that the issue of women's rights needed more space for discussion. However they noted that democracy was about the people and AbaThembu could not be shaped as in the apartheid era, and much work remained to transform traditional institutions. Members asked where the khonza fees went, if interest was paid, what was done where people could not pay and why royalties were paid to the Ingonyama Trust. Some Members were aware of traditional councillors in place who had not attended any meetings and noted that oversight visits would be necessary to ascertain the truth.
The Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation briefed the Committee on Outcome 7, to be achieved through six priorities, including improved land administration and spatial planning for integrated development in rural areas. High impact agricultural targets included specific targeted increases in sales of agro-processing, an annual increase in gross value add for Agriculture Forestry & Fisheries, job increases, up to 500 000 by 2019 and 1 million by 2030. Food inflation of 12% was likely because of drought. Sustainable agrarian reform depended on the fast-track implementation of the 9-point Plan with cooperatives, smallholder farmers and SMMEs. It recommended that the Department of Rural Development and Land reform must address the challenges around trusts and communal property associations, settle land claims, and amend the Land Restitution Act to correct the known bias, as well as improve efficiency in water use.
The Auditor General South Africa reported on the outcomes of the Department and entities over the last five years. In the last financial year, the Ingonyama Trust board audit had been qualified with findings, while the Departments, Deeds and Agricultural Land Holdings Account were unqualified with findings. The quality of financial statements in general improved, but the Trust required intervention. Performance reports for the Trust were good, but Deeds and ALHA required intervention, and Deeds required intervention in supply chain management. Financial health for Deeds, the Trust and DRD in the last four years was good. Human resource management improved as information Technology regressed. There was an improvement in leadership, financial and performance management and governance, but the root cause of stagnant or limited progress included slow response by management, instabilities and vacancies. The percentage breakdown of the budget was described. Members questioned the efforts made to amend the restitution process, and were sorry that the Chairperson of the Trust had left before this presentation. They asked what could be done to address the decline of employment in farming areas.
Chairperson/s opening remarks
The Chairperson expressed her apologies for the late start and introduced the workshop by noting the importance of public involvement, and the assistance from external stakeholders and the offices of the Auditor-General (AGSA), the Public Protector and other Chapter 9 institutions. She outlined the role of the Portfolio Committee and its relationship with the Department, stressing that it derived its mandate from the Constitution and Rules of Parliament, and the importance of tracking its resolutions and progress.
Mr Eugene Southgate, Deputy Director General, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, tendered apologies from the Minister, Mr Gugile Nkwinti, Deputy Ministers Ms Candith Mashego-Dlamini and Mr Mcebisi Skwatsha who were attending a Cabinet function.
Briefing by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform
Mr A Madella (ANC) chaired the first session.
Mr Southgate presented the statistics and plans for the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR or the Department). He outlined the progress, limitations, implementation of policy priorities and strategic interventions over the last five years as follows:
- 98 applications were settled during 2013/14 financial year (FY)
- 89 CPAs were supported to be compliant with legislation in 2015/16 FY
- 6339 land parcels were confirmed as vested from April 2009 to December 2015 as 12 379 hectares of State land were made available for sustainable human settlements since April 2009
- 1 488 241 hectares of land were acquired under proactive land acquisition as 1 496 farms were recapitalised and developed
- 2 202 farmers were trained under farmers skills development as 5 473 jobs were created in the period under review.
- 10 268 households produced their own food as key programmes included Land reform, Land Administration and Management, Rural Development, Poverty alleviation and unemployment reduction.
- 1 745 land claims were settled as 877 claims were finalised from 2009 to March 2015. 123 571 claims had been lodged as at 19 January 2016
- A total of 14 lodgement offices and six mobile offices were fully operational in 2014
- The Deeds Registries Amendment Bill would be submitted to Cabinet for approval for publication and public comments in February 2016. Nine Bills were targeted for the Year 2016/2017 with committed dates, and examples were cited as the Property Association Amendment Bill (planned to go to Cabinet for gazetting, and for public comment February 2016] Communal Land Tenure Bill [to Cabinet for Gazetting for Public Comment March 2016] Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill [to Cabinet for Gazetting for Public Comment March 2016].
In response to the autonomy of the Commission for Restitution of Land Rights (the Commission), the Commission had developed a stand-alone Strategic Plan for the period 2015-2020 for submission to Parliament in March 2015.
The Department had a staff complement of 4 635 to perform the functions and deliver services and 425 vacant posts had been advertised at different operational and management levels. Mr Southgate added that the selection process were under way to enhance delivery of services in line with the operational plan of the department. He said the organogram was currently being reviewed and aligned to the mandate and service delivery programmes as the project would be completed at the end of the financial year (2015/2016). He added that the Department was currently undertaking a skills audit so as to ensure availability of required skills to implement its mandate.
He set out a summary of total cost over all three phases (2016-2035) for the Communal Land Rights Act Amendment Bill as R49 683 240 301 with the average total cost per annum at R2 484 162 015. Summary of total cost over all three phases (2016-2025) for the Communal Property Associations Amendment Bill was R4 089 720 000, as the average total cost per annum was R408 972 000. The total cost for the Regulation of Land Holdings Bill was R21 775 949 953, as the average annual cost over 20 years was R1 088 797 498. He added that due to the economic climate in the country the Department had been required by National Treasury to reduce its costs which meant that there was a COE deficit over each year of the MTEF, of about R1 042 720. 85.
Ingonyama Trust Board briefing
Judge Jerome (SJ) Ngwenya, Chairperson, Ingonyama Trust Board briefed the Portfolio Committee on the strategic planning for the Ingonyama Trust Board (the Board or ITB). He said the number of tenure rights concluded were 230 in the 2010/11 FY; 618 in 2011/12 FY; 856 in 2012/13 FY; 1 157 in 2013/14 FY and 1 100 in 2014/15 FY. Four land holding registers were maintained on a quarterly basis in the period 2011/12 to 2014/15. 24 towns had been transferred from former KwaZulu R293 towns, but those in Mpumalanga were still outstanding due to the underlying land legal issue. He said land was made available for housing infrastructure purposes to the Department of Human Settlements (DHS) as 20 development rights agreements were concluded to build 43 000 units in 2014. The projects on ITB land in as set out in the strategic plan 2010-2015 included the following: Jozini Tiger Lodge (Hotel Development) and Jozini Town Centre (Land Audit) which were established in 2010/11; Hammarsdale Junction (Retail property development) in 2011/12. RBM Zulti South (Mining) was achieved in 2014/15 FY.
Five traditional communities workshops were held on land management issues in 2010/11. 18 workshops were held in 2011/12. 23 workshops were held in 2012/13 and also 2013/14, and 31 were held in 2014/15.
ITB had achieved its target of granting 120 educational awards valued at R939 000, in the 2014/15 FY, as the Board disbursed funds to beneficiary communities following requests such as administration costs/salary of certain traditional councils; cultural events; uniforms; expenditure for erection of communal gardens/fencing.
Office accommodation for the ITB was limited but it was helped by a few offices with the Department of Rural Development but in 2011 the Board constructed its own office accommodation and moved there.
Judge Ngwenya noted that the mining operators on Ingonyama Trust Board land are now paying royalties over to the State, and royalty income had decreased from R16 million in 2009/2010 to less than R1 million in 2014/2015. Previously, royalty revenue was credited to the account of beneficiary communities.
In relation to the audit certificates, Judge Ngwenya noted that the ITB had received qualified certificates for many years because it had been unable to value its land according to the General Recognised Accounting Practice standards, but the ITB had proposed to both the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) and the Accountant General that it should have a less expensive method of valuing the land, and the Board had initiated the valuation process using valuers and candidate valuers.
Significant ITB strategic objectives for 2015 to 2020 were to provide effective monitoring and evaluation systems to the ITB, ensure performance management in ITB, provide secured tenure rights to facilitate development on Ingonyama Trust Land, and provide support to beneficiary communities to improve food security and training to traditional Councils.
The Ingonyama Trust Board had held workshops with AmaKhosi, mining communities and mining service providers to monitor mining activities on Trust land. The policies were in the process of being reviewed as the organogram was being established. ITB was currently funded from its trading activities and from the transfer payment received from the Department.
Mr P Mnguni (ANC) pointed out that Mr Southgate did not mention the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA) in the presentation and wondered if it was effective and would stand up to scrutiny. He asked what could be done in a situation where land grabbing was rampant and where traditional rulers were accused of being involved.
Mr Southgate replied that there was a shift in legislation to deal with the management of land as the local authorities did not have the funds to promulgate the laws. He added that if there were no regulations in place, there would be problems.
Mr Madella said there were complaints about the behaviour and attitude of Departmental staff from small scale farmers,and this would have to be addressed.
The Chairperson said the indication was that the vacant posts could not be filled. Over the past five years the organogram was not aligned to the budget, and she wondered what was the situation now. She commented that legislation must be tabled to Parliament on time as she questioned what efforts were in place to ensure that the specific dates were adhered to.
Mr Southgate replied that the Department had to wait for a go-ahead from the Minister. He said the dates provided were within the DRDLR's control but it had no control over the parliamentary system.
The Chairperson asked how restitution would be done, noting that the Commission was autonomous. She asked also what impact the 415 vacant posts would have on the Department if they were not filled.
Mr Southgate replied that the Department was coming up with ways to minimise the impact
The Chairperson questioned the status of some of the learners under the National Rural Youth scheme (NARYSEC) who had not received their certificates.
Mr Southgate replied that the Department was expecting 1 279 certificates, adding that it was working to see the release of those certificates.
The Chairperson asked about the uniform policy of the ITB. She asked why there had been a decrease in the royalties, and what measures were in place to ensure that the traditional rulers were involved.
Mr Ngwenya replied that the policy on uniforms must be seen in the context of funds that belonged to a particular community. The decrease in royalties should be seen as logical; it was not that the royalties disappeared but they accumulated elsewhere. The Committee had taken decisions to facilitate discussions between ITB and the AGSA.
Mr E Nchabeleng (ANC) asked what was “vested interest” as referred to in the presentation.
Mr Siyabonga Mdubeki, Acting Chief Surveyor-General, DRDLR replied that it was an administration process to do with the conferring of land.
Restitution, Redistribution and farm tenure reform: Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) briefing
Professor Ruth Hall, Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian studies (PLAAS) briefed the Portfolio Committee on the restitution, redistribution and farm tenure reforms. She quoted a speech by Cyril Ramaphosa, then-Secretary-General of the ANC, at the Land Redistribution Options Conference, in Johannesburg, in October 1993, who had said “the massively unequal distribution of land is not just the unfortunate legacy of apartheid; it is the totally unacceptable continuation of apartheid”. The Chief Land Claims Commissioner said in August 2013 that nearly 30 000 claims had not yet been finalised. In addition, 7 226 claims were ungazetted, 1 507 claims were gazetted but not settled, 8 008 claims were partially settled, and 12 584 were fully settled but not finalized. She said there were three cycles of land redistribution. From 1994 to 1999 (referred to as the SLAG years) there were R16 000 household grants, large groups and whole-farm projects, as there was priority on settlement and multiple livelihoods. The second cycle from 2000-2006 (LRAD years) showed around 100 000 individual grants, small groups, and whole-farm projects, as priority was on commercial farming, but there was also a ‘safety net’. The last cycle, 2006 to the present (PLAS/SLLDP years) involved state purchase of land exclusively from 2011, allocation on leaseholds with option to purchase, but the priority was unclear and as broad as land restitution and development (LRAD).
Between 1984 and 1993, 1 832 000 people were displaced from farms and 737 000 others were evicted from farms. In 1994 to 2004, 2 351 000 people were displaced from farms and 942 000 people were evicted from farms. 469 000 people displaced from farms and 93 000 others evicted from farms were now living on other farms but 3 716 000 of those displaced from farms and 1 586 000 of those evicted from farms were permanently living now off farms.
Prof Hall said that it would take 144 years to complete the land claims and restitution process at the current pace, and it was thus high time for critical questions about the re-opening of the restitution process and the impact it had on claims submitted between 1995 and 1998. She added that there should be an investigation on how the old claims could be prioritised.
Legislation in the pipeline included the Extension of Security of Tenure (ESTA) Amendment Bill, Expropriation Bill, Communal Property Associations (CPA) Amendment Bill, Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework (PDALF) Bill, Regulation of Landholdings Bill, Communal Land Tenure Bill. She noted that there was nothing planned on redistribution. She suggested that the oversight priorities were to track the White Paper, to examine how much money was allocated, and what for, and to check what was happening on the ground. Finally she summarised the funds for restitution in 2013/14 (R3 390 000 000 and capital was R3 030 000 000) and 2014/15 (total R2 680 000 000 and capital R2 310 000 000) and for 2015/16 and other years there was an estimate of R2 600 000 000 as total and R2 120 000 000 as capital.
The Chairperson questioned the role of the municipalities in the implementation of the ESTA Amendment Bill. She asked to what extent there were land rights facilities in existence.
Professor Hall replied that the municipalities should respond by submitting to the Court all the requirements. She added that having institutions to manage land rights was a good idea
The Chairperson said the Portfolio Committee had battled with the reporting framework for a long time and it was one of the reasons the Committee had invited Professor Hall to the workshop. The Committee had followed the guidelines, but the Committee needed more than the statistics to solve the problems of the people.
Professor Hall replied that there was a need for workshops on what kind of information the Portfolio Committee would need from the DRDLR.
The Chairperson said it had been a huge task for the DRDLR to co-ordinate rural development matters across other departments.
Professor Hall replied that implementing and co-ordinating rural development were two different matters. She said it was very difficult for one department to co-ordinate in others, but suggested that it might be a good idea to try to hold broader workshops on these issues.
Mr Mnguni said there was a need to navigate the post-democratic era in South Africa and check how land fitted in. He wondered how the projected 144 year timeframe for completing the land claims and restitution could be shortened to around 50 years. He said the Expropriation Bill had a lot of potential to advance the issues of land rights.
Professor Hall replied that a reduction in the number of years was possible if there was clarity on where the outstanding claims were, how much land was involved and the cost of restituting such land.
Mr Nchabeleng asked how the ESTA Amendment Bill applied to the rural community as the rightful traditional owners in some places had been deposed and evicted from their land, and replaced by others. He asked how such communities could benefit by getting back the lands that were lost.
Professor Hall replied that ESTA applied to commercial farming areas and it did not apply to the areas Mr Nchabeleng mentioned. ESTA could however help people who had been evicted as the Minister had the power to address restitution claims.
Land Tenure in Communal Area: Progress and policy constraints: Land and Accountability Research Centre (LARC)
Dr Aninka Claassens: Director, Land and Accountability Research Centre, said that the Centre (LARC) was formerly known as the Centre for Law and Society, UCT. Her presentation covered the progress and policy constraints to land tenure in communal areas. The Interim Protection of Informal Land Rights Act (IPILRA) of 1996 provided protection for all people living on communal land in the former Bantustans, people living on trust land, people who previously had Permissions to Occupy (PTOs) and anyone who had been living on land uninterrupted since 1997 “as if they were the owner”. However, IPILRA was routinely ignored and undermined as there had been mining deals where people who stood to lose land were not directly consulted in North West, Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal (KZN). Those living on Ingonyama Trust Land were told the land belonged to the King, as they had no rights to refuse re-location of graves and houses. The Chairperson of ITB said the only consent he needed was written permission by a traditional council, despite the fact that IPILRA also covered ITB land. She commented that every year, the ITB had received a qualified audit and questioned where exactly its money was going. Some traditional leaders insisted they had sole authority to represent the communities or call meetings, yet this interpretation was struck down by the Constitutional Court in the Pilane and Sigcau cases. She said massive amounts, such as R60 000, were charged for ‘khonza’ fees (land allocation) in some areas and those who could not or would not pay were denied proof of address letters, which were needed in order to obtain ID, social grants or bank accounts. She questioned the actual ownership of the land. Most of the land in the former Bantustans was registered in the Deeds Office as State land, held “in trust” by the Minister. Administrative trusts do not provide government with ownership of the land as they vest only administrative functions in the Trustee. However, Ingonyama Trust tended to treat the land as its own property. No elections had been held in Limpopo even 13 years after the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act (TLGFA) was enacted. The Constitutional Court had stated that planning and land use functions were vested with municipalities, not provinces. Some of the current problems with IPILRA arose because it was not taken seriously by officials as many did not even know it existed. One possible solution was that the Act should be amended to make its status permanent. Occupation rights of women should be explicitly protected, along with their procedural rights to participate in decisions pertaining to the family land. She concluded that land tenure reform was complex and difficult and the traditional council democratisation agenda had failed in practice.
Mr Filtane said there was a need to give the issue of women rights more space and he questioned the direction the government should go in this regard.
Mr Mnguni appreciated the input from the LARC, saying that it gave the Committee food for thought and its comments were important in a democratic setting. However, Dr Claassens had not spoken about the AbaThembu. Democracy was about the people and traditional leadership could not be shaped along the same lines as the apartheid era. The traditional institutions did not appear to have been transformed.
Judge Ngwenya said it was a very useful discussion as there was a duty to future generations to stand by the truth no matter how bitter it would appear. However, he felt that Dr Claassens either lacked understanding or was not stating the whole truth. On the one hand she said that ITB was converting owners of land to tenants. The Trust had always recognised the transfer of trusteeship as the Trust could not enter into a lease agreement unless there was a prior written consent. People who were historical owners were not always in the same numbers. Leases related to communal dealings, and there was no national policy on communal rights. He said no one in their right mind would prefer a lease to ownership.
The Chairperson noted that the Portfolio Committee still had a lot of work to do. She commented that it was unfortunate that there had been no elections in Limpopo. The Committee would have to invite affected people to discuss the matters with the Committee.
Mr Nchabeleng asked where the massive amounts charged for khonza fees (land allocation) went, if there were other interests and what would happen if a person could not pay.
Judge Ngwenya replied that if a person was not a Khonza member, he could not pay and would have to go elsewhere.
Mr Madella questioned why royalties were paid to the Trust when they should have been paid to the National Treasury.
Mr Filtane commented that to his knowledge, some traditional councillors had held office for five years without attending any meetings of the traditional rulers, nor calling their own meetings. ~
Mr Eugene Southgate said he would check up on the legislation and report back.
Dr Claassens added that the Amakhosi had questioned why the revenue from their area was going to the Trust, and it was suspected that this revenue was lining the pockets of those collecting it.
The Chairperson said there was need to have oversight visits to verify what was happening.
Outcome 7 and the Medium Term Strategic Framework: Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) briefing
Dr Tsakani Ngomane, Deputy Director General, Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, briefed the Committee on Outcome 7: Comprehensive Rural Development, as it would unfold in the 2014-19 Medium Term Strategic Framework period. Outcome 7 will be achieved through six priority areas, covering improved land administration and spatial planning for integrated development in rural areas, sustainable land reform and improved food security. She outlined the high impact agricultural targets set for achievement by 2019:
- sales of agro-processing to increase annually by 2% (total of 10% by 2019)
- Annual increase in gross value add for Agriculture Forestry & Fisheries of 2%, until 2019
- Job increase of 500 000 (100 000 p. a. ) by 2019 and 1 million by 2030.
Dr Ngomane said that food price inflation was expected to increase by more than 12% by August 2016 as a result of drought.
Evaluations provided a very important tool for departments to get an in-depth look on how policies and programmes were performing, and how they needed to change. To achieve sustainable agrarian reform, the Nine-Point Plan (PP) must be fast tracked, targeting cooperatives, smallholder farmers and Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), and the DRDLRL should address the challenges around trusts and communal property associations as part of settling land claims, amend the Land Restitution Act to correct the bias against land claimants. She added that there should be improved efficiency in water-use to mitigate against the prevailing drought.
Audit Outcomes of the DRDLR Portfolio over the past five years: Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) briefing
Mr Eugene De Haan, Senior Manager, AGSA, outlined the audit outcomes of the rural develpoment and land portfolio (the Department and entities) over the last five years.
- In 2010/11, the DRDLR and ITB had qualified reports with findings. The Agricultural Land Holding Account (ALHA) and Deeds Registry (Deeds) were unqualified with findings
- In 2011/12, DRDLR, ITB and Deeds were qualified with findings, and ALHA was unqualified with findings – In 2013 to 2015, ITB was qualified with findings while DRD,DEEDS and ALHA were unqualified with findings.
The quality of submitted financial statements improved over these years, but ITB required intervention in the same period. The quality of submitted performance reports for ITB was good; Deeds and ALHA required intervention and DRDLR was also of some concern.
The supply chain management for the past four years for DRD, ALHA and ITB was good but Deeds required intervention.
Financial health for Deeds, ITB and DRDLR was fairly strong throughout but there was stagnation or limited progress in ALHA. Human resource management improved but IT regressed. There was an improvement in leadership, financial and performance management and governance.
Mr De Haan reminded the Committee that the Senior Management; Accounting officer/authority and the executive authority were the first assurance level. The internal audit unit and audit committee were the second assurance level. The Portfolio Committee and Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) were the third assurance level.
The root causes of stagnant or limited progress by DRDLR, ALHA, Deeds and ITB in 2014/15, and in the previous years for all excluding the ITB, included slow response by management (the Accounting officer and senior management). The root causes of regression in DRD, ALHA and ITB in 2014-15 were that key officials lacked appropriate competencies. The root causes of stagnant or limited progress in DRD and ALHA in 2014-15 and 2013-14 was instability or vacancies in key positions.
Mr de Haan noted that DRDLR had fully implemented 83% of the internal audit findings, 15% were not yet implemented and 2% were not applicable.
He then moved on to a budget comparison between 2014/15 and the 2015/16 projections by programme: Administration was at -6%, Geospatial had a 7% increase, Rural Development showed a decrease of -2%), Restitution showed a decrease of -3%, and Land Reform an increase of 3%. Finally, he set out a comparison of the economic classifications of DRDLR in its 2015/16 budget. Transfers and subsidies accounted for 61%,current payments for 39%, payment for capital assets (0%). Employee costs represented 23%.
The Chairperson noted the comment by the LARC of traditional rulers imposing upon the rights of the people and asked what efforts were made in the process to address the frustrations of the people
Dr Ngomane replied that the government had put in place several institutions that were in conflict with one another with conflicts arising in powers of local government, and frameworks that worked against claimants. The government did recognise the importance of the issues. The main problem was lack of accountability in the governance authority ascribed to traditional leadership. It was recommended that communities be empowered and should know their rights.
Mr Mnguni said AGSA should ideally have given the presentation whilst the Chairperson of the Ingonyama Trust Board was still present in the meeting.
Mr Nchabeleng said there was much legislation yet it still seemed that little was achieved.
Mr Filtane asked what could be done to address the decline of employment in farming areas
Dr Ngomade replied that there were specific recommendations by the Department.
The meeting was adjourned.
- 2016 Strategic Planning: Department Rural Development, Ingonyama Trust, DPME on portfolio and Outcome 7 projections; PLAAS & LARC on land tenure & restitution; Auditor General on audit outcomes 2
- 2016 Strategic Planning: Department Rural Development, Ingonyama Trust, DPME on portfolio and Outcome 7 projections; PLAAS & LARC on land tenure & restitution; Auditor General on audit outcomes 1
- Land Tenure in Communal AreasProgress and Policy Constraints: Land and Accountability Research Centre UCT presentation
- Restitution, Redistribution and Farm Tenure Reforms: University of the Western Cape presentation
- Ingonyama Trust Board Strategic Planning Workshop presentation
- Rural Development and Land Reform Strategic Planning Workshop presentation
- Audit outcomes of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR): AGSA presentation
- Outcome 7 Comprehensive Rural Development: Medium-term Strategic Framework, 2014-19: DPME presentation
- International Labour Organization (ILO) research on Agricultural Sector
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