Minister on Ingonyama Trust Board matters, finalisation of the labour tenants’ application and the role of the Special Master of Labour Tenants

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

29 November 2022
Chairperson: Nkosi ZM Mandela (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


Tabled Committee Reports

The Committee convened in a virtual meeting to receive a briefing by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development on matters relating to the Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB) and the finalisation of the labour tenant’s application and the role of the Special Master of Labour Tenants.

The Minister reported that her Department has been grappling with matters relating to the Ingonyama Trust Board and the Ingonyama Trust. Such matters, she said included strengthening the Ingonyama Trust’s governance issues, transparency in the management of the finances of the Ingonyama Trust and the Trust Board and assisting the Ingonyama Trust to develop its disbursement policy that must assist oversight bodies such as Parliament to assess the way the public entity fulfils the mandate for which they were established.

Another intervention was made through the Inter-Ministerial Task Team set up by the President of the Republic of South Africa to address issues that have arisen due to the Report of the High-Level Panel on Assessment of Key Legislation and Fundamental Transformation and the Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on the Amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution. The Inter-Ministerial Task Team had engagements with the relevant stakeholders and is yet to table a report of its work to the President who set up the Team.
The Minister was also considering matters that the Committee had raised regarding the mandate and the role of the Ingonyama Trust Board vis-à-vis the obligation of the Ingonyama Trust; the role of the Ingonyama Holdings (PTY) Ltd as a subsidiary of the Ingonyama Trust together with its accountability; and the conversion of customary tenure rights and PTOs to lease.

The Committee welcomed the progress report regarding interventions that the Department had done to strengthen administration of the Ingonyama Trust land. One such contribution was secondment of the Chief Financial Officer to assist the Ingonyama Trust Board in financial management and accountability. The Minister also informed the Committee about processes to establish the new Board. Given that the Minister was grappling with the same issues that the Committee had raised over the last three years, the Committee agreed the matters must be put under spotlight with a clear programme for 2023 to ensure that they are resolved before the end of the term for the sixth Parliament.

On the briefing on the Special Master on Labour Tenants, the Minister told the Committee that the role of the Special Master was to supervise and monitor the performance of the Director-General and the Department regarding the functions of the Department as they related to the resolution of outstanding tenants claims in terms of section 16,17, and 18 of the Labour Tenants Act. Among the issues that were also highlighted was that the Special Master would have to satisfy himself/herself on the financial allocation on a yearly basis to ensure that the execution of the settlement of the labour tenants is undertaken and therefore the special master remains an agent of the court. The Special Master reports to the court and acts in extension of the court's own supervisory jurisdictions.

The Committee wanted to know how the intergovernmental communication between the Department and other departments, such as the Department of Water and Sanitation, would work and how the Special Master was overseeing the capital budget, which at this point was not clearly spelt out, as well as how the Department was reporting to court on the budget issue because it was one of the issues raised in court.

The Minister said the Department found that in some instances after settlement, water is cut off from communities or families and they do not have access to other services such as electricity, especially in situations where the communities are too small to be linked to the grid. The Department was deliberating with other departments on such issues to find ways to ensure that services that should be received by all community members are affordable and provided to such communities.

On the monitoring of the capital budget by the Special Master, she said part of the function where the Department reviews its budget, the Special Master needed to satisfy himself that the budget for labour tenants, within the whole tenure budget of the Department is adequate to address the issues of labour tenants. The Department had indicated what was on its MTEF allocation for tenure reform when it reported to court, which also included labour tenants and within that, in the itemised budget, one can delineate how much of this is for labour tenants and how much of the other is for other related tenure security.

Meeting report

Opening remarks

The Chairperson welcomed the members, the Minister and Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, and other representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) to the meeting. The Committee would receive a briefing from the Minister on the accountability of the Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB) and the role and responsibility of the Special Master and the Department in processing applications for labour tenants. The Committee would also consider and adopt its report that was circulated on the oversight visit that it did in Kirkwood if time allowed, as well as its last set of minutes from the previous meeting.

As it was the Committee’s last meeting of the year, the Chairperson hoped the meeting would be fruitful. He said the FIFA World Cup currently underway in Qatar was highly entertaining, with the African Countries flying their flags high and bringing joy to the rest of the continent, as Tunisia, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, and Morocco had been shining on the global platform. He congratulated the teams and wished them well in their endeavours to make it into the second round of the Tournament, hoping that one of them goes as far as winning the World Cup.

Back in South Africa, he said, there were challenges relating to the pit bull attacks. There were inputs from different sectors calling for better management of pit bulls by their owners and calls for the SPCA and the legislators on how they could implement legislation that would ensure that the owners of the animals could be brought to book. The Committee issued a statement on Monday on its thoughts and reflections on the matter and hoped that the Ministry would investigate the matter and see what role it could play to facilitate and play to ensure that an amicable solution is found regarding the protection of the animals and the protection of lives.

The Chairperson also noted the remark of the Minister about the rainfall and hoped that it would spread throughout the country so that the agriculture sector could utilise it to ensure that their household gardens, fields, and small-scale farmers get to work and ensure food security, which is much needed.

On the reason for the Committee’s invite to the Minister, he reminded members that on 13 September 2022, at a Committee meeting to consider its quarterly reports, the Committee was dissatisfied with the responses of the ITB regarding its performance. This was necessitated by the following:

A trend where the ITB, and accounting authority for the Ingonyama Trust do not account for the funds of the Ingonyama Trust. It cites the delisting of the Ingonyama Trust from the schedule 23 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). Parliament oversees implementation of laws, including the Ingonyama Trust as amended. One key area of oversight is to assess whether the deserving communities enjoy the material benefits and social well-being from the administration of the Trust’s land. In the absence of the reports, especially quarterly reports of the Trust, there was no way in which the Committee could make determinations of the benefits accruing to the deserving communities.

At the centre of this was the separation of the Ingonyama Trust and the ITB. The Committee and its predecessor received a legal opinion sought by the former Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Mr Gugile Nkwinti, about the existence of two separate legal entities. The Committee requested the Minister's assistance on the governance position regarding the matters and assist it in conducting its oversight mandate without any hindrance.

The Committee had recently found out about the establishment of Ingonyama Holdings Pty (Ltd), which is a subsidiary company of the Ingonyama Trust and was concerned that it could not perform its oversight over the company. The Committee had also expressed this concern to the directorship of the company regarding its transparency in terms of how the appointment of its directorship was done and who its directors were. The Auditor-General had also raised concerns about the lack of audit on the financial statements of Ingonyama Holdings.

The Committee also noted that ITB reported that they were going to appeal the court judgement relating to the residential leases and funding the leases and wanted to know the position of the Department in that regard. There were about 20 grounds for appeal for the ITB. If the Department sought to appeal the judgement, what were the grounds for the appeal? In whose interests would the appeal be for and what would they be trying to achieve with the appeal?

The Minister had reported to the Committee in the past before the Committee embarked on an oversight visit to the ITB in 2019 that there was an Inter-Ministerial Committee that the President set up to look at the challenges of the Ingonyama Trust. The Minister requested the Committee to give the process some time and was to return to the Committee to report. The Committee had not been briefed about the interventions to date. The Committee wanted to know the role of the Inter-Ministerial Committee and what its findings were.

In the meetings of 9 and 16 September 2022 regarding the Department, the Committee presented the progress report with the settlement of labour tenants’ applications, which left members with more questions about the fast-tracking of settlements of labour tenants claims. A need for discussion was also necessitated by the following:

The recent joint oversight visit of the Portfolio Committee on Employment and Labour had shown that labour tenants and farm dwellers continued to live under precarious tenure arrangements and conditions on farms and delayed the settlement of their claims. Reports that were presented showed a decline in the performance, as the Department began to revise the targets it had set downwards. Unfortunately, the officials at the meeting appeared to lack an understanding of the complexities of the challenges, the urgency of the matter, and how they would improve the delivery of land to labour tenants. In their explanation for the decrease in performance, they cited reasons that had already been highlighted in the implementation plan, thus demonstrating a lack of urgency in finding solutions for the challenges.

Amongst other issues, one area of concern was the failure of the Department to produce a specific budget to fund the awards for finalisation of land tenure applicant’s claims despite the courts stating that there must be a determination of the budget necessary for each financial year for carrying out the implementation plan, including the DALRRD’s operating costs and funding for awards made in terms of section 16 of the Act. Oversight visits had shown the Committee that where land was awarded to labour tenants, it was not complemented with post-settlement development support and there was no internal coordination relating to settlements of labour tenants’ claims.

The Chairperson said he had tried to summarise the issues that led the Committee to invite the Minister to brief it on, specifically regarding the ITB and Ingonyama Trust issues related to Ingonyama Holdings, as well as issues related to the Special Master. He asked Members if there were any other issues that he may have missed that Members wanted to highlight.

Members said they were covered by the Chairperson’s summary and the Chairperson invited the Minister to brief the Committee on the issues that were raised.

Briefing by Minister

Ms Thoko Didiza, Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, briefed the Committee on the status report on the Presidential Inter-Ministerial Task Team on Ingonyama Trust, Ingonyama Trust accountability and founding legislation, how the current governance challenges in the Trust would be resolved and on the ITB Court Order.

She said the presentation followed concerns that the Ministry and the Department had not done enough to secure the tenure rights of most citizens as expressed in Section 25(6) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. In response to these concerns, the Department took a historical assessment of what was done to fulfil the mandate of the Constitution. Recently, the Department initiated the process of policy reform and legislative review to address Communal Land Tenure.

President Ramaphosa set up an Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) whose responsibility was to prepare for his engagement with the King of the Zulu nation following concerns raised by the King as to whether the proposed Expropriation without Compensation was to impact the land held by the Ingonyama Trust as well as engaging on matters emanating from the High-Level Panel. This IMTT, which included the Premier of KZN and MEC for Human Settlement, reflected on matters that needed to be addressed such as townships in the Ingonyama Trust and how these could be dealt with.

The IMTT recommended that with respect to the proposed expropriation without compensation, this would not affect the land under Ingonyama Trust. On other matters, the views of the IMTT were that the relevant Ministries and Departments must address those with the Ingonyama Trust and Ingonyama Trust Board. These issues related to the rates and taxes for government buildings on Ingonyama land; and the townships on land under Ingonyama Trust.

Minister Didiza said the accountability of the Ingonyama Trust Board must be measured by its compliance with the financial management given the public resource and in accordance with the relevant legislation. Secondly, the accountability of the Ingonyama Trust Board must be measured by how in its support of the trustee in the management of the Ingonyama Trust land, the beneficiaries residing in such land benefit from it. In its inception, the Board was supported by personnel from the Department of Land Affairs given that the Board was not full time, and its task was to ensure that those employed undertook the functions that the Trust must execute.

In 2008/2009, the Board then appointed independent staff since the Department did not replace staff when they left. Over the years, the Board ensured that lease agreements were entered into with those who wanted to undertake business interests on Ingonyama land. The Board also facilitated the allocation of servitude under Ingonyama Land and initiated surveying of some of Ingonyama land in addition to the earlier surveys. The Board also made improvements as requested by the said Amakhosi under Ingonyama.

On the challenges identified during the sixth administration, she said there were concerns about the understanding of the mandate and the role of the Board versus what the broader obligation of the Trust was, the role of the Ingonyama Trust Holdings and how this was set up and its accountability, the leases on residential properties and the conversion of PTO, as well as the disbursement of resources to the beneficiaries.

It was clear that there were issues of governance that needed to be addressed, and a compact between the Minister and the Board was drafted and was to be signed with the new Board. Once the new Board was appointed, there would be an induction based on the compact. The appointment of the new Board and advertisement for nomination were done and interviews were held and shortlisted. Letters were sent in October to the Premier, Isilo and the Chairperson of the House as part of consultation to finalise the appointments. The Department was in the process of finalising the four members. There should be a clear disbursement policy on how communities ought to benefit.

Regarding the ITB Court Order, she said In May 2022, the High Court granted Ingonyama Trust leave to appeal against the entire judgment on the basis of all the ordinary legal grounds of appeal that were advanced by Ingonyama Trust, except the recusal ground. In June 2022, Ingonyama Trust noted (submitted) an appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal, based on all the grounds that the High Court had accepted. Ingonyama Trust then launched a separate application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal, on the recusal ground that the High Court rejected. If Ingonyama Trust had succeeded on the recusal ground, the effect would have been that the High Court proceedings would be nullified, and the matter would have been heard from scratch by the High Court. This possibly necessitated that the leave to appeal application be dealt with first by the Supreme Court of appeal. 
In August 2022, the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed Ingonyama Trust’s application for leave to appeal on the recusal ground part. This does not impact the main application, where Ingonyama Trust was granted leave to appeal based on the ordinary legal grounds of appeal. The said application (appeal) is still to be heard by the Supreme Court of Appeal. In September 2022, Ingonyama Trust approached the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal against the order of the Supreme Court of appeal on the recusal ground. This application is still to be decided by the Constitutional Court.

Adv Vela Mngwengwe, Chief Executive Officer, Ingonyama Trust Board, said the Board’s responsibility was to administer the affairs of the Trust because the benefits were issued to the beneficiary communities by the Trust. When the ITB compiles the financial statements of Ingonyama Trust, part of what would be seen by the Committee was the disbursements, and the disbursements were made to Traditional Councils, who would then manage how the disbursements benefit the communities.


Mr S Matiase (EFF) said the report was long overdue and it would have been good for the Committee to have received it while their energy levels were still high. The interest of the Committee in its insistence to receive the report was based on ensuring that were good governance principles observed by the Ingonyama Trust and to ensure that there was proper fiscal accountability on the affairs of the Ingonyama Trust and the ITB. What also bothered the Committee was the continued complaints from the people under the King about repeated incidents of harassment and victimisation on their land through the system of insecure land tenure.

The people needed to be provided with an improved tenure system, especially women and child-headed households. Ingonyama Holdings must also open its books and avail itself for public scrutiny and ensure it submits its annual reports and financial reports accordingly to ensure that those who transgress on the provision of the PFMA and other prescripts are taken into account. Money that goes from the Department into the Ingonyama Trust and the revenue generated by the Trust is public money held on behalf of the public by the King and should be used as such.

Mr N Capa (ANC) said it needed to be clarified to the Committee if there were any funds or part of the funds that may not have been accounted for so that the Committee could avoid seeking accountability for funds that it did not have oversight jurisdiction on in the future.

Mr N Masipa (DA) said the meeting was requested because the Committee had been at loggerheads for a long time and had an estranged relationship with the Ingonyama Trust. On several occasions, the Chairperson of the Ingonyama Trust was clear that the members of the Committee did not understand the legislation that governs the Trust and the Committee of the previous term had sought legal advice, of which the feedback was clear that the Minister “bears all ordinary and public finance accountability in respect of the Trust and the Board”.

The bone of contention of the Committee, the AG and some of the people living in the Ingonyama Trust held land and properties were the management of finance. In 2013, the eThekwini Municipality brought an application in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court seeking a declaration that the Ingonyama Trust property falling within the jurisdiction of the municipality is able to be rated for the period between 1996 and June 2005. However, the Trust opposed the application and claimed that the land was state property exempt from being rated in terms of the State Property Rating Act. The municipality recently reiterated its intent to go after affluent residents living on Ingonyama Trust land and that they should pay the municipality for services.

In 2020, rural women tricked into signing leases lodged a court challenge against the Ingonyama Trust, and the women won their case. Ingonyama Trust challenged the outcome of the case, and the Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA) dismissed the Ingonyama Trust’s bid to overturn the lease programme ruling. The leases were ruled invalid and millions of Rands must be paid back. What interventions had the Department and Ministry taken to ensure that the women who took the Ingonyama Trust to court were reimbursed? How could the Ingonyama Trust collect leases from people while it challenged the eThekwini municipality when it sought to do the same thing on its land?

Msunduzi municipality was also taken to court by the Ingonyama Trust after the municipality had disconnected water and electricity due to non-payment of R8 million. While the rights of people living under traditional authority were confirmed, the issue remained on the ownership and tenure system. In the case of Msunduzi, is it possible that the people can live a life of less interruption resulting from the challenges that the Trust might find itself in if the tenure system is corrected? Are people who choose to have title deeds or other means of administration allowed? Does the Draft Bill that emanated from the Land Summit on May 2022 provide opportunities for those who want title deeds or any other tenure system to get them? What are the timelines for introducing the Draft Bill?

Ms N Mahlo (ANC) said the presentation by the Minister gave the Committee some of the answers they had been looking for because the ITB had insulted the Committee by saying they did not understand the law before. She said the matters needed to be solved because they had been outstanding for a long time.

Ms T Breedt (FF+) said a lot was said in the presentation about the ITB and the Department consulting on the legislative mandate of the ITB to clarify the mandate of the Board as an administrator of the Trust and Trust land, as well as dealing with leases and pledges of land and the disposal of Ingonyama Trust land. It was also mentioned that parties would develop a common understanding of the Act and their responsibilities in the context of the Act. Policies would be developed to guide how the Trust would be managed to ensure transparency to stakeholders and Parliament. How far was this process?

There were also clarity issues mentioned in the presentation, land that is locked into holdings that could not be released, and new policies that would be developed. How far along were these processes and what was the timeframe for their conclusion? The Minister had also mentioned in the presentation that with the new Board, there would be sittings to solve some of the issues, and there was a delay in the appointment of the new Board. When will the Board appointment be finalised? The ITB said it only accounts to the Department in terms of transfers and there were issues around that. In what ways does the Minister oversee the Trust’s operation? Have they come to an understanding about this issue? How far was the disbursement policy?

Nkosi R Cebekhulu (IFP) said the different views on the operations of the ITB emanated from people wanting to borrow funds from banks to build their houses. For their security, they applied to the ITB to get the leases to guarantee that the land they would be building on would be protected. The Minister’s explanation showed how deeply she worked to uncover all the facts regarding the ITB operations which had no problem with the way land was distributed in the traditional authorities. The accusations that widows and orphans were not enjoying the land when their husbands or parents passed on were created by people who probably had an unknown agenda because even though there were a few incidences of that, it was not as deep as it was exaggerated.

He said an explanation of the relationship between ITB and Ingonyama Holdings would suffice because, in his understanding, a Trust has the right to generate funds to manage its affairs. In his own opinion of how the Ingonyama Trust was formed and the reasons for its creation, he said in the mineral commodity communities, the big mining corporations often left the communities dry and un-rehabilitated and the Departments should be holding those companies accountable. The Ingonyama Trust was made for the benefit of the people.

Mr M Montwedi (EFF) said the Committee could not do anything with the Ingonyama Trust for almost three years because it was told that a Ministerial Committee was established to deal with issues pertaining to the Trust. He was still unsure about what the Task Team had done to resolve the issues of the Ingonyama Trust because he thought the Ministerial Committee was going to have a discussion with the ITB and explain that they are obliged to comply with various prescripts of the legislation, especially the PFMA.

He said Adv Mngwengwe was representing the Minister in the ITB and had since either resigned or was removed and wanted to know the reason for his resignation or removal. Could it also have been a case that the Board felt no one else could represent it except one of its members? He said if the issue of the ITB undermining the Portfolio Committee would not be resolved, then nothing would move forward so the issue needed to be solved urgently.

Mr H Kruger (DA) was covered by all the questions asked and emphasised the importance of the role of the Committee’s oversight over the Board.

Ms M Tlhape (ANC) said the duty of the Committee was to deal with the accountability of the Board and the ITB should be put in the Committee’s regular programme to account because only having them present annual reports was not serving the Committee. Parliament is not the only stakeholder in ITB which is why the Committee needed to ensure that the Board accounts to the Committee and the AG.

The Chairperson said the Committee welcomed the programme about developing communal land tenure policies and legislation. In the discussion that the Department had, where did they locate Ingonyama Trust and its ownership of land? The Chairperson raised this concerning the issues of the legal opinion the Minister said they were currently grappling with. The opinion was obtained in 2017 and five years later, the matter had not been settled and the Minister said they were going to make proposals to Cabinet. What were the proposals going to be? In the meantime, the oversight status quo of the Committee remained, as the Committee was tasked with a duty to carry on its mandate of doing oversight on the ITB.

On the question of the accountability of the Trust, he said the Chairperson of the ITB said on numerous occasions that the Ingonyama Trust was delisted from the PFMA schedules and did not account in terms of PFMA and that the ITB fully accounted on the transfers from the Department. This was the issue that the Portfolio Committee was concerned about, where an accounting authority for a public entity decided that it would not fully account for the finances of the entity it was supposed to account for. The Committee requested clarity in that regard.

Many of the Traditional Councils from which the Ingonyama Trust levies money have never seen a cent of delivery being contributed to their communities. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the money levied from these communities was not returned in benefits to the communities. For example, some of the traditional leaders in these communities mentioned that the Trust claimed that it would return 90% of the money levied from the communities in benefits to them. It would keep 10% of the money for administrative purposes. Yet, the traditional leaders do not even know how much is being levied from their communities to even complain to the ITB about the returns they were not receiving. This is the issue the Committee was struggling with regarding the ITB because the Committee needed full disclosure from the ITB on the projects of Amakhosi in their traditional authorities that the Trust supported. What is the levy that is levied on each Traditional Council and how much is spent on each Traditional Council?

Minister’s response

Minister Didiza appreciated the support that the Committee gave to the Department on some of the matters that they clearly felt needed to be dealt with in response to how good governance principles needed to be observed by ITB, including financial accountability, especially considering the dilemma of an entity which is a subsidiary of the Board that needed to account for its financial accounts. This is an issue that the Minister had raised in the presentation it was a bone of contention between the Department and the Board.

She had stated in the presentation that the IMTT was appointed by the President in preparation for the meeting with the King and it was not dealing with issues of the accountability of the Ingonyama Trust. The IMTT was very clear that relevant Ministries and Departments must deal with the ongoing matters relating to the governance accountability of the Board. Concerning matters of the 239 townships in KwaZulu-Natal, those will be dealt with by the MEC of Human Settlements in KwaZulu-Natal together with the province. The role of the IMTT was not to deal with issues of engagement with the Trust per se, but it was in preparation for the President's meeting with the King arising out of the issues that were raised by the High-Level panel as well as the issues that emanated from the ANC's resolution which was further tabled as a proposal in Parliament as a motion by the EFF amended by the ANC on the expropriation without compensation.

She said the way some of the matters needed to be resolved was to deal with the disbursement policy of Ingonyama Holdings. The Ministry and Department had the same frustration of trying to understand how the communities benefitted from the Trust. In their engagement with the Board, the chairperson of the Board cited the difficulty of disbursement based on the issues of the configuration of what was Traditional Authorities and what is now Traditional Council, which he stated that they were still engaging with the province of KwaZulu-Natal to deal with those matters. This clearly meant many resources are still stuck in Ingonyama Holdings and have not been entirely disbursed. Without a clear disbursement policy, it would be impossible to have clarity from communities and their Chiefs on how they draw their resources and how much is levied from them.

This was where the problem was for the Ministry and Department because a Board was established to assist the trustee in land management. The Board is collecting the leases from business entities operating in the land, yet there is no clear policy of how that benefit accrues to that community. Without those clear policies, the Ministry, Department, and the ITB will be going back and forth. That is why the Ministry insisted that the new Board must have clear and transparent policies so that even the Portfolio Committee could know how those benefits accrue to the different communities. The issue of Ingonyama Holdings, given what the legislation provides for in terms of the Board in assisting the trustees, was still unclear on whether it was a subsidiary of the Trust, which was also unclear to the Department. The Department was still engaging with the Board because it wanted to understand who owned Ingonyama Holdings because unless the issue was clarified, the matters raised by the Auditor General would keep on arising.

On locating the issue of Ingonyama Trust in the broader reform of the communal land tenurial system, she said that legislation ought to cover Ingonyama Trust land because one of the issues that the legislation and policy sought to do was to transfer ownership of the land of communities to themselves and their administration, as deliberated in the summit. On whether the Ingonyama Trust land is state land, she said the title vested on the trustee, meaning it was the property of the trustee in custodianship of the communities so, in a sense, it is private land. That is part of the dynamic concerning how the land was alienated and put under the Trust. It is not state land per se because it was never put under the sphere of a particular government, but it was put in a trust that the Trust Act governs and the Trustee being the King of the Zulus as a custodian of the communities.

On whether it would be good for the people of Msunduzi to apply for individual titles, she said that would be the choice of the individuals, however there would need to be an understanding of how individual communities could make preference of ownership where such land is collectively under a trust, and that is a matter on which the Department’s lawyers might need to advise. On whether the proposed Bill on Communal Land Bill provides for individual ownership, she said in the deliberations that had been held both in consultations at provincial level and finally at the summit, what was agreed to was that the outer boundaries of the community land must vest in the community. Individual households will be registered in the name of the household. The unanswered question was whether those were going to be regarded as separate titles or deeds of grant. In the deliberations, there was a view that communities would make their own preferences of how they would want to deal with those issues. The Bill will create a broader framework that allows flexibility for communities to make their choice.

The other matter that also emerged was whether one could register a household under an individual or a family in a household in a rural area, as in rural communities, homes belong to the families. Members of the summit felt that a household could not be alienated, and that property could not be vested under one person because it is collective ownership in the homestead. Regarding the timeframe of the new Board, Minister Didiza said the Department had done all the necessary processes and received the letters from the Premier as well as iNkosi uShinga on behalf of the House, which affirmed them that they could continue on the recommendations that they had made on the four Board members, but on the other four, where the Premier must consult with the House and the Chiefs as well as the King, the House recommended three names that they would like to be considered, and the Premier will finalise that. The view of the Department is that everything must be finalised by mid-January because that was the only thing remaining, otherwise the Department would proceed.

On the issues of legislative amendment, the Department was waiting for the State Law Advisor’s pre-certification. It would then take it to the Cabinet Committee and hopefully, they will be able to have the Portfolio Committee engage with the legislation in 2023. Mr Matiase was correct to say given the concerns that are being raised by communities, the Department need to find a way to provide improved tenure security for women and children as well as households that are headed by children and other vulnerable groups so that they do not find themselves in situations where they feel unprotected in terms of inheritance and so on of such land. This is what the Bill is providing for in terms of the draft that the Department is working on.

On what the Ministry was proposing to the legal framework to Cabinet, she said having looked at the legal advice, they would like to propose to Cabinet that there must be an amendment of the current legislation of the Board so that it clearly provides the status of the Trust as opposed to the status of the Board, as well as the relationship thereof. She said nobody removed Adv Mngwengwe, but he exercised his right by applying for the CEO vacancy in the Ingonyama Trust and he was appointed. He was not removed either by the Board nor the Ministry, and the Department seconded a financial person who has been assisting the Board as part of the commitment that it had made to the Portfolio Committee.

ITB Response

Adv Mngwengwe said Ingonyama Holdings is a private company that the Ingonyama Trust incorporated. Because the Ingonyama Trust operates through the Board, it was by way of the Board resolution that Ingonyama Holdings was incorporated as an entity of the Trust, with the Trust being the only shareholder. Since the Trust acts through the Board, the Directors of that company were appointed by the Board through a Board resolution, which means if the directors were to be removed, they would have to be removed by the Board through a resolution. The revenue that comes to the Trust in the form of lease revenue or any kind of other right that the Trust may have issued through the Board sits in an account of the Trust. When it is disbursed, it is also disbursed from an account of the Trust, which is why in the Annual Financial Statements of the Trust, there is a line on revenue that is received and a line on the expenditure that was incurred. Amongst what the Trust would have spent money on would be disbursements to the community.

Currently, because Ingonyama Holdings was in the establishment stage, Ingonyama Trust made money available to Ingonyama Holdings as a shareholder loan to get the company operational. The issues that were raised by the AG related to the lack of terms of repayment between the Trust and Ingonyama Holdings, as well as the lack of final financial statements of Ingonyama Holdings because the money that was transferred from the Trust’s funds to the Ingonyama Holdings had to be accounted for.

On the litigation issue of the ITB, he said because the litigation was not finalised, it was impossible for any party in the litigation to start complying with a court order that was being appealed. In June 2021, a judgment was made, and it ordered, amongst other things, reimbursements, and subsequently, the Trust and the Board appealed against the judgement, and leave to appeal granted by the High Court except on the recusal ground. The issue of the challenge based on the recusal was finalised by the Constitutional Court on 17 November 2022. The Constitutional Court rejected the ground of appeal on the question of the judges having to recuse themselves. What is left now is that the matter must be argued in the Supreme Court of Appeal on merits on whether judges should have reached a different conclusion than the conclusion that they reached. If at the end, the Supreme Court of Appeal rejects the appeal, in the final analysis, the Board or the Trust will have to comply with whatever final order comes out.

Adv Linda Zama, Board Member, ITB, said the Trust is a creature of statute. It was created through an Act of Parliament. Therefore, whether it is PFMA or not, the Trust is accountable to this oversight Committee. The Trust is accountable to the beneficiaries, that is, the Traditional Councils. If, for instance, they want information, it is very important that the Board accounts right up to the last R10 in its kitty, which is a principle that needs to be respected.

Follow-up discussion

The Chairperson said one of the issues the Committee wanted to follow up on was the cost of the litigations. He said the Ingonyama Trust was not the sole monarch of South Africa, as there were several other monarchs in the country. He had constantly asked the question that if the Ingonyama Trust had been a success over the past 27 years, was there not a need to grow it into other monarchs? It could not be that the Department used funds out of its coffers, R28 million, to support one monarch. If this Trust was indeed a success story, when did the Minister intend to roll it out to other monarchs? In the Minister’s best understanding of the Trust, what was the envisioned timeframe for rolling out to other monarchs if this was indeed a success story? If the Minister was hesitant about the Trust, when was the Department most likely to rescind this Act and have it closed?

Mr Masipa said normally, when the Committee engaged with the ITB, the Chairperson of the ITB always tried to remind the Committee that government is responsible for only the effect of the contribution towards the ITB and therefore its oversight should be limited to that amount of R28 million and the rest of the amount came from the collection of the levies and the leases. He asked the Minister to advise on whether the Committee had a right to perform oversight on the total usage of funds that the Ingonyama Trust collected.

The Chairperson said the ITB, Ingonyama Trust, and Ingonyama Holdings are a result of the Act and the existence of the Ingonyama Trust, therefore the Committee exercised its mandate in holding it accountable for its works in its entirety.

Minister’s response

Minister Didiza said the ITB is a creature of statute and therefore accountability to the last cent of whether that resource is within the Trust or is within the Board must be accounted for. Whether the resources are levied or whether they come out of the lease agreement, the interest of the Minister and the oversight by the Committee is to see whether those are used for the benefits and interest of the Trust and the communities concerned.

On the cost of litigation, she said they would ask the Board about the cost of litigation since the start of this matter, which in part was the reason, the Minister's view was that they should not proceed with the appeal, but as a juristic person, the Board felt it needed to ventilate some of the matters arising out of the judgment in the court. 

On the rollout of the Ingonyama Trust to other monarchs, she said the difficulty in the question was that if one looks at the origin of this Trust, it was because of a decision of the then KwaZulu-Natal government, and not necessarily by the monarch, but in its wisdom, the KwaZulu-Natal government then felt that the land at that territory would be best protected under the monarch. The creation of this Trust did not necessarily emanate from the monarch in one way or the other, however the question that the Chairperson was raising, which is correct, was that in terms of the legislation, even its original legislation and its amendment thereof in 1997, was saying the state, through the Department of Land Affairs will give support to the Board. She said these were the matters that the Ministry and the Department would have to reflect upon, including the Committee in its wisdom in assessing this Trust and whether they really think they should roll out a similar structure.

It is a matter that requires better assessment because the experiences of the Committee and the Committees before might come to a better recommendation on whether the Trust should be expanded or amended, or even rescinded, which might mean a repeal of the legislation. The question would then be whether repealing the legislation that provides for the ITB would mean the Trust is being dismantled or the Trust could remain in terms of the Trust Act with the assets it has.

The Chairperson said with returning R1.1 billion back to the coffers of Treasury, the Department would find that the R22 million or R28 million given to the ITB could go a long way in support of all other monarchs right across the landscape of our country. This is a topic and subject that the Department and the Committee needed to consume themselves with and ensure that they deliberate on or else they stood to be seen as a Department and a Committee that simply had the interests of a sole monarch in the country. “We are not an absolute monarchy, but we are a constitutional democracy and we pride ourselves in the diversity of our nation, and that nation’s beauty lies in the nations within it, and I think they can be greater deliberations in ensuring that all our kingdoms and our monarchs are supported equally and are given an opportunity to administer and see to their communities as best as they are most capable of doing,” he said.

Briefing by Minister on Special Master of Labour Tenants

Minister Didiza said the Committee invited her to brief it on matters that relate to the decision of the court in the establishment of the Special Master as an officer of the court and what was defined as the role of the Special Master in ensuring that there is a speeded up process on the finalisation of the labour tenants claim. The Department’s understanding of the mandate of the Special Master on labour tenants as per the court decision was that the role of the Special Master was to supervise and monitor the performance of the Director General and the Department regarding the functions of the Department as they relate to the resolution of outstanding tenant’s claims in terms of section 16,17, and 18 of the Labour Tenants Act. Among the issues that were also highlighted was that the Special Master would have to satisfy himself or herself on the financial allocation on a yearly basis to ensure that the execution of the settlement of the labour tenants is undertaken and therefore the Special Master remains an agent of the court. The Special Master reports to the court and acts in extension of the court's own supervisory jurisdictions.

The court made the appointment by requesting proposals from those who had filed the court and others on the recommendation of such an individual which was duly done, and the role of the Department would be to support the work of the Special Master so that the Special Master executes the decision of the court. On 29 October 2019, the court ordered that once the Special Master is appointed, it shall prepare, in collaboration with the Director---General or delegate to deliver by no later than 31 March 2022, a plan for the performance of the DG and the Department with supervision by the Special Master concerning pending labour tenants claim under section 16,17, and 18 of the Labour Tenants Act, and the plan must set forth the following:

The total number of claims lost to date and the number which have not yet been processed and finalised.
An assessment of the skills pool and other infrastructure required for processing labour tenants claim, and to what extent such skills pool and infrastructure is available within the Department.
Targets on the year-to-year basis for the resolution of pending claims either by agreement or by referring the claims to the court.
A determination of the budget necessary during each financial year for carrying out the implementation plan, including both the Departments operating cost for processing claims and the amounts required to fund awards made pursuant to applications in terms of section 16 of the Act
Plans for coordination with the court to ensure the rapid adjudication or arbitration of unresolved claims referred to it in terms of section 18(7) read with sections 19 to 25 of the Act.
Any other matters with the special master may consider relevant.

After this process was done, the Special Master felt it was necessary for him to visit the various provinces where majority of labour tenants were located and subsequently had a discussion with the labour tenants to outline how he was going to execute his task as a special master.

Mr Bonginkosi Zulu, Acting Deputy Director-General: Land Redistribution and Development, explained the implementation strategy and its component elements, the targets of the implementation plan, the provincial breakdown of the outstanding labour tenants claims that needed to be processed and their categories.

He said the finalisation of claims lodged in the provinces remained a challenge and the processing of outstanding land claims was very slow. A Multisite Accelerated Claims Resolution Initiative was developed by the Special Master on Labour Tenants (LT) and was adopted and rolled out. Parallel to establishing a credible database, capacity to deliver on this project and the rollout of the LT implementation plan is still challenging. Processing of cases to court was very slow due to capacity issues in the State Attorney’s office.

The categories included the following:

1. Cases where consensus for settlement already exists.
2. Cases where there is no consensus and there may be resistance to settlement.
3. Lost applications with proof that application was lodged.
4. Lost applications with no proof that application was lodged.
5. Labour tenants that cannot be traced because of death or other reasons.
6. Cases upon which other proactive land acquisition mechanisms are being or have been applied.
7. Cases where labour tenants were displaced to give way to mines.
8. Labour tenants displaced to give way to game farming.
9. Cases where attempts are being made or have been made to incorporate labour tenants into the agricultural value chains.
10. Cases where NGOs, NPOs or other civil society organisations can get involved and/or are already involved in devising other innovative ways of resolving claims.

The SMLT assessed the skills pool working on labour tenants' issues per the LT plan. The findings were that the available human resources for the resolution of labour tenants revealed that no Department official exclusively focused on labour tenants issues. The report generally revealed the need to augment the skills set of Department project officers. The areas identified were as follows:
Project management:

• Data and records management;
• The understanding of people-centred and people-driven development facilitation;
• Negotiations skills;
• Understanding of geomatics and how the science can be deployed to build robust evidence and assist the resolution of claims;
• The understanding and use of qualitative and quantitative research techniques like oral history rendition, interrogation of archival materials, and so on, in the claims resolution process.

Previously, DALRRD appointed contract employees in the provinces to provide the Labour Tenant function and this created another challenge each time the employment contracts ended. This was due to the fact that these posts were not in the current establishment. A total of 18 LT contract posts have been filled in Mpumalanga and all KZN seven posts have been advertised and are being filled. The National LT Programme manager has also been advertised with a closing date of 14 October 2022 for contract of 12 months pending DPSA approval to align with SMLT term of office.

The Tenure Reform Implementation Posts (that also provide the Labour Tenant Function) are now advertised to be permanently filled. The above statistical information is given to provide the total of posts filled and currently vacant. Intensified effort is on the way to fill vacancies as quickly as possible. The DALRRD is currently not able to increase the approved organisational structure and can only address the challenge in the Fit-for-Purpose Structure.


Mr Kruger said it was common knowledge that there were a lot of unqualified officials in the Department of Rural Development, which was the one thing he wanted to know what the Minister was going to do about. The second one was a court order to create a budget to deal with matters related to labour tenders. He wanted to know how far the Department was with this because it seemed like the unqualified senior officials struggled to put the budget and the whole program together.

Ms Mahlo wanted to know the bottlenecks for the labour tenants not getting support on the land they were given because, in the recent oversight visit that the Committee did, it realised that the issue of development for labour tenants and farmworkers was not supported enough.

Ms Breedt wanted to know when the Department foresaw the approval of the fit-for-purpose structure and when it foresaw that the positions could be filled so that the Department could move forward in terms of the labour tenants’ claims and seeking the outstanding claims. On one of the first slides, there was the true reflection of what was outstanding and that was 9 333 outstanding claims, and then at the right-hand side of that slide, they had the projected or what they submitted to court in terms of outstanding claims for the year 2022/23, which was 2 000, and then for 2023/24, it was 2 520, which brought it to a total to 4 500. There is a disparity between the 9 300 and the 4 500. How was the Department going to reconcile that? This was because when the Department spoke to the budget, it was only planning and only budgeting for the 2023/24 financial year, but that still left so many outstanding claims.

She feared that there were so many outstanding claims and the Department only budgeted for 4 500 in the next two years, and which meant it would still have half of those true outstanding claims that would be outstanding. How was this going to be reconciled? What was going to be the plan of action to ensure that they stayed within that timeline? The timeline of the court order was also very important, specifically considering that the Department was not settling the outstanding claims as was proposed.

Looking at the allocation and expenditure, the Department was decreasing year-on-year and both the allocation and the expenditure of that in total will only be a 29% expenditure of the allocated budget, with the 2023/24 year being 4% spending of that budget. How did the Department get to that amount? She was concerned that the Department was chasing a specific number of outstanding settlements, as well as a decreasing budget, it was also ending its year in terms of its allocation to do the court order, and none of these things were adding up, and there will be no budget at the deadline.

Mr Montwedi said the Chairperson had mentioned in his opening remarks that the budget of the Department should be compliant in terms of what the court order said, stating that there must be a determination of the budget necessary during each financial year for carrying out the implementation plan and the Department’s operating costs and funding in terms of section 16 of the Labour Tenants Act. He asked if the Department could show the Committee a budget that indicated those three things; the implementation cost, the operation cost, and the funding awards that were made. Since the appointment of the Special Master that deals with issues of the labour tenants, how was the finalisation of the Labour Tenants Act coming along? This was because he recalled some point when the Department was reporting to the Committee and indicated the challenges regarding the Department of Justice as one of the reasons why they were unable to finalise the Act.

DALRRD response

Mr Zulu said the Department has a branch that deals with post segments support and a Land Development Support Policy which is one of the Department’s sister branches that deals with that. The implementation plan spoke about 9 333 outstanding claims, however because of the overlapping boundaries in Limpopo, parts of Sekhukhune were in Mpumalanga, so when the Department did the assessment and the verification, some applications fell within Limpopo, which increased the outstanding claims within the Limpopo province to 294 and then there was a slight increase in the 9 333 to 9 468. 

He said the allocated budget and expenditure was the MTEF allocation presented there over the three years. When the Department do the next MTEF, it will cover the remaining five years, which is the term of office as per the court order for the Special Master. The Special Master is appointed for a period of five years, so the targets mentioned were the targets within the current period, and after the period, the implementation of the settlement of the outstanding labour tenants will continue. He said, in the slides, they broke down the budget allocation into the operational costs, which is the money that the Department set aside for operational costs for the office of the Special Master with all the support staff that works there and all the requirements or assets that they need in terms of the goods and services, and the tools of trade.

The Department acknowledged that there was an expectation that there must be a separate budget for labour tenants and a separate budget for other tenure programmes or for the Extension of Security of Tenure Act (ESTA) when land is acquired. However, National Treasury allocated the Department the budget under household with one vote, which is something the Department was engaging its CFO about to see if there could be a separation and how it could be done. The performance was not good, and the Department was not happy about its performance and was engaging with the office of the Special Master on how it could improve on the performance. They also needed to agree on how they needed to deal with the issue of the State Attorney because the Department of Justice needed to be the one to deal with the capacity of the State Attorney. The current Act forces the Department or the DG to refer the matter through to the office of the State Attorney and the State Attorney needs to capacitate itself to ensure that the work is done.

Mr Ramasodi Mooketsa, Director-General, DALRRD, said the Department understood the role of the Special Master as that they would be a problem solver and a solution finder with three very distinct functions that they have to perform: (1) To oversee the work that the Department is doing; (2) to monitor on the work that the Department has been doing; and (3) looking at the full implementation of the Act of securing those who have claimed and whose claims have been upheld in the system.

He said the Department being staffed by unqualified people stemmed from the initial report that came from the Department of Public Service and Administration and openly stated that the Department would share the qualifications of the individuals who are within the Department so that the levels of qualifications in the Department could be known because while there were some unqualified people, there were also qualified individuals who were in positions in the Department who were doing work around tenure reform. The problem was with the number of people that the Department had in this tenure reform space, which is why the Department was going to fortify the space. The Department started with the directorate that would deal with communal tenure and was also working towards fortification of the general tenure in the system. The need for a fit-for-purpose structure in the Department is so that the Department can be able to adequately respond to its mandate, so that it can have a system that would be responsive to the needs on the ground. They were doing that as a matter of urgency. 

The Department expected that it would be able to do that by 1 April. If that does not happen by that date, the Department will fast-track the areas that are very urgent in terms of working so that they can also implement while the processes may be delayed. In the Department’s engagements with the Special Master, they also became aware that in line with the human resources, some of the posts that the Department has were manned by contractual workers that they contracted in and for a specific period. The Department wanted to change this so that it could have permanency in terms of labour tenants, not only specifically for labor tenants, but the general tenure reform issues that they need to deal with in the Department, which was the broad-based engagement that the Minister had articulated as she gave the history of tenure security in South Africa.

He said the issue around the budget was something that the Department would have to deal with internally, looking at the judgment itself and how they allocate it, but the budget, as indicated, would be around the three functions because implementation was still the responsibility of the Department. The Special Master was given a task that when they look at the claims that have been lodged, they must look at the surest route that would ensure that the relief being sought has full implementation. The Department allowed some of the standard operating procedures to root in, but the implementation remains to the Department and any amount that goes to the Special Master would be related to the administration to look at the three functions of the Special Master.

Minister Didiza said in the assessment of farmer support, the Department looked at restitution cases, land reform or land redistribution programmes, labour tenants and farmworkers and agreed that it was important for the Department to put resources aside to support these individuals and communities, particularly working with the provincial Departments of Agriculture so that through the programmes that they render, they did not miss the beneficiaries of land reform from the different programs, acknowledging that they may not have enough resources in their equitable share.

The court was very clear that there should be adequate financing for this programme to ensure that the Department resolve the remaining claims, and that is what the Department sought to do in terms of MTEF budget. Going forward, the Department needs to clearly delineate how much in terms of tenure goes to the labour tenants and to the farmworkers in terms of the extension of security of tenure and other tenure-related matters, so that it is very clear to the Committee when it assesses to see exactly the quantum that is for this specific work.

On the issue of unqualified staff, she said the Committee would appreciate the decision that was taken by the 6th administration led by President Ramaphosa on the need of the professionalisation of the civil service, and indeed that is what the Department was aiming for to make sure that those that are in its service are people who have the capability and the expertise to undertake their tasks. That is why it was necessary that when the Special Master started his task, he worked with the Department to look at the profile of the people that are there and how those people in terms of their competences could be utilised within this programme and the need for filling up the vacancies that were there so that this programme would not be compromised. 

The Department would have to look at several areas in terms of adequate placement of people within the Department as part of the fit-for-purpose structure in terms of their qualifications and where they are placed. The Department also went through the reconfiguration of a merger, which brought some functions and removed some functions. This ongoing assessment of staff in their placement must be in accordance with the function but also with the expertise that they have.

Follow-up discussion

Ms Mahlo said she did not hear the response of the Department regarding the support to farmworkers and farm dwellers with services such as water and health services. She asked how the intergovernmental communication between the Department and other Departments, such as the Department of Water and Sanitation, would work in that regard.

The Chairperson said he was unclear regarding the Special Master regarding the budget. Did the Department mean that the capital budget being spent was still nonexistent? In terms of the Special Master’s monitoring role, how was he overseeing the capital budget, which was not clearly spelt out at this point? He also wanted to understand how the Department was reporting to court on the budget issue because it was one of the issues raised in court. The Chairperson recalled a time when the Committee went on an oversight visit to a community and met young people that were totally displaced with no support. They even asked the Committee to assist with their sporting equipment. The Committee and the team there managed to get them soccer and netball kits. These were labour tenants who seemed to have been left on their own after the settlement of their labour tenant applications with no other support. These were generally the findings that the Committee saw during the oversight, which is why the Committee wanted to understand the budget allocation for post-settlement.

Minister’s response

Minister Didiza said land reform is an integrated function and it was true that some of those support measures do not lie in the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development nor even in their budget, for instance, issues of water and sanitation would be in the purview of the Minister of Water Affairs, so as Human Settlement, Arts and Culture as well some of those that would be within the sphere of local government. What is important in this coordination is that when a settlement is done even prior to its settlement, the various Departments must understand that in this locality or district, there is a land settlement that will be done, be it through labour tenants or even restitution or any other land reform redistribution issue so that the various Departments and spheres of government prepare themselves for supporting those communities with all the necessary amenities because it is not in all instances that those could be agricultural or other areas which are within our function, but they are part of the municipalities. DALRRD and the other Departments are working together to address these matters.

Labour tenants are often not in bigger communities as one would often find that there are about two families in a community and five in another and so on, so what is important is also about engaging the land owner concerned so that such services are shared. The Department found that in some instances after settlement, water is cut off from those communities or families and they do not have access to other services such as electricity, especially in situations where the communities are smaller to be able to be linked on the grid. The Department was deliberating with other Departments on such issues to find ways to ensure that services that all community members should receive are affordable and provided to such communities. Many municipalities and districts have not provided for the burial sites of members living on farms, so time and again, when there are such burials, there would be tension. The coordination that the Department was doing within the IMC sought to address such matters where people found themselves located in far-flung areas with no basic services close by.

On the monitoring of the capital budget by the Special Master, she said part of the function wherein the Department reviewed its budget, the Special Master needed to satisfy himself that the budget for labour tenants, within the whole tenure budget of the Department is adequate to address the issues of labour tenants. The Department had indicated what was on its MTEF allocation for tenure reform when it reported to court, which also included labour tenants and within that, in the itemised budget, one can delineate how much of this is for labour tenants and how much of the other is for other related tenure security. She committed that the Department would show the Committee the figures of the amounts for settling labour tenants in the next meeting so that it would be clear for the Committee how much capital amount is earmarked for settlement of the labour tenant claims in the MTEF.

The Chairperson said the community the Committee had visited was Mengame (sp), which they found right on the outskirts of a farming community in the mountains without access to any services. He felt it was important to raise it so that the Minister could note it and perhaps visit the area and help the community.

He thanked the Minister, Deputy Minister, the Officials of the Department and the representatives of the Ingonyama Trust Board for their participation in the meeting and briefings and allowed them to exit the meeting.

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development on an Oversight Visit to Sundays River Valley, Eastern Cape

The Chairperson went through the recommendations in the report for Members to consider.

Ms Breedt moved for the adoption of the report and was seconded by Ms Mahlo.

The Report was adopted.

Mr Masipa thanked the Committee for its quick response in attending the issue of Sunday’s River Valley as he could not join the Committee on the trip and added that the Committee needed to be more responsive in the future when things like what happened in Sunday’s River Valley happen again. 

The Chairperson said the Committee works within the confines of the processes and the budget constraints of Parliament so sometimes the Committee cannot hop on a plane and go on oversight because of those processes. They also need to identify stakeholders they will engage with when they go on oversight, so during protests, they may not be able to engage thoroughly with stakeholders. The team that engaged with stakeholders did exceptional work, which helped the Committee compile a report.

Consideration and adoption of the draft minutes of 22 November 2022

Mr Masipa moved for the adoption of the draft minutes and was seconded by Mr Capa.

The draft minutes were adopted.

Matters arising

Mr Masipa said on the issue of the commodity groups, he had seen that the DG of DALRRD had engaged with the CEOs of the industry and suggested that the Committee could also adopt that approach of having a public engagement to hear the industry forum as a collective.

The Chairperson said the Committee would consider that when planning its 2023 programme.

Concluding remarks

The Chairperson reminded the members of the plenary at 2PM, and wished the Members and the Committee support staff good rest and safety for the holidays as it was a rollercoaster year in Parliament.

The meeting was adjourned.

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