Parliamentary Media Briefing by the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs

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This Report is a Contact Natural Resource Information Service
Taking Parliament to People, and People to Parliament

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The aim of this report is to summarise the main events at the meeting and identify the key role players. This report is not a verbatim transcript of proceedings.

MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS
14 September 2001
PARLIAMENTARY MEDIA BRIEFING BY THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS

Minister:
Ms Thoko Didiza

SUMMARY:
What follows is a summary of the Minister Thoko Didiza's power point presentation at the media briefing which took place on 14 September 2001. The presentation covered the following key aspects: Land Redistribution; Tenure Reform; Restitution of Land Rights; Spatial Planning and Information; Agriculture; and the Deeds Office.

MINISTER'S POWER POINT PRESENTATION:

VISION :An equitable and sustainable land dispensation that promotes social and economic development

MISSION: To provide access to land and to extend rights in land, with particular emphasis on the previously disadvantaged communities, within a well planned environment.

POLICY FRAMEWORK
- Policy direction from Minister February 2000
- Speech by the President 9 February 2001
- Cabinet Lekgotla Action Plan for Social Sector Cluster
- Strategic priorities
- ISRDS
- URS

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES (SO)
- Provision of access to land
- Provision of rights in land
- Improvement and alignment of systems and processes
- Improvement of stakeholder relations
- Promotion of intra-departmental excellence
- Effective co-ordination of integrated Spatial Planning and Information

KEY OUTPUTS PER SO
Provision of access to land (SO)
- Increase in sustainable land use
- Better access to land administration services
- Reaching land redistribution targets
- Decrease in state owned land
Provision of rights in land (SO)
- Increased security of tenure
- Increased state land vesting
Systems and processes(SO)
- More effective management information system
- More efficient service delivery (Batho Pele)
- More effective monitoring and evaluation of programmes
- Establishment of a decentralised delivery system
- Appropriate delegation of powers within functions
Stakeholder Relations (SO)
- Increased stakeholder involvement in policy development and implementation
- Improved stakeholder partnerships (NGO's, SALGA, NAFUM, Agriunion, etc.)
- More effective local government empowerment / capacity building


LAND REDISTRIBUTION AND TENURE REFORM

KEY FOCUS AREAS:

1. REDISTRIBUTION PROGRAMME:
PROVISION OF ACCESS TO LAND FOR:
SETTLEMENT
COMMONAGES
SMALL SCALE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION
FARM SHARE EQUITY
THE DEPT. IS ALSO EXPLORING OTHER FORMS OF DEVELOPMENT (e.g. Eco-tourism, Community Forestry, Mining Etc.)

2 TENURE REFORM: COMMUNAL LAND
UPGRADING OF INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS (IN COLLABORATION WITH PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT)
TRANSFER OF LAND TO TRADITIONAL COMMUNITIES
FACILITATING DEVELOPMENTS IN LAND HELD IN TRUST BY THE MINISTER (ENSURING THAT THERE IS COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION).
UPGRADING AND PHASING OUT THE PTO SYSTEM
CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF 13 NODAL AREAS WITHIN THE ISRDS AND UR PROGRAMME

3. TENURE REFORM: INDIVIDUAL LAND RIGHTS
ESTA
- MONITORING EVICTIONS
- CONFIRMATION OF RIGHTS
- PROVISION OF SECURE TENURE (ON & OFF FARM SETTLEMENTS)

LABOUR TENANTS
- PROVISION OF PERMANENT RIGHTS
- FINALISATION ALMOST 14 000 LTA CLAIMS
- IMPLICATIONS FOR PLANNING, SUB-DIVISION,

4. STATE LAND MANAGEMENT
STATE LAND ADMINISTRATION
- IDENTIFICATION OF STATE LAND FOR REDISTRIBUTION
- LAND USE AUDITS
- ADMINISTRATION OF LEASES
- REGISTRATION OF SERVITUDES

STATE LAND DISPOSAL


ACHIEVEMENTS FROM APRIL 2001 - AUGUST 2001:

1. POLICY AND LEGISLATION
LAND RIGHTS BILL TO BE TABLED IN PARLIAMENT BEFORE NOV. 2001
PROGRAMME FOR REDISTRIBUTION OF LAND FOR ASPIRANT FARMERS LAUNCHED (LRAD)
STRATEGY FOR PARTICIPATION IN ISDRS NODAL AREAS (OPTIONS DOCUMENTS & SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS) BEING FINALISED


2. IMPLEMENTATION
23 Redistribution Project Approved Involving 213 Hhs & 12223ha) (Started in 2000)
31 Lrad Projects Approved
State Land Disposal -
Approval Granted for Disposal of Land Under Dla 642 Ha Approved Disposal
28 458 Ha for Vesting (Eastern Cape)
State Land Administration: Lease Agreements Renewed - 88 Mainly in North West
Labour Tenants Claims Settled
Mpumalanga -21 Projects 1078 Households 16713 Hectares
Kwazulu Natal - 8 Projects, 426 Households 3217 hectares


RESTITUTION PROGRAMME: COMMISSION ON RESTITUTION OF LAND RIGHTS

COMMISSION ON RESTITUTION OF LAND RIGHTS

1. Priorities set for the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights
A need to speed up the settlement of restitution claims.
A review of the method of calculating monetary value for the settling of claims.
A reduction in administrative costs.
Closer collaboration with other government departments.

2. Refocusing efforts in the settlement of rural claims
Restructuring the restitution process to enable the speeding up of claims.
Speeding up the validation of all claims.
Communication with claimants regarding the status of their claims.

3. Speeding up the settlement of restitution claims.
Since March 2000, settled restitution claims moved from 3 916 to 12 150 by end March 2001.
Since then the claims have moved to 12, 674 to date.
Since February 2001, the following claims have been settled throughout the country, largely rural claims, involving substantial numbers of people as beneficiaries.

Gauteng and North West:
- Klipgat restoration (North West), Community - Rural.
- Kinde Estate restoration(North West), Family - Rural.
- Willem Klopperville financial compensation(Gauteng) - Urban.
- East Wood financial compensation (Gauteng) - Urban.

Mpumalanga
-
Boomplaats restoration, Community - Rural.
- Kalkfontein restoration, Community - Rural.
- Steelpoortpark, Community -Rural

KwaZulu Natal
-
Mbila-Mabaso Restoration, Community - Rural.

Free Sate
-
Marabastad financial compensation, Community - Urban.

Western Cape
-
Langebaan restoration, Family - Urban
- Knysna, Community - Urban
- Tramway Road Community - Urban

Northern Province
-
New Pietersburg financial compensation, Community - Urban

Eastern Cape
-
Gwiji restoration, Family - Rural
- Dwesa-Cwebe restoration, Communities - Rural

4. Review of method of calculating the monetary value of claims
As far as possible, as against elaborate, costly, and time consuming valuations, the standard settlement method, based on municipal valuation of land is made use of successfully with claimants. Examples are, Alexandra, Payneville, District Six and Pelcra.

5. A reduction in administrative costs.
Every effort is made to keep administrative costs down, every step of the way.

6. Closer collaboration with other government departments.
Early on in the processing of every restitution claim, important role players are identified and harnessed into the process of finalising the claim, to ensure the sustainability of the settlement.

7. Refocusing efforts on the settlement of rural claims.
The list of settled rural claims, though few in number, compared to urban claims, these claims involve large numbers of beneficiaries

8. The extrapolation that, at the end urban claims constitute 80% of all claims lodged and rural claims constitute 20% is still true. However, it is estimated that urban claims will benefit approximately 300, 000 people, whereas rural claims will benefit approximately 4 million people.

9. Restructuring the restitution process to enable the speeding up of settlement of claims.
The clear path that each claim travels, has enabled the Commission to speed up the process. These steps have been simplified and are:

10. Since February 2001 - the Free State and Northern Cape have an office in Bloemfontein and a Commissioner, Mr Sugar Ramakarane.

11. Mpumalanga now has its own Commission Office in Nelspruit and a Commissioner, Mr Nceba Nqana.

12. Northern Province also has its own office in Pietersburg and a Commissioner, Mr Mashile Mokono.

13. Contributing towards the Integrated Sustainable Land Development Initiative.
The settlement of the following claims is certainly a contribution land restitution is making to the IRSDI.
Dwesa-Cwebe - Eastern Cape, a rural claim involving seven communities who have succeeded in laying claim to land under nature conservation and biodiversity. Based on the principle of co-existence of rights the settlement involves the claimants as original owners receiving title to the land on the one hand, and the conservation authority, continuing to use the land for nature conservation and biodiversity, on the other hand, through a joint management arrangement with claimant representatives. Revenues generated through the use of land accrue to the claimants, whilst the land usage is not charged or compromised.
Mbila-Mabaso in KwaZulu Natal, two community claims changed also fall under the same category.
Mbangweni restitution claim also in KwaZulu Natal also falls in this category.

14. Communication with claimants and the validation campaign.
I directed the Commission to embark on a validation campaign aimed at validating all outstanding claims to date, since lodgment in December 1998.

15. The South African Government has allocated R5M and the Belgian Government is bringing R10M, to the party.

16. The validation commenced on 1 July 2001 and will run until 30 June 2002.
There are approximately 39 000 claims still to be validated.
To date most service providers have been appointed and have commenced with this validation of claims.

17. Whilst validation is itself not the finalisation of the claim, it brings certainty to all parties involved, claimants, current landowners and other interested parties.

18. It paves the way for subsequent stages such as notification, verification of claimants, negotiation up to settlement, including post-settlement stage.

19. The National Call Centre has been established, funded by the National Development Agency (NDA). The Toll Free Number is 0800 700 900 and has been operational since 3 September 2001.

This will increase communication with claimants, not only these whose claims are being validated but also all claimants who may want to know the status of their claim.



CHIEF DIRECTORATE: SPATIAL PLANNING AND INFORMATION

1. LAND USE MANAGEMENT BILL (LUMB)

The bill aims to regulate Spatial Planning and Land Use Management with the objective of enhancing equity and efficiency in our settlement patterns. Among the core thrusts of the bill are:

Establishment of a single effective and uniform national legislative and institutional framework for spatial planning and land use management
Repealing of a range of existing, and often contradictory and confusing, planning laws and ordinances that exist in the country. The vast majority of such laws and ordinances were formulated and pasted before 1994. The Development and Facilitation Act (67 of 1997) did not deal with the repealing of previous planning laws and ordinances.

An extensive national consultative process has been underway culminating in publication of the Bill in the Government gazette of 20 July 2001. Subsequently, provincial workshops were conducted in all provinces to discuss the contents of the Bill and take comments and input. Comment period expires on 21 September 2001 - after which the Bill will be redrafted and submitted to Parliament

2. SPATIAL INFORMATION BILL (SIB)

The SIB aims to;

Regulate the collection, management and use of spatial information
Give effect to the constitutional right of access to information which information is required for the exercise of a right
Maximise access to and use of spatial information in development and governance

The draft Bill was circulated in December 2000. National workshops were held in February 2001 and the redrafting completed in June 2001. DLA is in the process of forwarding the Bill to Parliament.

3. PLANNING PROFFESSION BILL (PPB)

The PPB aims to;

Regulate and transform the planning profession
Establish the South African Council of Planners
Regulate the registration into the planning profession
Maintain high technical and ethical standards and integrity within the profession

The Bill was submitted to Parliament in August 2001 and is expected to pass during the current session.


4. BASE DATA FOR SPATIAL PLANNING

Recognising that:

All spheres of government will be required to prepare spatial plans
Such plans require base data of a spatial nature
A vast amount of data lies in various forms and in places

The Chief Directorate has undertaken a project that will tabulate primary / crucial data to facilitate the spatial planning process across the country.


5. CLIENTS LIAISON AND NEEDS ANALYSIS

The strategic and operational links between DLA and a range of partners around spatial planning land use management requires strengthening. In order to achieve this, the following efforts are underway;

An audit of provincial and local government planning systems. This will include an indication of:

Provincial departments responsible for planning
Contact details of politicians and officials heading planning processes
Existing or intended planning legislation, programmes or projects
Needs that DLA may play a role in meeting
How functional interaction can be enhanced


6. ALIGNMENT OF NATIONAL MAPPING PROGRAMME WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF IDENTIFIED NODAL AREAS
Realignment of the collection of framework spatial data to the key nodal areas
This will ensure that up to date information is available for planning and decision making
It will also be possible to monitor progress with the developments taking place in these areas through cyclical updating
Recently 50% of the area of the nodal areas have been covered with aerial photography, with the remaining areas to be covered in the next year
The maps are being updated

7. NEW PROVINCIAL MAPS
The Department of Land Affairs has revised the Provincial Map series
These maps depict the new local government boundaries
Each Province is shown on a separate map sheet as shown on the next slides


CHIEF DIRECTORATE: DEEDS REGISTRATION

1. PROPOSED ELECTRONIC DEEDS REGISTRATION SYSTEM:

MOTIVATION

To accommodate anticipated increase in land parcels from 6,5 to approximately 20 million
To improve cost-effectiveness
To provide electronic access to Deeds' services from remote / rural areas
To accommodate future tenure types
To consolidate current diverse registration procedures

PROGRESS TO DATE
Assumption of duty by Transaction Advisor - 4 June 2001
61 weeks project duration
Options analysis completed
Submission to Department for approval of recommended option - 15 August 2001

THE WAY FORWARD

Departmental approval of preferred option
Feasibility Study in respect of preferred option
If PPP option, prove to Treasury:-
Affordability
Value for money
Transfer of risk to private partner
If non-PPP option:-
Normal tender procedure
Development phase (approx. 2 years)
Implementation (phase-in) parallel process

WEB-ENABLEMENT OF DEEDS INFORMATION SYSTEM

Benefits
Clients no longer reliant on expensive 3rd party PC-based software
Provides access to Internet browsers
Foundation for Electronic Deeds Registration System
Current status
Development at advanced stage of completion
Beta testing by selected users end of September 2001
Implementation planned for January 2002

DEEDS' BAR-CODE DOCUMENT TRACKING SYSTEM

Benefits
Electronically tracks deeds and documents through office
Provides management information
Reduces incidence of lost deeds
Provides information to public on status of transactions
Current status
Pilot project launched in Pretoria office - January 2001
Roll-out in Johannesburg office - August 2001
Roll-out in Pietermaritzburg office - September 2001
Roll-out in remaining offices - to complete December 2001

2. DEEDS REGISTRATION TRADING ACCOUNT
2000/2001 Financial Year
Revival in economy / property market
Significant increase in transaction volumes
Surplus of R63 million declared to Treasury

2001/2002 Financial Year
No increase of tariffs in Schedule of Fees of Office
Transaction volumes stable
Projected surplus of R49 million

3. CADASTRAL SURVEYS: EXTENDING THE CADASTRAL SURVEY SYSTEM TO ALL SOUTH AFRICANS

1. New Surveyor-General offices to be created for all nine provinces
2. First Black Surveyor-General appointed on 1 August 2001
3. Incorporating the informal rural settlements into the digital information system
4. Recruiting candidates for tertiary studies in land surveying from designated groups


NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

1. AGRICULTURE - INFRASTRUCTURE REHABILITATION, SUPPORT SYSTEMS, INCREASING COMPETITIVENESS

Farmer Support Centers in rural development nodes
11 irrigation schemes in Northern Provinces
Rehabilitation of FMD affected areas start
Implementation of diesel fuel rebate by 2001
Formulating the agricultural sector strategy
Implementation of the Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development
Drafting of the biotechnology strategy
Strengthening regulatory services
To participate in the preparation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development
To lead the agricultural sector in MAP
Promote competitiveness and trade by participating in regional (SADC) and international forums (WTO)

2. AGRICULTURE - INFRASTRUCTURE REHABILITATION, SUPPORT SYSTEMS, INCREASING COMPETITIVENESS

[1] Lambasi in the Lusikisiki district has been launched;
4 schemes covering 1841 ha [affecting 1448 farmers] have been rehabilitated in the Northern Province;
Interim disaster mitigation actions undertaken in Sankonje and Mophele;
Comprehensive "Post Foot and Mouth disease project proposal being developed with IDT;
Fence construction around Kruger Park is in progress
Diesel fuel rebate - implemented;

3. AGRICULTURE - INFRASTRUCTURE REHABILITATION, SUPPORT SYSTEMS, INCREASING COMPETITIVENESS

Consensus building between government and farmers on necessary support measures underway. Consultation on the Sector Strategy is continuing
Key policy issues emerging are participation, competitiveness and sustainability
Challenges still exist - re alignment of policy, planning sequencing and resource allocation across spheres of government and line departments

4. AGRICULTURE - FACILITATING ACCESS FOR BLACK FARMERS

Disposal of 669 000 ha of state owned land in all the nine provinces
Establishment of joint ventures for farmer settlement in citrus, wine and table grapes - roll-out in 4 provinces in 2001
Comprehensive support "sunrise" package submitted as part of MTEF
LRAD launched on 13 August 2001
To-date disposal of 366 716 ha of state owned land done in form of lease with option to buy;
65 Citrus farmers have been settled in Seloane (6), Marivene (27) and Mabunda (32);
Initiative to design new venture capital options support the entry of black farmers in this capital-intensive industry is underway through Land Bank;
Repositioning of the Land Bank-Act passed by Cabinet.
Table Grapes - Programme Manager to be appointed by DTI under the Orange River SDI programme
Critical Issues
Most land was occupied - key challenge is strategy for acquisition of new [quality] land;
Investment implications of above reality;
Delays due largely to conveyancing procedures;

5. AGRICULTURE - ENHANCEMENT OF THE NATIONAL REGULATORY SYSTEM
Enactment of Animal Identification and Animal Health Bills
Cabinet Memorandum on the establishment of a Food Control Agency
Improving excellence through investment in technology.
Animal Identification and Animal Health Bills passed by Cabinet in May - bills to contribute to reducing stock theft and improving the traceability of animals
Food Control Agency - consultation with Dept of Health in progress
Main vision is to ensure that all food provided and marketed does not present a health risk to consumers and to ensure compliance with food safety norms and standards

6. OTHER INITIATIVES:

The Department is in consultation with the Department of Arts Culture Science and Technology - in the Biotechnology strategy, the strategy has been accepted by Cabinet.
The Strategy will introduce an institutional framework for furthering knowledge generation and promoting development of biotechnology application in various areas.
We have Utilised the Agriculture Geographic Information System (AGIS) to provide user-friendly framework for decision making within the ISRDP
On MAP/NAI- the agriculture sector strategy is being developed in conjunction with the Coordinating Group for Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
Review of Agenda 21 as part of the contribution to the World Summit on Sustainable Development. A national Landcare Conference is planned for February 2002.

The copyright in this material subsists with the Contact Trust. Further distribution or copying of this material is prohibited without the prior agreement of the Contact Trust.
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