26 September 2017 - NW2687
Mkhaliphi, Ms HO to ask the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform
(a) What steps has he taken to engage the stakeholders in Dunbrody Estate, between Kirkwood and Addo in the Eastern Cape, to prevent the long-term occupiers of that land from being evicted by the farmers who recently bought the land and (b) has he engaged with a certain person (name furnished) to resolve the matter; if so, what solutions did the engagements yield regarding the matter?
(a) The farm owners have sued for the eviction of long term occupiers and cited the National Governments (represented by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) and Provincial Government (represented by Department of Human Settlement) and Local Government (both District and Local Municipality for the provision of alternative accommodation and land for the re-settlement of the occupiers. DRDLR had an engagement with the farm owners and the offer for acquisition of a portion of the farm for settlement of the occupiers was not accepted by the farm owners who further advised that they further needed the property for development of citrus and other benefits where the occupier’s houses are. The municipality made an offer to the farm owners to make land available and develop same for human settlement and would give preference to the long term occupiers. The Court has required the Department to provide reports in terms of Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997 (ESTA) has been submitted and the Municipality to submit a report on the availability of land as promised. The report from the Municipality is still outstanding. DRDLR has engaged the Land Rights Management Facility and a lawyer (Siyabonga Cokile) was appointed to represent the occupiers.
(b) The matter is in the Port Elizabeth Regional Court. The matter is still pending, awaiting the report from the Municipality before the Court further decides on the application. There is no solution yet because the matter is still at Court. And the court has instructed the Local Municipality to provide a report on the availability of suitable alternative accommodation.