ATC160415: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform on the implementation of the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act (2014) and the Recapitalisation and Development Programme, dated 09 March 2016

Rural Development and Land Reform

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform on the implementation of the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act (2014) and the Recapitalisation and Development Programme, dated 09 March 2016.

The Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform, having undertaken oversight visits on the reopening of the lodgement of land claims and the recapitalisation and development of land reform farms, reports as follows:


1.         Introduction 


This report accounts for the oversight visits undertaken by the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform, henceforth referred to as the Committee, in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. For the Eastern Cape, the Committee was joined by the Portfolio Committee on Women in the Presidency to focus on the contribution of land and agrarian reform to economic empowerment of rural women.


The focus of the oversight was threefold: Firstly, the reopening of lodgement of land claims in terms of the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act, (Act No. 15 of 2014) assented to by the President of South Africa in June 2014. This Act amended the cut-off date for lodging a claim for restitution mainly. It also regulates the appointment, tenure of office, remuneration and the terms and conditions of service of judges of the Land Claims Court.  Secondly, implementation progress of the Recapitalisation and Development Programme (RADP) This programme provides emerging black farmers with social and economic infrastructure and basic resources required to manage a successful agricultural business, and contribute to the transformation of rural economy through establishment of enterprise and industrial development across agricultural chains. Lastly, the functioning of the Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB) and its usage of its resources for material benefit of the traditional communities on the Ingonyama Trust land.


1.1        Terms of reference and objectives of this report


The terms of reference for the oversight visit covers the three broad areas discussed above; namely restitution, the RADP, and ITB.  


Table 1(a): Terms of Reference for the oversight visit


Objectives of the oversight visit


·      To assess progress regarding implementation of the plans for the reopening of the lodgement of land claims.

·      To explore interconnection of the National Geomatics Management Services, Deeds Registries and National Mappings to lodgement of claims.

·      To interact with those responsible for the implementation of the lodgement of land claims, draw emerging lessons and policy implications from the lodgement of land claims.


·      To assess the effectiveness of the RADP exit strategy through enquiries on system put in place to support farms and to ensure that they are sustainable beyond the RADP funding.


·      To enquire about the support of the ITB to traditional communities and the socio-economic impact of their programmes.


In view of the terms of reference for this oversight, objectives of this report are as follows:


  • To document progress report in the implementation of the reopening of land claims as per the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act (2014); identify other support mechanisms to potential claimants
  • To assess performance of the Department in coordinating and facilitating support for land reform beneficiaries through the RADP; in particular, the successes and challenges of the programme.
  • To present the key functions of the ITB and the extent to which their programmes benefits traditional communities on the Ingonyama Trust land.


1.2        The locality of the oversight visits


The Committee visited four provinces; namely, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. It visited selected projects as illustrated in Table 1(b) below, and land claims lodgement sites in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.  


Table 1(b): List of projects visited by the Committee




Project Name

24 - 25 November 2014

Northern Cape

ZF Mgcawu




Riemvasmaak Trust


Spansberg Farm

Kanoneiland Farm

25 November 2014



Rama CPA

20 – 21 July 2015

Eastern cape

Chris Hani

Ncorha Irrigation Scheme

Zikhali Farming CC

Tyldenedale Farm

Lynmouth Farming CC

22 – 24 July 2015



Mvel’nhle Farming CC

Nokusho Business Enterprise




1.3        Oversight approach   


The Committee considered various reports submitted by the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform or Provincial Shared Services Centres (PSSCs) and the ITB.


The Committee drew on a range of briefing sessions with the Department to further hold conversations with beneficiaries and project officers. Discussions with farmers and beneficiaries as well as CPA members provided insightful information about the performance of the Department and the Commission in relation to particular programmes under scrutiny as well as the challenges experienced by farmers, CPAs and the Department, with the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights, henceforth the Commission, and the ITB.





The overall process for this oversight visit adopted the following approach:


Ÿ  Briefing sessions with the Department, the Commission and the ITB: These entities briefed the delegation about their respective areas of operation as outlined in the terms of reference in Table 1(a). In some instances, groups of beneficiaries participated during briefing sessions and presented their perspectives on development taking place in their areas.

Ÿ  Site visits: On each farm or site, the delegation was briefed by the leaders of the farming enterprises, with inputs from other members of the project officers to provide clarity on issues that beneficiaries were not responsible for. In addition, the delegation also conducted inspections in loco on farms and other sites (e.g. the ITB headquarters in Pietermaritzburg). On farms, the Committee interacted with farmers and workers. When necessary, particular recommendations for urgent interventions were made.

Ÿ  Deliberations: The Committee deliberated on their findings and observations at a Committee meeting in Parliament and developed this report with recommendations on policy matters of wider application as well as specific project-based recommendations.


1.4        Composition of the delegation


The following Members of the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform and Women in the Presidency participated, at different times, during the visits:


Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform: Ms P Ngwenya-Mabila: Chairperson and Leader of the delegation (ANC), Mr PJ Mnguni (ANC), Mr EM Nchabeleng (ANC), Ms NW Magadla (ANC), Mr Madella (ANC), Ms AD Qikani (ANC), Mr TCR Walters (DA), Mr TW Mhlongo (DA), Mr MLW Filtane (UDM). The Committee was accompanied by the following Parliamentary staff: Ms P Nyamza (Committee Secretary), Mr T Manenzhe (Content Adviser), Ms B Tsana (Committee Assistant) and Ms T Pepeteka (Researcher)


Portfolio Committee on Women in the Presidency: Ms T Memela (ANC, Chairperson), Ms P Bhengu (ANC), Ms MP Chueu (ANC), Ms D Robinson (DA), Ms N Marchesi (DA), and Ms C Majeke (UDM). The Committee was accompanied by the following Parliamentary staff: Ms N Nobatana (Committee Secretary), Ms K Abrahams (Content Adviser), Ms C Levendale (Committee Researcher), Ms C Sheldon (Committee Assistant).


Department of Rural Development and Land Reform officials: The Ministries of Rural Development and Land Reform: Mr.  B Zulu, R Sebifelo from the National Department of Rural Development and Land Reform; and officials from provincial offices. .


1. 5       Structure of the report  


This report proceeds as follows: firstly, it presents findings and observations emanating from the visits to three lodgement sites in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape, starting with some observations on the a national overview reopening of land claims and progress made to date and particular observations of the three lodgement sites; Secondly, it discusses findings on the RADP based on site visits to 12 farms across the three provinces; thirdly, it discusses the performance of the ITB in relation to support to traditional communities and the socio-impact of their programmes. Lastly, the report draws some conclusions based on the findings and makes recommendations to the National Assembly.


2.       Findings and observations of the Committee   


This section draws on the plans for the reopening of lodgement of land claims presented to the Committee in 2014 prior to the opening of the lodgement of land claims as well as briefings by the Commission on implementation progress, and discussion with officials of the Regional Land Claims Commissioner’s Offices during the visit to the lodgement sites listed in Table 2(a)..


2.1     Reopening of the lodgement of land claims


As stated above, the Committee visited three lodgement sites in Mowbray (Western Cape), Queenstown (Eastern Cape) and Pietermaritzburg (KwaZulu-Natal). Due to changes in the Parliamentary programme, the Committee could not visit the lodgement site in Gauteng as planned.


2.1.1 National overview of reopening of the lodgement of land claims


On 1 July 2015, the reopening of the lodgement of land claims was launched in line with the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act (2014). From 25 July 2014 when the Committee started with oversight visit in the Western Cape, the total number of land claims lodged was 4917. This number has exponentially increased to approximately 57300 new claims by 31 March 2015. These claims were received from the 14 lodgement offices listed in Table (iii) and the four mobile lodgement units, each shared by two provinces.   


Table 2(a): List of lodgement sites across South Africa


Lodgement site

Eastern Cape


East London

Free State















Northern Cape


Western Cape




Amount of people visiting the sites varies from province to province. For example, when the Committee visited Mowbray lodgement site, it was informed that the Commission processed about 300 land claims per day on average. The Committee noted that this put a lot of pressure on data capturers. At that time, the Commission had to second more of its staff to the lodgement site because no new positions were filled yet. In Queenstown, the number of claims were about 30 on average per day.


Across the country, an electronic system for lodgement of land claims was functioning with minimal problems. As the Committee heard at the Mowbray lodgement site, where there were problems, they were able to resolve them within a day. In an event of a system failure, manual forms were being used to avoid turning people back. The Committee also observed that as claims were lodged electronically, a national land claims register was being maintained simultaneously.


Between July 2014 and 24 July 2015, the Committee observed that the communication strategy was developed and not fully implemented at the start lodgement. However, over time, the Commission rolled out massive communication campaigns on lodgement of land claims through the use of communication sprinters across the country; including advertisement on local radio stations, TV, print media and billboards were observed.


As of 24 July 2015, the lodgement centres were situated mainly in the urban centres. This meant that majority of people living in remote rural areas, who might want to lodge land claims, were being disadvantaged. However, the Committee commended the Commission for procuring four mobile lodgement offices to reach out to those people who might not be able to reach the lodgement sites. The four mobile units are shared, two provinces per mobile unit. The Commission has also developed and published a schedule for the lodgement of land claims through the mobile units. Whilst the Committee welcomed the initiatives, it expressed concern for lack of adherence to the schedule at times for a range of reasons. In KZN, the Commission took longer time for maintenance of the lodgement bus.


2.1.2     Overview of findings at Regional Offices of the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights (Mowbray, Queenstown, and Pietermaritzburg)


In line with the terms of reference discussed above, the Committee’s assessment of lodgement sites was based on four key areas; namely, electronic lodgement, human and financial resources, lodgement facilities (accessibility and office space), and communication plan.




(a)        Electronic lodgement


The Committee found that all land claims were being lodged using an electronic system. The system requires a clear property description such as a farm name, Erf number as well as other historical evidence of dispossession, year of dispossession who was dispossessed, any compensation received and other relevant information.


Table 2(b): Number of land claims lodged (including mobile units)

Regional Offices

Total Number

Western Cape (Mowbray and George)


Eastern Cape (Queenstown and East London)


KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg and Vryheid)


*The claims were lodged by July 2014.


The Commission reported that the new claim were of good quality due to stringent screening mechanisms and enforcement of lodgement requirements. The Committee commended the Commission for putting systems in place to ensure the effective lodgement process. In all the three offices, the Committee had conversations with some of the claimants regarding the kind of assistance they received, the amount of time spent waiting for officials to attend to them. Across the three lodgement sites, claimants expressed gratitude to government for the faster and effective support and assistance to land claimants.


During the visit to the Mowbray site, the Committee had first-hand experience on the lodgement processes. It witnessed a claimant lodging a claims, from stage one until receipt of confirmation in the form of acknowledgement letters and an SMS within a minute after the lodgement.  


In spite of the good work done by the officials of the Commission, the Committee was concerned about the reported cases of syndicates attempting to defraud claimants by making them paying fees for lodgement. At the time of visiting the Mowbray offices, it was reported that matters were under investigation. It was concerning that similar issues were reported in both Queenstown and Pietermaritzburg.


Another area of concern was related to available data on claims that were finalised and statistics of the old as new claims were not processed yet from the new lodgement process which indicated a trend of an increasing number of persons/claimants who opt for financial compensation as opposed to restoration of land rights as a preferred settlement option. The Committee recommended more work should be done by the Communication unit to create awareness on the economic, social and cultural significance of land.


(b)       Lodgement facilities


As shown in Table 2(a) above, Western Cape has two lodgement sites; namely, Mowbray and George, located in the existing DRDLR offices. In Mowbray, the NGI offices, created a dedicated office for lodgement. The Committee noted that the facility and office space was sufficient for accommodating the large number of claimants reportedly coming in large numbers daily since the reopening, either to lodge claims or for enquiries.


With regard to the Eastern Cape (Queenstown and East London), the Committee expressed concern regarding the location of offices on one side of the province and in towns. Therefore, most people living in remote areas travel long distances to lodgement offices. In the same strand, for the Western Cape, the offices were located in urban centres which were not easily accessible. This, therefore, meant that a lot of work would have to be done through the mobile units. Alternatively, the Commission ought to review location of lodgement offices across the country in order to afford opportunities for easy access by the majority of people in remote areas.  


As observed in Mowbray, the Committee commended the Commission for integrated approach to supporting lodgement of land claims. The contribution of the Deeds Registries, the Surveyor-General’s Offices and the National Geospatial Information (NGI) were appreciated. However, the Committee noted that the lodgement centre was spatially separated from the Deeds and Surveyor-General’s offices. Ideally, such services should be located at the same centre to shorten the amount of time potential claimants take to obtain relevant documents to support their land claims. As it stood, if a claimant had no clear property description, he or she would be referred to the Deeds and Surveyor-General’s offices. This observation could not be made at both Queenstown and Pietermaritzburg.


All the lodgement centres have created a dedicated space to assist possible claimants with one form of disability or another. The Committee commended the Commission for taking into account special needs of persons with disabilities. In terms of language, the Committee also recommended producing materials in various languages, including posters, braille to cater for the blind.


(c)        Human and financial resources


At the time of the visit, the Committee noted that the Mowbray lodgement centre did not have sufficient capacity because most of the positions created for the lodgement of land claims were not yet filled. It thus affected the capacity of the Commission to reach out to possible claimants. In the interim, existing staff of the Regional Land Claims Commissioner’s Office were transferred to the lodgement centre to assist.


Similar trend was seen in other lodgement sites where the Commission has seconded some of the persons to assist with the lodgement process. The Committee also noted that part of the reason for not filling the vacancies was financial constraints; especially the filling of vacancies and procurement of mobile lodgement facilities. Whilst the Commission has begun procuring some of the equipment needed and filling the vacancies. It also hoped it would be able, through the engagement with the National Treasury, to secure more funding to fast-track some of the plans for the lodgement of land claims.


(d)       Communication plan


In terms of the Communication plan, the Commission had planned to develop the ‘Citizens Manual’ and translate to all official languages and to collaborate with National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) to conduct a “knock and drop”. The Committee observed that the Commission had started with the ‘knock and drop’ using the NARYSEC. However, the Committee commended the Commission for the Citizen’s Manual that has been developed, especially, translation to Braille to cater for the blind. The Committee advised the Commission to distribute the Citizen’s Manuals to Parliamentary Constituency offices, Parliamentary Democracy Offices (PDOs), Provincial Legislatures and Municipalities and NGOs, particular attention should also be given to the Disabled Peoples’ Organisations.


The Commission reported that it continuously conducts media briefings with various media houses to publicize re-opening information; it distributed Citizens Manual to District and Local Municipalities; and it also branded Sprinter buses that are used for campaigns to advertise the re-opening of lodgment of claims and for the distribution of the material.


Whilst a number of successes have been recorded above, some of the challenges are as follows: claimants travel long distances to lodge land claims despite being informed about the mobile lodgement unit of land claims; aMakhosi demand to lodge claims on behalf of communities without consent; and internally, the Queenstown lodgement office has a high rate of staff turnover due the pressure of the work.


For the Eastern Cape, the Commission expressed dissatisfaction with the location of the lodgement sites in the former border area and close to each other as indicated in Table 2(a). The Committee found it unacceptable that the Commission could not find appropriate office space in other areas particularly in Umtata.


2.2        The Recapitalisation and Development Programme


Recapitalisation and Development Programme was introduced in 2009 in order to assist distressed land reform farms and other emerging black commercial farmers. At its inception, it focussed on the support with 25 per cent of the farm’s purchase price. After considering the cost-benefits of that policy, a new policy was then developed to assist farms with 100 per cent of their needs.


As illustrated in the table below, by December 2013, the DRDLR was supporting a total of 1357 farms through the RADP, based on a five year funding model as discussed above. The greatest driver of the budget expenditue is Mpumalanga Province which accounted for 17% of the entire expenditure during the period under review, followed by KwaZulu-Natal accounting for 15.6%, North-West Province accounts for 13.7% of the entire expenditure. However, in terms of the number of farmers trained under the RADP, Western Cape Province accounts for 36.8% (600 farmers) with a share of 3.9% of the expenditure for 59 farms. It sriking that North-West, albeit having the highest number of ha under RADP, managed to train only five farmers over a period of four years.  Yet it was the province with the highest number (77) of strategic partners.

Table 2(c): Performance of the RADP as at 31 December 2013


No of




Farmers Trained

RADP Funding




Eastern Cape






Free State






























Northern Cape












Western Cape












Source: DRDLR (2014) End of Term Report (2009-2014)


2.2.1     Eastern Cape


The most common form of partnership preferred in the Eastern Cape is mentorship as opposed strategic partnerships based on equity share been a strategic partner and farmers. The overall of mentors are 89 compared to 5 strategic partners.


Between 2009 and 31 March 2015, the total number of projects supported through the RADP is 148, comprising irrigation schemes (4), state farms on communal areas (6), restitution (3), SLAG/LRAD/SPLAG (66) and PLAS (69). The Committee observed that restitution has not received priority in terms of the RADP, rather redistribution which accounts for 91% of all recap projects in the Eastern Cape. The dominant commodity which most of the farmers registered with the RADP is livestock, animal husbandry and citrus production.


The overall finding of the committee was that the incremental funding model of RADP was not implemented. Projects were funded once-off unless they demonstrated need for additional assistance. Training provided by most mentors is unstructured and difficult to measure. Whilst the programme has succeeded in addressing many of the failures of previous post settlements interventions, a number of challenges where identified by the Committee; namely, The Eastern Cape could not track training provided by mentors and strategic partners. The Committee noted with concerns that without proper tracking mechanism, the Department was not able to measure the success of skills transfer and adequacy and effectiveness of training provided. In addition, it means that there is lack of monitoring of aspects of contracts entered into with the mentors and strategic partners. The Committee was also informed that farmers had low farm management skills. In some cases, failure of farmers to account for disbursed funds on time was a major challenge for the Department. The Committee also noted that deviation from business plans was a major concern. In some cases, reports of misappropriation of funds meant for the recapitalisation of funds were reported


The Committee further visited three projects supported through the Recapitalisation and Development Programme; namely Ncora Irrigation Scheme, Zikhali Farm; Tyldendale and Lynmouth.


(a)        Ncora Irrigation scheme  


The Committee dealt with two related issues, namely land claims on Ncora Irrigation Scheme and recapitalisation of the irrigation scheme.


With regard to the land claim, a claim for the 10 villages was lodged by Mr Mseko in respect of Ncora Flats and Ncora Irrigation Scheme in November 1998. This claim concerned betterment-related removals and a claim for restoration of land rights on state-owned land, i.e. Ncora Irrigation Scheme. The settlement package is twofold:


  • Phase I: covers financial compensation of land lost and loss of residential land and structures due to “betterment planning’ and construction of the irrigation scheme. An overall amount of R144.591 million will be paid to claimants in lieu of financial compensation for phase 1 of the settlement of Ncora Community Claim by the end of July 2015


  • Phase 2: covers the restoration and development component for arable grazing and land lost as a result of the development of Ncora Irrigation Scheme in 1972. The land earmarked for restoration is the portion of the Irrigation Scheme.


Revitalisation of Ncora Irrigation Scheme: Ncora Irrigation Scheme is one of the four big irrigation scheme in the Chris Hani District Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province. It was established in 1972 and provided jobs to number of people. Due to incapability of the scheme to finance its operations, it was closed in 1997 and it was said that many people lost their jobs and many people became food were vulnerable to poverty and hunger. This prompted the Chris Hani Municipality to investigate the possibilities of bringing the scheme back into production and this led to the revitalisation project. 


The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) was involved in the revitalisation of Ncora Irrigation Scheme. An amount of R20.1 million was approved in October 2011 through RADP funding.


At the time the implementing agent was ASGISA.  Then in 2014/15, the Rural Infrastructure Directorate (RID) took over the project, an amount of R38 million was allocated for the project and was transferred to the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ECRDA) for implementation of infrastructural development. Milestones achieved include the establishment of hectares of irrigation scheme, boundary fencing, 8  centre pivots, 3 storage sheds, 2 staff houses and 2 managers houses, and earthworks and steel structure for the 66 point rotary milk parlour.  There are plans for establishment of an Agri-Park.


The highlights of this project is that Amadlelo is the strategic partner for the Dairy and has provided cows and currently there are 1 200 cows. The dairy is selling dairy products under Parmalat brand. It is selling milk to local sellers at a discount and therefore supporting local entrepreneurship. It has been able to get R5 billion a year but this has been invested in the business (capital investment).


In spite of the successes, progress and the potential growth of the project, the project is confronted by the following challenges:   


·                Conflict within claimants: It was clear from the report of beneficiaries that there were deep community conflicts among claimants; one group led by the Chairperson from the interim committee of the CPA (awaiting registration). This group is against any development of the land pending the finalisation of the claim. The other group support development and the idea of AgriPark in Ncora. This group is also alleged to have co-opted other members who are not part of the claimants. The conflict is between beneficiaries and the municipality where some beneficiaries want to benefit project.


·                Alleged lack of transparency of the Commission when it facilitates resolution of the land claim. Some members of the CPA alleged that the involvement of the Chris Hani Municipality. As a result the “CPA” decided to instruct a lawyer for legal advice and further representation. Some members of the claimant community also alleged that the idea of approaching lawyers was not supported by majority of villages (i.e. 7 of 10 villages).


·                The slow process of resolving the land claim: the claim was lodged in November 998, partially settled. According to claimants they were promised to receive the land in June 2013 as part of commemoration of the Natives Land Act of 1913. Financial compensation of R144 million has not yet been paid.  Further the process of land restoration is still on hold waiting for finalisation of survey.


·                Community Property Association (CPA) is illegal: What is currently referred as the CPA was not legally constituted in terms of the CPA Act and therefore, it is not registered.


·                Other claimants have taken the Commission to court for the delays in settling the Ncora land claim.


·                Delays in the disbursement of funds have a negative impact on prices of goods and they are expected to use the funds within three months which sometimes has its own challenges.


·                Poor Monitoring of Strategic Partners: There were difficulties with the monitoring of the Strategic Partners as there were no clear lines of reporting between the District Municipality, Task Team Regional Office of the DRDLR and Provincial DRDLR.


(b)    Zikhali Farming CC


This 761.7003 ha farm is found in Gwatyu, Lukhanji Local Municipality in the Chris Hani District. It was disposed by the Department of Land Affairs in 2005 at a cost of R62 850.00. It is used for livestock production, mainly Bonsmara stud breeds. It is owned by the Makwetu Family, and the farm business was registered as Zikhali Farming CC in 2006.


The farmer applied for RADP funding in 2012 from the Department and the approved funding was R5 230 830.40 for the recapitalisation and development of the farm. Recap funding assisted with infrastructure development, acquisition of machinery and equipment, production inputs and more quality stock. The Department appointed a mentor who specialises in breeding of Bonsmara, he is also the chairperson of the Eastern Cape Breeders Society 


During the interaction with beneficiaries and inspection in loco, the committee observed the following successes:


  • Since RADP funding, the farm has been able to create 8 permanent jobs the employees were trained for a year by a mentor; it increased the stock from 80 cows to over 200.
  • It purchased tractors, boom sprayers, feed mixers and other equipment;
  • About 121 Bonsmara heifers were bought and 3 Bonsmara bulls;
  • The farmer also bought Bonsmara semen straws for breeding purposes;
  • It invested in infrastructure development such as windmill cylinder repairs, storage shed (under construction), repair of fences
  • The farm was able to pay its cost of labour in accordance with the sectoral determination for agricultural industry.


In terms of production and sustainability of the farm, the farm is managed by a young and knowledgeable farmer. As Bonsmara stud breeders, registered with Stud-Boek SA and SA Bonsmara Society, they bought two high quality Bonsmara bulls at the value of R80 000.00 and R100 000.00 respectively. One of the two bulls was nominated to showcase at NAMPO Agricultural trade at Bothaville in the Free State Province in May 2015.


In spite of the successes, progress and the potential growth of the project, the project is confronted by the following challenges:  


·                The farm has reached its carrying capacity as it is divided into three camps, compelling Zikhali Farming cc to lease private land. This has affected their ability to grow the business.

·                At the time of the visit, some of the cattle had contracted Contagious Abortion (CA) disease and the farm was quarantined. This affected the farm’s cash flow because they could not sell livestock for breeding, the core business of the farm.

·                The farm have no electricity and internet connectivity which assist them to link up with Stud-Boek SA. The manager relied on use of cell phone and internet connectivity in town, thus affecting the amount of time taken to register new births and other reporting requirements.


(c)        Lynmouth Farm


The Committees visited Lynmouth Farm which is part of the Recapitalisation and Development Programme (RADP) in the Eastern Cape Province. The leader of the delegation outlined the purpose of the visit and requested the Department and beneficiaries to present to the Committee on the project. The Project Officer indicated that the 56 hectare farm was purchased by the then Department of Land Affairs in 1999 for R80 000 for 4 Fuba family members (3 males, 1 female). The farm operated under Lynmouth CC and focused on crop and vegetable production such as cabbage, spinach, potatoes etc. The project qualified for a R64 000 Settlement Land Acquisition Grant (SLAG). The Land Bank approved R15 000 towards the purchase of the farm which they have been servicing and the balance is currently at R26 000. In 2000, the Fuba family registered a Close Cooperation business named it Lynmouth Farming.


The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform approved R1.908 294 million for recapitalisation and development of the farm and R60 000 was approved for the mentor, Mr Frederick Coetzee. The main purpose of the RADP intervention at Lynmouth was to develop infrastructure and acquire machinery and production inputs and also enable the CC to generate income for the purpose of servicing the Land Bank loan. In addition, the aim was also to move from subsistence farming to commercial production.


The last tranche of R477 073.50 was transferred in September 2013 which was used for machinery and equipment such as tractor, tractor trailer, ripper, ridger, disc, boom sprayer, kongskilde, bakkie and trailer. Funds were also used for the installation of an 11 ha irrigation, erecting a shed and for farm house renovations, mentorship fees, electricity, water tariffs, cultivation inputs and diesel.


The project manager on the farm indicated that the 3 family members (beneficiaries) worked on the farm the fourth beneficiary, a family member died and the intention was to employ another female family member (sister) as another beneficiary. Seasonal workers were also employed. The produce is sold at a formal market in East London and in villages, at informal markets.


The farm owners (beneficiaries) indicated that they would like to install a solar system in order to reduce the electricity costs. In addition, the farmers where keen to expand to pig farming because a sole focus on crops is limiting given the adverse weather conditions in the area that destroys crops.


The project is confronted by the following challenges:


·                The repayment of loan to the Land Bank is a challenge because the profit yielded is not enough to settle the loan in a shorter period.

·                Transport costs are exorbitant. The seeds are purchased quite a distance from the farm which contributes to the petrol expenditure.

·                Higher rates for electricity (Eskom) was also a challenge as the project spent more money on electricity.

·                Impact of global warming on crop production was also cited as a major concern. Weather conditions were cited as a challenge for growing crops and yielding a good harvest e.g. snow kills crops.





The Members commended the beneficiaries for developments noted on the farm so far and the willingness to continue to grow the business as well as involvement of the local community i.e. employment of seasonal workers, sale of produce at local markets.


(d)        Tyltendale Farm


The farm was purchased by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform in 2011 for R4.8 million and is leased to Songa Ifa Primary Agricultural Cooperative with a lease agreement of 30 years of which 5 years will be on a probation period. The main purpose of the Recapitalisation and Development Programme (RADP) intervention was for infrastructure development; the purchase of machinery, implements, production livestock and inputs; and also to grow the farmers from small scale to commercial farming. The farm has 967.8906 hectares and is used for livestock (sheep and cattle) and crop production (maize). The Department approved the release of R1.285 million for the recapitalisation and development of the farm on 13 September 2015 but not yet received. The project has spent almost all of its funds and has a balance of R89 573.94 which is for mentorship, labour, diesel and electricity. The approved budget was spent on machinery and equipment such as a tractor and planter, 60 Dohne merino Ewes, fencing and 4 windmills and mentorship fees, diesel and workers’ salaries.


The highlights of the project are: The farm currently has 1 male and 4 female beneficiaries. In addition, 8 temporary farm workers were employed and to date 4 have left. The project intends to give their employees 10% of the profit from production and are currently paid R1 700 per month.


The Committee commended the management of the farm which is led by a woman and that women are employed on the farm. Furthermore, the Committee commended the farm owner for the 10% profit share with farm workers. Members appreciated the fact that the mentor was involved for two years in the farm without remuneration and is eager to continue to support even after the one year contract with the Department expired in April 2016.


Some of the challenges that confront the project are as follows: The project spent more money on electricity due to the high rates of electricity; more funding is required to develop more vegetable farming; and funding that was given for one year instead of a three year period has a direct impact on the viability and growth of the farm.


2.2.2     KwaZulu-Natal


Between 2009 and 31 March 2015, the Department supported 212 projects (approximately 131.619.000ha). The Committee found that about 143 projects, i.e. 67.5% of all RADP projects, were redistribution (SLAG/LRAD/SPLAG and PLAS) whereas restitution accounted for 16% (34 projects). Restitution projects only started receiving support in 2012/13 two years later after the programme was started.


The Committee noted with concern the take up of farms for ‘recapitalisation’. For example, between 2009 and 31 March 2015, the Commission finalized restoration of about 112 land claims, yet only 35 were supported through RADP. This poses a question about the use of money apportioned for development support to land claims in terms of Section 42(c) of the Restitution of Land Rights Act of 1994 as amended.


The total number of partners is 36, i.e. 26 mentors and 10 strategic partners. The mentorship programme is funded by the Department whereas strategic partnerships is based on equity sharing between farmers and private investor. A part-time mentor is paid about R5 000 per month and support not more than four farms whereas a full-time mentor might be paid up to R15 000 per month; and such as mentor may not support more than two farms. In some cases, when the contract between the mentor and government expires, some farmers continue to pay the mentorship fees on their own. It was unclear during the oversight visit how the extension officers of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries contribute in supporting land reform farmers.  It therefore means that some of the farmers who might not afford to fund mentorships, remain unsupported.


The primary commodity on most farms supported through the RADP is sugarcane. The others are livestock, timber and crops. At the time of the visit, the Committee engaged in discussion on sugarcane production by emerging farmers and the role of the industry, particularly sugar mills in support of land reform and smallholder farmers.           

Central issue to mentorship and strategic partnerships is training and skills transfer so that farmers could manage viable and sustainable farming operations independently at the end of partnership. Since inception, the total number of farmers trained for KwaZulu-Natal is 647. Such training ranged from planting to harvesting including other soft skills relevant to managing commercial farms.  It was reported that of all the projects supported, only 6 were likely to exit the five year incremental funding by 2016. Some of the successes noted by the Committee includes the following: the ‘recap programme has assisted emerging farmers to improve their production. For example, the tonnage of sugarcane delivered increased from 401 775 tons in 2011/12 to 878 874 tons in 2014/15. Secondly, for 3 consecutive years, some of the RADP fund recipients won the category of Female Farmer of the Year in KwaZulu-Natal.


Some of the challenges that the Committee noted during interaction with beneficiaries and officials responsible for the programme are as follows:

·         Some farmers struggle to comply SARS and other statutory requirements.

·         Difficulty in spending funds within 120 days and failure of beneficiaries to account for the disbursed funds on time.

·         Unapproved deviations from the initial approved business plan.

·         Abuse of the machinery and equipment purchased through RADP funding.

·         Misappropriation of funds, the Committee found that there were 2 cases of misappropriation of funds reported to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU).


(a)           Mvel’enhle Close Cooperation


The farm was acquired through LRAD on February 2014 with a cost of R5.6 million and R2 2 milliion was funded through Standard Bank Mortgage loan and R3 297 780 was a grant from the DRDLR. The project benefits 10 members, 7 of which are black females. The farm is 271 5017 hectares and is a sugarcane plantation. The project yields more than 8000 tons per annum.


The project received an amount of R2 954 956.00 from the Recapitalisation and Development Programme.  The grant was used for replanting, ratoon management, maintenance of internal roads and drainage system. The project is in a strategic partnership with Tongaat Hulett Sugar that is due to expire this year.


Achievements: Training provided by mentors and strategic partners comes as a benefit to the project and that beneficiaries are afforded an opportunity to re – enforce their knowledge with best practises. The project has employed 35 women and most of them are youth and they acquired skills development and training.


(b)         Nokusho Business Enterprise


The farm is owned by Ms B Ngidi  family through LRAD in 2004, it is 127 971 5 hectares and 110 hectares is sugar cane plantation and the remainder is a natural bush, farm yard, land improvements, roads, breaks and waterways. The farm received bridging finance of R1 457 876 from Tongaat Hulett Sugar for cane planting and the R950 000 was approved for RADP.  They entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Tongaat Hulett Sugar for a period of three years from the date of the approval of the RADP.


Achievements: The farm has created 26 job opportunities and 10 of those were permanent, 4 seasonal and 10 were temporal.  They also received training on fertilizer application, Mayfield spreader and financial management.


Challenges: The contract signed with Tongaat-Huletts which obliged the beneficiaries to only plant sugar cane for the period of 54 years for the supply Tongaat Hullets and not any other mill.  Drought was also reported as a challenge.


2.2.3     Northern Cape


(a)        Grootwitpan


This farm is 4301.8328ha in extent and is located in Mier Local Municipality. It was acquired through PLAS in 2006 at a cost of R3.4 million, and transferred to the State. Land use is mainly livestock (sheep and cattle). The Department leased this farm to a household of three members, 2 men and 1 woman.


In 2012, the Department approved a business plan for recapitalisation of the farm at the cost of R3, 3 million. The Karsten Group Holdings Pty (Ltd) was appointed as a strategic partner. This company also manages another farm known as Elandsvlei which is discussed below. The partnership was based on an equity share of 70% to the DRDLR, comprising infrastructure cost, livestock and operating capital of R2.6 million; a share of 30% equity is owned by the Karsten Group Holdings Pty (Ltd) which encompass a contribution to livestock and operating capital at R747, 060.00. Farmers/beneficiaries’ contribution of 190 Sheep was valued at R333, 000.00.


The committee found that the RADP fund was used to upgrade workers house, storage facility as well as upgrading water reticulation system. In addition, the beneficiaries reported that they also purchased quality breeding stock.


Highlights of the farm: It created 9 jobs, 2 permanent and 7 temporary jobs during construction of infrastructure. From 190 livestock (100 sheep and 90 goats), the farm had 126 breeding cows at the time of the visit, 64 calves, 3 breeding bulls and 187 breeding sheep, 3 rams, 29 lambs and 89 goats. Karsten Group Holdings had also invested in training on a range of areas, Safety and Health issues on farms (mainly first aid), business management, training on labour legislation, financial management. The Strategic partner has started to link up farmers with local markets such as KLLK auction. At the time of the visit, the farm had sold 83 calves and 175 lambs since the recapitalisation of the project, with gross income of R390, 000.


Committee’s observations: The Committee noted the significance of conducting normal business and financial analysis that takes into account investment by the state and the strategic partner to assess if the farm was profitable or not and whether it will be sustainable beyond RADP funding from government.


(b)        Elandsvlei


This is a state farm acquired in 2010 by the Department of Rural Development and Land reform through PLAS at the cost R17.8 million. It measures 12121.8693 ha in extent. It has been leased to two men. It mainly focuses on livestock, mainly sheep.


In 2012, the Department approved a business plan for recapitalisation of the farm at the cost of R7.3 million. The Karsten Group Holdings Pty (Ltd) was appointed as a strategic partner as discussed above. The partnership was based on an equity share of 70% to the DRDLR, comprising infrastructure cost, livestock and operating capital of R5.3 million; a share of 30% equity is owned by the Karsten Group Holdings Pty (Ltd) which encompass a contribution to livestock and operating capital at R1.9 million. Farmers/beneficiaries’ contribution of 548 sheep was valued at R958, 000.00.


The fund was used to improve the infrastructure such as fencing, housing, water supply, and purchase of equipment and machinery such as tractors, quad bike and a trailer. It also purchased livestock.


Highlights of the project: It started with 810 ewes, 15 rams, 20 cows and 1 bull, and 20 goats. At the time of the visit, the beneficiaries reported that they have 3001 breeding ewes and 116 rams. It also has generated a gross income of approximately R1.6 million. The strategic partner has also provided training as discussed under Grootwitpan.


The committee welcomed progress that the farm was making. It applauded the department for improving farmworkers housing. However, it noted with concern that the farmworkers were not taking care of the new houses that government has built on the farm. It thus, raises concern in relation to managing and care of infrastructure which government has put. As part of contract, it was unclear how government monitors agreements entered into.


(c)        Spangenberg


In 2008, government assisted four beneficiaries (2 men and 2 women) to purchase various portions of a farm known as Bloemsmond Settlement through LRAD. The total ha acquired is 38.7183. The total cost of acquisition was R1.25 million, government contributed a grant of R700, 000.00 and beneficiaries took up a loan of R550, 000.00 to contribute to the purchase of the farm.


This farm is also under mentorship of Karsten Holdings Pty (Ltd) in contrast with Elandsvlei and Grootwitpan discussed above. The department approved RADP funding of R4.7 million to replant 26 ha of old vineyards, purchase implements, and construction of drying and storage facilities.


Highlights of the project: The recapitalisation process has been able to turnaround the farm. 12.3 ha were planted in 2013. The farm was not yet in full production, the first harvest was expected in 2016.


Challenges: Farmers has encountered a challenge because the 10 ha being prepared for planting cannot be used because they found that there was an underlying hard rock. The farm has become too small; therefore not a viable vineyard.


Beneficiaries had to pay R141, 528.00 per annum as a loan repayment. They have been struggling to keep up with the repayment plan due to the high cost of operating rights irrigation of the farm. Further, the farm was affected by floods which had a disastrous effect on production and cash flow. Prior to the RADP, the farm was in arrears for over a year. They were able to restructure a repayment plan with ABSA.


(d)        Kanoneiland


Through the PLAS, the Department acquired this farm in 2007 at the cost of R2.7 million. It then leased this farm to a group of former farmworkers, trading as Realeboga Boerdery CC. The extent of the farm is 50 ha, mainly used as vineyards for raisins.


In 2013, the Department approved recapitalisation and development of the farm. It further appointed Karsten Holdings PTY (Ltd) as a mentor for a period of seven years. The first tranche was about R4.8 million and the second tranche was about R8.5 million. Since recapitalisation, this farm has replanted about 22 ha of new vines.


Highlights: The farm has created about 64 jobs, i.e. 13 permanent jobs and casual jobs.  Whilst the production was on track, the committee was informed that the first harvest was expected in 2016. The mentor has trained the farmers in various skills including farm management, financial management, and chemical and weed control.


Challenges: The Committee observed that the farm still lacked behind in terms of building of houses for farmworkers. Farmers also needed drying and storage facilities.


The farm has no housing, and beneficiaries rent houses outside the farm; security on the farm is therefore compromise, risking the theft of their equipment.


(e)        Marinda


Government purchased 4912 ha through the PLAS and leased to Ms Marinda. She is the only beneficiary on the livestock farm, specializing in sheep and cattle. Capital developments are funded 100% under the Recapitalisation and Development Fund, but operations funded by DRDLR (70%) and strategic partner (30%). Some of the capital developments include construction of houses, solar power, fencing, borehole equipment. It also purchased the following equipment and machinery: fire fighter, tractor, and mobile toilets. She also highlighted the challenges that she has encountered, for example – there are serious threats to the business due to predators as well as adaptability of the animals she brought to the farm. She also ventured into particular breeding, for example she owns ‘vuvuzela’ and ‘snowball’ breeds of sheep.  


2.2.4     Gauteng


(a)        Rama Communal Property Association


Rama community lodged a land claim with the Gauteng and North West Regional Land Claims Commissioner’s office. The community registered a CPA to hold and manage the land its behalf. In terms of the CPA constitution, the executive committee was elected for a period of five years. The land claim was settled in 2002, with an award of restoration of land rights on portion 2 of Wildebeeshoek 309 JR and the remaining extent of Kafferskraal 308 JR, Akasia, Pretoria North. The land respectively measures 430,4474ha and 323, 9503 ha in extent, transferred in full title to the CPA in May 2002. The total cost of land acquisition was R15 087 952.


There are a range of activities taking place on the land; some of those are: a quarry, a museum, and an entertainment centre that features as a cinema. At the time of the oversight visit, the Committee was informed that there were plans for housing development by some private developers.


Some of the key findings of the Committee were as follows:


·         The CPA committee’s term of office ended in 2007. However, the leadership continued and some allege that they refuse to follow a formal process to transfer power to the newly elected committee.

·         The CPA was divided, and the general members of the CPA appears not to be informed about the business operations. The executive committee does not call general meeting to give feedback to the members of the CPA.

·         There were allegations of misappropriation of funds by the executive.

·         The DRDLR has attempted to make interventions by appointing an interim structure to manage the affairs of the CPA as an interim measure, whilst processes for election of the CPA were being set. However, the executive committee challenged the matter in court which set aside such attempts because the DRDLR did not follow due process in terms of the CPA Act and the Constitution. At the time of the visit by the Committee, the DRDLR reported that it has approached the courts to obtain permission to put the CPA under administration.


The committee noted with concern the following issues: That the CPA executive committee refuses to vacate the office after their term of office was expired. Further, the general membership of the CPA reported to the Committee that some of the members of the CPA have been murdered due to the CPA internal disputes that remained unresolved.


The Committee recommended to the Department that it should speed up the court processes to ensure that a new executive committee was elected, and that there is proper investigation into the allegations raised with the Committee. Lack of communication by the DRDLR and the investors at early stages of any initiated development.


The committee also observed that there was lack of monitoring of CPAs by the DRDLR. The Committee was informed that there was restructuring process to ensure that more capacity was created to support CPAs. Further, a proposed CPA Act amendment was also cited as one of the interventions to ensure that CPAs executive committees were functional and accountable to members and to the DRDLR, and Parliament.


2.3       Land administration by the Ingonyama Trust Board


This section draws on the briefing session with the ITB, tour of the ITB campus in Pietermaritzburg, and visits to two projects.


2.3.1     Background to the Ingonyama Trust Board


The Ingonyama Trust was established in terms of the Kwazulu-Natal Ingonyama Trust Act No 3 of 1994, amended by the National Act 9 of 1997 which provided for the establishment of the ITB. It functions as a landowner-in-law of the Ingonyama Trust Land (the land that was hitherto owned by the KwaZulu Government). The Board is a schedule 3A Public Entity and reports to the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform. As the accounting authority, the Board derive its mandate from the founding legislation and the Public Finance Management Act (Act 1 of 1999).


By 31 March 2014, the land under the Ingonyama Trust was estimated to be 2, 844,903 hectares under some 1600 individual titles in all of the 11 Districts of Kwazulu-Natal and eThekwini Metro. It is thus the largest land owner in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal. Most of the land is under the authority of about 221 Traditional Councils. The total number of people living on Trust land is estimated at 4 million. 


2.3.2     Observations during conversations with the members of the Board


The delegation received a briefing from the ITB and the presentation focused on how the funds allocated to the trust by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and with special focus to assistance given to traditional councils. The briefing also shared light on the services of the satellite offices that they provide and extension service of the Head Office to Zuluand, Uthungulu, Umkhanyakude District municipality and the surrounding areas.


The ITB has assisted the traditional council by providing training, traditional council empowerment support, trust establishment, and training, dispute resolutions and disbursement of funds.  The presentation also touched on the educational awards payment process and that the determination of who should benefit is the prerogative of the traditional councils and that those should have benefited the revenue on projects that are on their jurisdiction. The ITB also provide agricultural support services and it purchased 12 tractors and implements in preparation of the upcoming planting season.


The trust has facilitated the development on the trust land and those included Msinga Shopping Centre, Jozini Shopping Centre which was reported to be under construction, Mandeni Shopping Centre and Hammarsdale Junction Shopping Centre.  There are also mining activities, state domestic facilities on the trust land. The trust has partnership initiatives like sugarcane production that create jobs and entrepreneurs.


2.3.3     Visiting the projects and interaction with projects beneficiaries  


(a)        The Zulu Mpophomeni Tourism centre


Experience leased land from the ITB in 2009 for a tourism centre to showcase the Zulu culture and to promote and encourage the small businesses around Mpophomeni Township.  ZMTE is owned by community owned non-profit organisation, 80% of the members are women and 30% are people with disabilities and the youth was also reported as active in the project.  The skills audit was done to determine the number of local crafters.


The centre is not yet in operation but the proposed activities are as follows:

  • Zulu craft and curio sales to tourists travelling along the R617 as well as referrals.
  • Toursim information Bureau.
  • Coffee shop.
  • Boardroom for meetings.
  • Environment training centre though the establishment of enviroclubs for 12 schools around the area.
  • Tunnel farming for vegetable production.
  • Construction of an amphitheatre was under construction.



Committee observations

The committee welcomed the initiative to build the tourist centre.  It also commended the centre for taking care of gender and disability quota seriously. Concerns were raised as follows:


  • The consultation with communities when there is development initiated on the communal land.
  • The committee wanted to understand the requirements to acquire the commercial space for development purposes and the involvement of the municipality in such transaction.
  • The Committee found that funds were exhausted and the business plans could not be implemented, including improving visibility of the project through visible signage.


(b)        Midmar Crushers


Midmar crushers is a Black Economic Empowerment and a family project and they are registered as a close cooperation.  The business started in 1996 through the Department of Mineral Resources.  Vetting which included audit process was done and were awarded as a safety quarry.  The quarry is leasing 19.1 hectares and the land is under the authority of the trust behind Mpophomeni for 12 years. The quarry pays R72 000 per annum to ITB. The company is mining dolerite stone which can be crushed to create gravel for a variety of operations such as tarring and black manufacturing.


Benefits enjoyed by the community of Mpopheni: The company has awarded a bursary to a learner whom was reported as a deserving learner from the community and they have also assisted a crèche by building an additional classroom and ablution facility.  A cleaning tender has been awarded to one of the community members and they outsource the trucks from the community. Future developments initiated by the quarry were also tabled.  The quarry has created 45 jobs and 95% of those are from Mpophomeni and 25% are women.


Challenges experienced: Complaint from members of the community about the damages which occur because of the blast. Land has been claimed and the community divided over the development. 


Concerns raised by the committee: The committee welcomed the development however noted their concerns as follows:

  • Bursary awards should not focus to one individual
  • Compensation of damaged properties due to blast in the quarry
  • Whether the community received any compensation for being removed from their grazing land
  • The committee was concerned about environmental issues and the rehabilitation of land after use
  • Impact of the mine on water table
  • The committee wanted to understand what informs the amount of rent paid, is it informed by the turn over or revenue generated per annum


The responses on concerns raised: The manager attempted to respond to concerns raised and he responded as follows:

  • The project acquired 20 years mining rights from DMR and currently are paying for surface rights
  • They deliver 15 – 20 thousand tons and R30 million per annum
  • The project compensate communities for damages occurring as a result of the blast
  • Rehabilitation of the land is an ongoing process and they have paid a rehabilitation fund to DMR
  • The role of ITB in the project was only a service lease agreement
  • The rental is informed by the number of hectares leased and is reviewable every 5 years    

3.       Synopsis of key conclusions emerging from oversight visit in Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape


Based on the findings discussed above, the Committee made the following conclusions:


3.1        Recapitalisation and Development programme


3.1.1   The RADP addresses lack of formal agricultural support to land reform beneficiaries. In the absence of visible support, RADP closes the gap in terms of farmer support. However, without effective coordination with the provincial department of agriculture, RADP runs the risk of duplicating the functions of the DAFF and its provincial counterparts.


3.1.2   Selection of projects for support vary from province to provide, for instance, KZN has a higher uptake of restitution cases compared to Northern Cape and Eastern Cape. This finding confirmed earlier observations that there was no clear criteria of selecting projects, hence some province had not restitution recap projects. Lack of targeted effort to recapitalise restitution creates a gap in policy, especially development support envisaged in Section 42(c) of the Restitution of Land Rights Act (1994) as amended.


3.1.3   Lack effective monitoring of training by strategic partners could undermine the intention to ensure that farmers are able to manage successful and viable commercial farms at the end of the RADP’s mentorship and strategic partnerships


3.1.4   Lack of stringent reporting mechanisms by strategic partners and farmers have a negative impact on measuring the success of the programme. Mechanisms to enforce reporting requirements and accountability by both the farmers and strategic partners are required for accountability. Stringent monitoring and evaluation of the programme is required.


3.1.5   A number of projects visited have increased their yields in terms of both crops and livestock; but lack of appropriate business strategy for the improvement of accountability by farmers and strategic partners, especially basic analysis based on basic accounting principles to determine if farmers and strategic partners/mentors are running an economically viable farming enterprises could undermine the sustainability of projects.


3.1.6   Most of the farms visited did not start the RADP in 2009/10. Few farms are likely to exit the programme by 2015/16, this points to serious weaknesses in monitoring implementation of training programme and ability of the mentors and strategic partners to empower land reform beneficiaries.


3.1.7   Integration with value-chains has enabled some of the projects to begin to increase revenue. Increased monitoring of contracts, especially aspects of farm management and linking farmers to value chains could help farmers to be able to farm independently over the five year period of strategic partnership and RADP.


3.1.8   In addition, Monitoring and Evaluation, based on the contracts entered into and the policy objectives, would enable the DRDLR to learn from their own best practice that emerges as they implement the programme.


3.1.9   Conflicts and tensions in group-based based projects have a potential to undermine the benefits of the recap programme as illustrated by the Ncora Irrigation Scheme dynamics. Further, competing claims on land that are not addressed also leads to never-ending conflicts which could undermine RADP intended outcomes.


3.2       Reopening of the lodgement of land claims


3.2.1   The Department and the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights has worked out a comprehensive plan to ensure internal coordination for supporting lodgement of land claims. The system observed in the Mowbray office worked well and could improve the quality land claims, especially property descriptions by claimants.


3.2.2   The fact that almost 4917 land claims were lodged in the first four weeks, and a large number of claims was received in the urban centres whilst the provinces that are predominantly rural lagged behind has meant that more work should be done through the mobile lodgement offices and the mobile communication units.


3.2.3   The Commission has committed to prioritisation of pre-1998 land claims in line with the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act. The absence adequate budget to settle and finalise the pre-1998 land claims could frustrate such claimants who had patiently waited for long before their claims could be addressed.


3.2.4   The Commission, through the electronic lodgement system, has begun developing a data base called a land claims registers in terms of the Amendment Act. However, failure to include old claims in the land claims register undermines the intention of the Act, i.e. to assist in ensuring that all duplicate and overlapping claims are attended to without delay and encouraging transparency of the process.


3.2.5   NARYSEC is said to be phased out despite the lack of human capacity and financial resources hampers the manner in which the Commission operates.

3.2.6   The absence of the Office of the Valuer-General would further delay the provisions for regulating the prices paid, thus failing to fast-track land restitution.


3.3        Ingonyama Trust Board and communal land administration


3.3.1  The registration of land tenure rights by the ITB has enabled it to account for every piece of land under its jurisdiction. This enables to Board to general income from leases for the material benefit of members of traditional communities.


3.3.2  The Board is legally established as a landowner, focusing on real estate as the central mandate. Increasingly, the Board is taking on a position of a development agent especially through its strategic objective of rural development, which could result in the Board operating beyond its legislated mandate.


3.3.3  Absence of policy on support to traditional communities through educational bursaries and funding of traditional events raises questions about criteria used to allocate resources to communities and students. For transparency and accountability, the Board requires to develop such policies.


3.3.4  Lack of coordination with government departments and municipalities regarding some of the economic empowerment projects could results in white elephants on the land owned by the ITB. The example of Mpophomeni Tourism centre exemplify a need for an integrated approach in which the Board links with other relevant line function departments to support traditional communities.


4.         Recommendations


In view of the findings and observations discussed above, the committee recommends the following: 



4.1       Recapitalisation and Development Programme


4.1.1   Within a month of adoption of this report by the National Assembly, the Ministers of Rural Development and Land Reform and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to brief Parliament about progress in the redesign and overhaul all public agricultural support programs to end current implementation silos as recommended by the DPME evaluation of the RADP and public hearings conducted by the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform.


4.1.2   The Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform must ensure that, within three months after adoption of this report by the House, ensure - 


(a)        Development of policy mechanisms to ensure that all funds approved in terms of Section 42(c) of the Restitution of Land Rights Act (1994) as amended are expended for purposes meant for within the financial year to avoid ‘commitments’ resulting from slow uptake of restitution settlements for recapitalisation and development.


(b)        Tabling an M&E plan for the ‘Recapitalisation and Development Programme’ to keep track of the performance of mentors, strategic partners and farmers in relation to business plans, contracts and Service Level Agreements so that farmers are empowered to enable them graduating from mentorship programme at the end of their 1st five years of participation in the programme.


(c)        A progress report on the investigations of allegations of fraud and corruption in the DRDLR, especially relating to the Recapitalisation and Development Fund, be submitted to the portfolio Committee.


4.1.3   The Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform should commission a national survey of all RADP funded projects to determine if farmers, strategic partners and the department are implementing economically viable projects. This survey should also conduct detailed business analysis of projects to determine if farms were being managed profitably.

4.1.4   The Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform should commission an investigation on agreements entered into between the sugar cane mills and land reform beneficiaries to establish the extent of uncompetitive character of some of the agreements as found by the Portfolio Committee in the two RADP projects visited in KZN, and submit a plan for remedial actions.


4.2     Reopening of lodgement of land claims


The Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform should –


4.2.1   Review the location of lodgement offices in the Eastern Cape in order to ensure that offices are located within reasonable distances as compared to the current situation of East London and Queenstown.


4.2.2   Create mechanisms for integrated support to land claimants by making available the Deeds Registry and the National Geomatics and Information Services, as observed in the Western Cape. Further, publicise such services in the lodgement manual.


4.2.3   Consider making resources available for acquisition of more mobile lodgement offices to curb the challenge of sharing of the lodgement busses by two provinces.


4.2.4   In line with the Amendment Act, the Minister should prioritise settlement of all pre-1998 land claims; further, to present to the National Assembly a funding plan for restitution that takes into consideration increase in the number of land claims being received until 2019 as well as required capacity to research, negotiate and settle the land claims.


4.2.5   Develop a comprehensive land claims register that integrates all land claims lodged pre 1998 and the post June 2014 land claims.


4.2.6   Present the Fraud Prevention Plan which outlines strategies and mechanisms to deal with individuals or agencies that are defrauding land claimants by soliciting cash from them and promising to lodge and fast track settlement of land claims.


4.3     The Ingonyama Trust Board


4.3.1  The ITB should develop policy mechanisms on how it coordinates and supports traditional communities on development initiatives that require interventions of other line function departments and municipalities.


4.3.2  Develop policy mechanisms for supporting traditional communities in relation to educational bursaries, funding of cultural events by traditional councils, participation in capacity buildings by members of traditional communities and not only traditional councils.


4.4  Specific Recommendation


4.4.1  The Minister should consider all the specific recommendations made in this report (and summarised in appendix I to this report) for particular projects visited by the Committee and report to the National Assembly within three months of adoption of this report.


Report to be considered.




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