ATC120509: Report Budget Vote 33, dated 09 May 2012
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform on Budget Vote 33: Rural Development and Land Reform, dated 09 May 2012.
The Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform, having considered the Strategic Plan 2011 - 2014, the Annual Performance Plan and the budget allocation for the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and for the Ingonyama Trust Board, reports as follows:
On 18 and 25 April 2012, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (the Department) together with the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights (the Commission), and the Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB), respectively briefed the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform (the Committee) about their Annual Performance Plans (APP) for the 2012/13 financial year.
During the briefing session, the delegation from the Department and the ITB was led by the Director General (DG), Mr Mdu Shabane. Other members of the delegation were Deputy Director General (DDG): Support Services, Ms N Mashiya; Acting DDG: Rural Infrastructure Development, Ms L Archery; Acting Chief Land Claims Commissioner (CLCC), Mr T Mamphoto; Acting Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Ms I Singo; Acting DDG: Land Reform, Mr V Mahlangu; and DDG: Social, Technical, Rural Livelihoods, and Institutional Facilitation (STRIF), Dr M Swart. The Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB) was represented by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr N Bhebhe; CFO, Mr A Mia; in addition, the trustees present at the ITB briefing session were Pastor Zita and Inkosi KW Mathaba.
The framework for consideration of the strategic plans, the APPs and the budget involved separate briefing sessions for the Department and the ITB. Mechanisms for consideration of the plans and budget involved review of the Committee reports on the Departments quarterly expenditure trends for the 2011/12 financial year, analysis of the APP of the Department and ITB against the Strategic Plan 2011 2014 (the strategic plan) and the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). The Committee located the process of considering the strategic plan and budget within the broader role of Parliament to ensure that the Department accounts for its planning process towards achieving the vision of creating vibrant, equitable, sustainable rural communities. During this process, the Committee sought to assess whether objectives and strategies of the Department articulated in the Strategic plan and the APP address the priorities of government articulated in the MTSF, that resources were adequately allocated, and that there was adequate capacity to enable delivery on its mandate. The Committees deliberations critically explored the policy provisions for the sustainable programmes of land reform and rural development, especially the Green Paper on Land Reform which, once approved as a White Paper, would provide a direction for implementing the land reform programme and could be utilized as an oversight instrument to assess whether the Department is delivering on its mandate.
This report, therefore, accounts for the processes carried out by the Committee during consideration of the Budget Vote 33, especially strategic plans and APPs. It details the briefing by both the Department and the ITB, and the deliberations by the Committee where critical assessment of allocations made for particular programmes as well as the capacity of the Department to deliver on its mandate and the plans were carried out. The Committee further examined the extent to which the plans would contribute toward achievement of targets for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the outcomes approach of government. The report proceeds in three sections; firstly discusses the plans and budget allocation for the Department, secondly, it addresses the ITB plans and budget allocation; thirdly records a summary of the Committees observations and responses to the presentations from both the Department and the ITB. Throughout the three sections, it provides critical evaluation of the priorities and proposed interventions, especially for the 2012/13 financial year. In conclusion, the report highlights recommendations of the Committee.
2. The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform
2.1 Strategic context and the key priorities for 2012/13.
The strategic plan is the basis upon which the work of the Department carried out during the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period. The strategic plan draws on the outcomes approach of government, especially outcome 7 that seeks to ensure realization of vibrant, equitable, and sustainable rural communities and food security for all in South Africa . An APP further encapsulates key relevant pronouncements of the Cabinet and the Presidents. The Department, therefore, has crafted its strategic objectives and priorities in a manner that responded to these key policy pronouncements.
The Department is mandated to drive the comprehensive and integrated program of rural development. It reported it would continue endeavouring to address challenges in the rural areas so that the lives of rural dwellers are improved. The Cabinet Lekgotla held in July 2011 identified 22 poorest districts where government needs to up - scale delivery of services through rural development programmes. The Committee noted that the Department has identified up-scaling of rural development programmes aimed at: expanding agricultural production by small-scale farmers; extending core infrastructure to rural areas; increasing jobs and skills; and revitalization of small towns.
During the 2012 State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Jacob Zuma, identified inequality, poverty and unemployment as the foremost challenges confronting South Africa today. He announced some of the initiatives that could contribute to addressing the identified challenges; namely, realisation of a constitutional obligation of restitution of land rights for those who were dispossessed by the Native Land Act of 1913. The Green Paper on Land Reform, which has been widely circulated for public comment, was also identified as an opportunity for extensive public participation in the redesign of the programme of land reform. The Green Paper is expected to provide for measures that could address the challenge of the slow pace of land reform which has been attributed to the willing buyer - willing seller or market-based approaches to land reform. The President called for the most efficient mechanism to address the land question in South Africa .
The strategic plan and the APP have demonstrated the preparedness of the Department to address the triple challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty. Priorities and strategic objectives of the Department expressed its strategy for addressing the challenges.
The foremost priorities of the Department in the Medium Term Strategic Framework are:
Improving productivity of land reform projects through effective implementation of the Recapitalisation and Development programme;
Expediting the finalization of land claims;
Rolling out the CRDP effectively so that livelihoods of rural communities are improved;
Improving corporate governance and ensuring enhanced service delivery;
Implementing proper change management and innovation strategies; and
Enhancing the efficiency of information management systems.
The priorities were further broken down into eight (8) strategic goals for the MTEF as follows:
Corporate governance and service excellence through compliance with the legal framework achieved by 2014;
Reformed policy, legislative and institutional environment by 2014;
Effective land planning and administration that is biased towards rural areas;
Integrated institutional arrangements for effective cooperative governance and stakeholder participation by 2014;
Increased access to and productive use of land by 2014;
Improved access to affordable and diverse food by 2014;
Improved rural services to support sustainable livelihoods by 2014; and
Improved access to sustainable employment and skills development opportunities by 2014.
The Department introduced a list of policies and legislation that would be introduced during the 2012/13 financial year as follows:
Spatial and Land Use Management Bill, 2012
Land Tenure Security Bill, 2012
Land Valuation Bill, 2012
Land Management Commission Bill, 2012
Land Protection Bill, 2012
Spatial Data Infrastructure Amendment Bill, 2012
Geomatics Profession Bill, 2012
Electronics Deeds Registration Bill, 2012
Communal Property Associations Amendment Bill, 2012
Deeds Registries Amendment Bill, 2012
Sectional Titles Amendment Bill, 2012
The Committee observed that well-crafted objectives on their own do not make a difference but the supportive policy instruments and legislation, capacity to implement the programmes and allocation of adequate resources. Therefore, the Committee would continue to monitor policy developments in the Department, especially the Green Paper.
2.2. Overview of budget allocation
In the current financial year, the Department has been allocated R8.877 billion. The Department has reported that it would focus on rolling out CRDP, creating job opportunities through NARYSEC, settling and finalizing outstanding claims (particular focus would be on claims on state land), acquiring strategically located land in terms of the redistribution programme and recapitalising distressed land reform projects, and updating the state land register.
Table 1: Programme appropriations from 2011/12 to 2014/15
Source: Adapted from National Treasury (2012)
As illustrated in Table 1, the overall appropriation of R8.877 billion in the current financial year is an increase of 3.03 per cent in real terms when compared to the adjusted appropriation of R8.14 billion during 2011/12. The increase is mainly driven by an increase in the allocation for administration and restitution programmes, which is 13.58 per cent and 13.44 per cent respectively. Land reform programme shows a decline of 5.17 percent in real terms. The Committee noted that restitution and land reform, jointly account for 70.78 per cent (R6.29 billion) of the entire appropriation for the Department. The two programmes remained the major spenders of the allocation for the Department. The Committee welcomed this allocation, especially in view of the challenge of dysfunctional and unproductive land reform projects and backlogs in restitution.
The real terms decline of allocation for land reform was received with some reservations because of the challenge of the extent of dysfunctional land reform projects, dysfunctional Communal Property Associations and Trusts, and the challenge to up-scale land redistribution so that equitable land distribution and achievement of the 30% land redistribution target is achieved. Furthermore, the Committee referred to the various legislative amendments and new legislation to be introduced as one of the reasons why such a decline was a matter of concern. The new legislation would have far reaching financial implications to the programme. Allocation for the sub-programme of Registration of Deeds Trading Account decreased from R77.2 million in 2011/12 to R11.7 million in 2012/13, a decrease of 86.42 per cent in real terms. The sub-programme is expected to generate its own income through deeds registration.
2.3 Overview of programmes and estimates of expenditure
This section draws on presentation of the 2012/13 APP by the Department. It highlights the estimates of expenditures in relation to the priorities and strategic objectives of the Department.
Programme 1: Administration
This programme provides strategic and logistical support in the form of executive and corporate services, acquisition of vehicles for Departmental use, oversees Departmental capital works, and makes nominal contribution to the Public Sector Education and Training Authority. During the 2012/13, the key focus is reported to be on governance and administration, especially implementation of audit management plans and finalisation of policies and legislation that is fundamental to the reduction of inequalities and poverty.
Table 1 of this report illustrated that R1.10 billion was allocated for this programme in the current financial year. This is an increase of 13.58 per cent when compared to R911.8 million allocated in 2011/12. This increase was influenced by an increase in the sub-programme of Capital Works, from R16.1 million in 2011/12 to R105.5 million in 2012/13. Under the economic classification of expenditure, goods and services allocation receives a significant increase with largest allocation going to administrative fees, increasing from R5.0 million in 2011/12 to R118.97 million in 2012/13. The Department reported that such an increase is due to an increase in consultancy fees, especially used for expediting the land reform programme. It reported that consultants are mainly used for the valuation of land. The allocation for the sub-programme of management is R173, 576 million, an increase of 30.83 per cent in real terms for this current financial year when compared to R125, 330 million allocation in 2011/12. A large part of the allocation for administration goes to Corporate Services, accounting for 64.05 per cent of the programme allocation. It is reported that it would cover inflation-adjusted salary increases.
Programme 2: Geospatial and Cadastral Services
Geospatial and Cadastral Services provide cadastral surveys, geodetic and topographical surveys, land information, deeds registration and spatial planning services in support of sustainable land development. For the current financial year, the programme identified the following key priorities: completion of the state land register and developing spatial development plans for rural communities. In addition, development of an e-cadastre system was made a priority project. It is anticipated that the e-cadastre would assist to ensure the efficiency of the deeds registration systems. Related to this project, the programme would also focus on development of scarce skills in the field of cadastral surveys management. The Department reported that about 310 000 parcels of land would be updated in the comprehensive asset register. With regard to the sub-programme of Cadastral Surveys, 2.7 million hectares would be surveyed.
Money appropriated for this programme has increased from R555.5 million in 2011/12 to R561.9 million in 2012/13, which is an increase of 1.15 per cent in nominal terms, but a decrease of 4.48 per cent in real terms. The Committee noted that the programme received additional funding of R167.8 million during the 2011 adjusted estimates of national expenditure process. This addition was meant to fund the finalisation of the state land audit and to assist municipalities with the development of spatial frameworks, in line commitment to finalise the state land audit by 2013.
Programme 3: Rural Development
Rural development is one of the core functions of the Department. The Department conceptualized its function as follows: to initiate, facilitate, coordinate and catalyse the implementation of a comprehensive rural development programme that leads to sustainable and vibrant rural communities. For the current financial year, the focus under this programme would be on improving the quality of life for people living in rural areas. The fundamental aspect of improvement of the lives of the people included deepening public participation, improving skills, building enterprises and institutions, and provision of access to socio-economic infrastructure. The Department reported that a major priority for this programme is to roll out CRDP to 22 poorest districts identified by government for poverty alleviation.
The Committee noted a slight increase in the budget allocation for this programme, that is from R901.9 million in 2011/12 to R934.8 million in 2012/13 (an increase of 3.65 per cent in nominal terms but a 2.13 per cent decline in real terms). The nominal increase was a result of an additional allocation of R400 million to the National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) for recruitment of 5 000 young people under this programme. Although 5 000 young people would be recruited each year over the MTEF period, the budget decreased from R400 million in 2012/13 to R250 million in 2013/14. The decline is attributed to a reduction in the budget for goods and services, especially reduced allocation for consultants as a cost cutting measure.
Within the allocated resources for this programme, the Department would ensure that by end of 2013, the following targets were achieved:
Reduction of spatial inequalities in rural areas through provision of clean water to 202 households and alternative energy to 403 households;
Identification of 10 agricultural improvement technologies by research and have them tested by March 2013;
Implementing indigenous knowledge systems in 15 communities;
Establishing 2 000 food gardens and 3 agri-parks in the CRDP wards;
Increasing employment benefits for young people in NARYSEC from 7 401 in 2010/11, by adding 5 000 new youths for each year of the MTEF period;
Establishing 395 cooperatives and 25 enterprises; and
Implementation of Action Plan 6 linked to the Animal and Veld Programme within the identified 22 poor districts.
In terms of the APP, the Department further reported that it would establish functional 90 delivery forums, assist 60 communities with agricultural infrastructure and services, provide social and economic infrastructure, create jobs through rural development initiatives and skills development through the NARYSEC.
Programme 4: Restitution
Restitution deals with settlement of land claims in accordance with the provisions of the Restitution of Land Rights Act (1994). This function is mainly carried out by the Commission. During the 2012/13, the Commission has planned to finalize research on 4000 outstanding land claims; complete claimant verification for outstanding land claims; settled and finalize 133 claims on state land. The Committee welcomed an increase of 13.44 per cent real terms in the budget allocation for restitution as illustrated in table 1 of this report; that is an increase from R2.5 billion in 2011/12 to R3 billion in 2012/13. The budget is further expected to increase over the medium term period at the annual average growth rate of 9.2 per cent in real terms or 15.1 per cent in nominal terms. This increase in the programmes allocation for 2012/13 is reported to be influenced by an increase of 16.85 per cent in real terms in the sub-programme of Restitution Grants allocation for 2012/13. The Committee considered this increase to signify prioritization of restitution by the Department and the Commission.
Programme 5: Land Reform
The programme is responsible for the provision of sustainable land reform programmes. Its budget allocation covers recapitalisation and development of 525 distressed land reform projects, land acquisition of 1 million hectares (ha) for redistribution over the MTEF period; and revitalisation of irrigation schemes. The programme would ensure creation of 324 jobs in land reform projects and training of 595 farmers.
The budget allocation for the land reform slightly increased from R3.27 billion in 2011/12 to R3.28 billion in 2012/13 (an increase of 0,43 per cent in nominal terms but 5.17 per cent decline in real terms). Over the MTEF period, the budget for land reform will further decline at an average rate of 1.2 per cent in real terms. Contributing factors towards the decline are reported to be influenced by the non-allocation to Communal Land Rights Programme. Transfers to the Agricultural Land Holding Account accounted for the largest share of the programme budget, which is 61.77 per cent in 2012/13. It is evident that proactive land acquisition is still a priority programme for acquisition of strategically located land for redistribution purposes.
3. Ingonyama Trust Board
The Ingonyama Trust was established in terms of the Kwazulu-Natal Ingoyama Trust Act (Act 3 of 1994). It functions as a land owner-in-law of the Ingonyama Trust land. By 31 March 2012, the land in question comprised 2,705,229 ha under some 1600 titles in all of the 11 districts of Kwazulu-Natal and eThekwini Metro. The land is occupied by 4, 5 million people as per 2001 census by Statistics South Africa. For the current financial year, the Committee noted a shift in the vision of the ITB. Previously, it read as follows: to improve the quality of life of the people living on the Ingonyama Trust land by ensuring land usage to the benefits of the residents. As at April 2012, the vision of the ITB reads as follows: a leader in sustainable communal land management. Its objective was presented as optimal land management for the material benefit and social wellbeing of the communities living on Ingonyama Trust land. It reported that its mission is to improve the quality of life of the members of the traditional communities on the Ingonyama Trust land. It further seeks to develop progressive business models for the social and economic enlistment and the empowerment of the members of traditional communities on land administered by the Ingonyama Trust.
3.1 Key priorities of the Ingonyama Trust Board
The core business of the ITB is land management and can therefore be regarded as a land management agency. For the current financial year, the ITB identified the following priority areas: land administration, support to traditional councils, and improved stakeholder liaison.
3.1.1 Land administration
The ITB has prioritized identified the following key interventions:
· to conclude 1031 and tenure rights by the end of 2012/13. During the financial year, it would continue to maintain and update the land holding register; and
· to support implementation of four land management related projects during 2012/13, increasing to seven projects in 2015/16.
The Committee noted that in 2011/12 the ITB had planned to conclude 700 tenure rights. Although the ITB explained that an increase of projects was likely to occur due to renewed efforts to publicize the work of the ITB and encourage take up of funds by traditional communities, the Committee remained concerned that an abrupt increase in targets may set the ITB for failure. It further encouraged realistic target setting.
With regard to the land holding register, the ITB could not clarify basis for the indicators and targets for this intervention. The Committee understood that only one register existed; that the ITB had to clarify certain measurable milestones over the year so that it could measure performance and progress towards realization of this strategic goal. Such milestones could relate to the addressing land holding related queries as per the findings of the Auditor-General during the 2010/11 audit report.
3.1.2 Support to traditional councils
Traditional councils are crucial structures in relation to land management issues. When a transaction in land rights is to be executed, the traditional council having jurisdiction on a particular project area is required to give consent for that development. Empowerment of these structures to deal with land management issues is vital. Therefore, the ITB has planned to empower a total of 23 of the 249 traditional councils that form part of the Ingonyama Trust. Such an empowerment programme would focus on land management and related issues. It is anticipated that this programme would advance the cause of ITB in the implementation of community and social upliftment of projects; administration of funds accrued to traditional councils; management, disbursement and accounting of the funds; and land management skills.
3.1.3 Improve stakeholder relations liaison
The ITB has planned outreach interventions where it would engage in enhancement of public awareness activities so that there is an understanding of what the ITB is all about as well as the development benefits of living on land under the ITB. Traditional councils and communities are the key stakeholders. During the MTEF period the ITB has planned to improve its communication strategy to improve information dissemination to communities.
3.2 Overview of budget allocation for the Ingonyama Trust Board
The total budget of the ITB comprises own fund income (commonly referred to as trading activities) and transfer payment from the Department. The trading activities of the ITB comprise royalties, investments and other income from special projects. For the current financial year, the ITB own fund income is R51, 8 million, about 87.78 per cent of the total income budget. Transfers from the DRLR amount to R7.2 million (about 12.22 per cent of the total budget). The disbursement policy of the ITB provides that 90% of the income earned through trading activities be used for the benefit of communities and whereas 10% should be retained for covering the operational costs of the Board. Administrative costs of the ITB are reported to be covered under transfers from the Department.
The budgeted amount from trading activities (excluding funds in reserves) for 2012/13 is R50.08 million which is an increase of R6.79 million when compared to R43.29 million allocation during 2011/12. In line with the disbursement policy, R38.59 million is planned to be disbursed to Traditional Councils whereas R11.5 million would be for the operational costs of the ITB. The budget for the Trusts administrative and operational costs for the current financial year has doubled from R6.83 million in 2011/12 to R18.7 million in 2012/13. It is reported that this would cater for an increase in staff costs, establishment of satellite offices and for production of promotional materials.
4. Overview of the observations/responses of the Portfolio Committee
In view of the briefing on the strategic plan and the APP of both the Department together with the Commission, and that of the ITB; the Committee recorded the following observations:
4.1 The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform
In general, the Committee commended the Department for developing a clear and coherent APP which is aligned to the Strategic Plan 2011 -2014. It noted that there were clear targets and indicators, making the APP a useful oversight tool for the Committee. However, its concern was that some of the targets appeared unrealistic. For example, the Department has planned to introduce 11 pieces of legislation in the fourth quarter of the current financial year. In view of the past three years performance where the Department was unable to introduce planned legislation in Parliament, except for some minor amendments and repeals. The Committee called on the Department to submit an operational plan whereby the Department should illustrate how the targets would be realized.
Further observations, comments and discussions on the APP and Budget allocation are discussed thematically and in line with the strategic MTEF priorities of the Department.
4.1.1 Improvement of corporate governance and ensuring enhanced service delivery
The Committee welcomed a commitment to ensure implementation of audit management plans and finalisation of policies and legislation development. It further commended the Department for the extensive work done on the Green Paper on Land Reform, a major policy document that could help to rescue the South African land reform programme. However, there were concerns about lack of feedback and meaningful engagement between the Department and the Committee about the Green Paper process to date. Further engagement has been proposed, especially in view of the proposed piece-meal approach that proposed that, if a particular area of work was completed, the Department would recommend developing a policy, seek approval of the Cabinet and later draft legislation which in turn would be submitted to Parliament. The Committee also expect the Department to table a report of the inputs from the public and the council of stakeholders for their consideration rather than getting the selected information by the Department on the green paper on land reform.
With regard to enhancement of service delivery, the Committee welcomed the various mechanisms put in place to create capacity within the Department, especially the training programmes and recruitment of personnel, with scarce skills such as geomatics and surveys. The Department has further made a commitment to continue working towards a clean audit report by the Office of the Auditor-General of South Africa . The Committee requested quarterly briefs on progress in implementation of these plans.
4.1.2 Roll out of the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme to rural municipalities
The role of the Department has been understood to be to initiate, facilitate, coordinate, and catalyse for the implementation of CRDP. The Committee welcomed various plans with regard to infrastructure development, creation of economic opportunities such as cooperatives and enterprises. It further noted that the success of a comprehensive rural development initiative partly depended on the ability of the Department to successfully coordinate and integrate its services with those of other government Departments and development NGOs. The Committee welcomed that functional delivery forums would be set up to deal with this matter. The Committees concern was that experience from the oversight visits shows that some of the structures set up, for example councils of stakeholders, were not functional but existed only on paper.
Job creation for the youth through NARYSEC programme was also welcomed. The view of the Committee was that the Department needed to relook the strategy for placement of youth enlisted under NARYSEC. With the planned creation of 5000 jobs annually under NARYSEC, the Committee expressed concern over the apparent lack of a coherent strategy for integration in work place where these youth are placed as well as the programme of capacity building for them. Example of Riemvasmaak ( Northern Cape ) where youth reported to the Portfolio Committee that they had no job to do was used to argue for a need to rethink strategy of placement of the NARYSEC youth.
4.1.3 Improve productivity in land reform projects through implementation of Recapitalisation and Development Programme
The programme of land reform comprises land redistribution and tenure reform. In view of programme 3 priorities, the focus of the Department would be on improving productivity of farms acquired through land reform. The tenure component of the programme appears to have been neglected. Considering that farm dwellers and farm workers are amongst the most vulnerable groups, programmes that advance their rights require prioritization. The Committee considered this a concern because of the amount of work that continues to be outsourced to consultants under the Legal Services Project known as the Land Rights Management Facility.
The Committee noted that increased productivity of land reform projects as well as revitalization of irrigation scheme requires greater coordination efforts with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. In addition, internal coordination between the Commission and the other branches such as the Social Technical Rural Institutional Facilitation and Rural Infrastructure Development is considered a crucial element to ensure that CRDP principles form part of land reform that is integrated with a broader strategy for rural development.
4.1.4 Expedite finalization of land claims
The Committee welcomed a more focussed approach for the current financial year where 133 claims on state land would be settled and a total number of 380 land claims to be finalized. The Committee remained concerned that the Commission was still not able to report on how many claims were exactly outstanding. The Committee was of the view that this information is vitally important for the purposes of planning for a successful restitution programme. However, cautiously welcomed the strategic objective to ensure restitution of land rights or awards of alternative forms of equitable redress to claimants was finalized within the MTEF baseline allocation. It cautiously welcomes this objective due to lack of information on what amount of work is outstanding and how much financial resources would be required to complete the work of restitution during the MTEF period.
4.2 Ingonyama Trust Board
The Committee expressed concern that of the eight board members; only two appeared before the Committee. The Committee insisted that at least majority of the Board Members should appear before the Committee during consideration of the strategic plan and the annual report in order to respond to some of the critical concerns that the Committee could raise.
The Committee raised the following concerns:
There are a number of projects that the Strategic plan and the APP for 2012/13 did not address; for example, the history book project, construction of the new administrative block, how the ITB continues to deal with the matter of the rates and taxes for municipalities, and review of ITB legislation;
Four structures are involved in land management in areas under its jurisdiction, i.e. National and Provincial government, municipalities and the ITB. The coordination for development on the Trust land and alignment with the CRDP was not included in the context within which the ITB operates and the plans of the ITB. This illustrates the omission by the ITB. The Committee was of the view that poor coordination, or lack thereof, could have negative implications for the work of the ITB;
The targets for land audit were not clear and the Committee was of the view that this could be more clarified;
The Committee expressed concerns with regard to lack of provision for payment of the municipal rates. An example of the case brought before the court by the eThekwini Metro was referred to. The Committee raised a question that in the event that the court rules in favour of the eThekwini Metro, where would the funds to cover the cost come from? It could create certain contingent liabilities for the Board.
In view of the observations of the Committee during consideration of the budget and APP of the Department and the ITB, the following recommendations are made:
5.1 Department of Rural Development and Land Reform
5.1.1 An operational plan for the APP discussed in this report should be submitted to the Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform within a month after the tabling of the APP at the Committee.
5.1.2 The Department must fill vacancies in key and strategic positions to enable it to enhance delivery of services especially in policy development, finalization of surveys and registration of state land as well as the development of a comprehensive immovable asset register. The Committee further recommends that the Department should submit progress report within three months after adoption of this report by the National Assembly.
5.1.3 The Commission on Restitution of Land Rights should, within two months after adoption of this report, submit a report on the extent of the outstanding land claims (both state land and private properties). Such report should provide statistical analysis of the kinds of land claims and stages at which those claims are and detailed plans to ensure that all the land claims are finalized in the MTEF period, and the total estimates for cost requirements for finalization of land claims as well as funding mechanism, and strategy for post settlement.
5.1.4 Within two months after adoption of this report by the National Assembly, the Department should submit a comprehensive report (including financial statements) on the work done under its Legal Services Project/Land Rights Management Facility. In addition to the legal representation for farm dwellers, the report should detail work done with regard to mediation and conciliation for land reform projects, especially the Communal Property Associations.
5.1.5 Transformation of the skewed patterns of land ownership in South Africa through the programme of land redistribution should be given priority alongside recapitalization and development of projects.
5.1.6 There should be a clear distinction of performance indicators for the Agricultural Land Holding Account from the rest of the programme to ensure straightforward measuring of performance with regard to distribution of land acquired under Agricultural Land Holding Account.
5.1.7 The delivery forums should be capacitated to ensure that real coordination that is facilitated for bottom up initiatives and integration of service delivery.
5.2 Ingonyama Trust Board
5.2.1 The ITB should report to the Committee, within two months after the adoption of this report, on the state of affairs with regard to the history book of Zulu Kings which was initiated by the ITB but has not been completed to date.
5.2.2 Within a month after adoption of this report, the ITB should report on its strategy to address the challenge of paying rates and taxes to municipalities and metros.
5.2.3 The ITB should submit an operational plan that details how it would spend the budget proposed. It should further report to the Committee about progress in implementation of the plan on quarterly basis.
Report to be considered.
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