The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is pleased with progress made toward efforts to allow for descendants of the Khoi and San communities to lodge their land claims.
All communities, who resided on heritage sites and historical land marks, are in the process of claiming land from which they were forcibly removed before 1913 through past discriminatory laws and policies.
The two-day consultative conference, which started on Wednesday, was led by the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti, in Johannesburg.
Representatives of the various affected communities agreed to the formation of a single reference group to deal with what is termed the “exceptions to the 1913 cut-off date for land claims” to accommodate descendants of the Khoi and San, and those communities who resided on heritage sites and historical landmarks.
“The Reference Group is made up of representatives of organizations who deal with land related matters, non-governmental organisations, the youth, organizations of rural women, organised agriculture and communities.
“The Reference Group will report back in six months, after which the policy will be referred to Cabinet for consideration,” the department said.
This will pave the way for the redistribution of land to the descendants of the Khoi and San dispossessed before 1913 and to everyone where the land is a heritage site or a historical landmark.
The Minister made the announcement following discussions with members of the National Reference Group (NAREG) on ways to accommodate the Khoi and San communities, heritage sites and historical landmarks on land restitution issues.
The consultation session was another step towards the implementation of President Jacob Zuma’s announcement of a process to consider exceptions to the 1913 Natives’ Land Act 1913 cut-off date.
The consultative session was preceded by the organisation and mobilisation of the Khoi and San communities throughout the country for them to participate in the process.
Under review were exceptions to the 1913 cut-off date, which are an intervention to address the limitation in the restitution programme, in that only those who lost land after 1913 can lodge claims for restitution.
Attended by various stakeholders on land related issues, who serve on the NAREG, the conference established a Reference Group that will develop policy and legislation on the exceptions to the 1913 Natives Land Act cut-off date.
Source : SAnews.gov.za