Advisory Panel on Land Reform Colloquium

The Advisory Panel on Land Reform hosted a Colloquium on 7-8 December 2018 at Birchwood Hotel, Boksburg, Gauteng Province of South Africa. The Colloquium was attended by close to 200 delegates from across the public sector (including parliamentarians), private sector, civil society, academia, and other concerned citizens.

The Colloquium consisted of participants with diverse views as the Panel is framing discussion papers towards formulating policy proposals. The latter will be presented to a bigger, more representative audience in February 2019, prior to the submission of the Final Report to the Presidency in March 2019.

In attendance were also Members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Land Reform, which are – Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, DrNkosazanaDlamini-Zuma and Minister MaiteNkoana-Mashabane of Rural Development and Land Reform. The Deputy Minister AndriesNel of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and Deputy Minister SindisiweChikunga of Transport were also present. Minister Dlamini-Zuma acknowledged the important work of the Panel its contribution towards refining the modalities of an effective Land Reform process in order to secure the dignity of the landless and the restoration of the birth-right of all South Africans.

DrVuyoMahlati, Chairperson of the Panel indicated that; We have no formulated positions or scenarios as yet. We have been engaged in data collection and analysis, and were only presenting questions and emerging conceptual ideas from inputs considered. The Colloquium was used to solicit responses to these, and learn more about international experiences, as well as fill-in data gaps.

The Coloquium acknowledged the Parliamentary process and deliberated on Panel presentations. Emphasis was on the following gaps in data and approaches:

Sources of knowledge and evidence considered by the Panel must include the lived experiences of the voiceless and under-represented communities. This includes the transformation of the tenure system that requires discussion with the communities.

Land Reform Policies will not be effective without effective and efficient Land Administration Framework and Land Governance Systems. This includes the establishment of the Land Observatory that must record a continuum of rights, land use, water, minerals, leases, usufruct.

More work to focus on Compensation models (Including Zero compensation) In line with developments on Expropriation without Compensation.

A Private Land Acquisition Strategy to be urgently developed to fasttrack redistribution. The willingness to donate land by Churches, Mining Industry and white commercial farmers must be guided by a clear policy to avoid unintended consequences.

Prioritize the Redistribution Policy and National Spatial Development Framework

Beneficiary Selection Strategy and Women Land Ownership

Agricultural and Urban Models

Land evictions to be stopped.

Mahlati highlighted that the spirit of collaboration and addressing land as a justice and rights issue framed conversations in plenary and breakaways. Speakers affirmed the view in the 1995 White Paper that without reform we will not have peace and stability.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa