Parliament expresses concern on continued public attacks by the Ingonyama Trust
Parliament is gravely concerned at the ongoing public castigations and personal attacks on former chairperson of the High Level Panel on Key Legislation and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change, Former President Mr Kgalema Motlanthe, and former Panel Member Dr Aninka Claasen, and the unwarranted threats regarding the Panel’s report and recommendations.
The Trust is displeased with one of over 100 recommendations of the Panel that the Panel motivates for the repeal of the Ingonyama Trust Act to bring KwaZulu-Natal in line with national land policy, and to secure land tenure for the communities and residents concerned. If repeal is not immediately possible, substantial amendments must be made.
According to the Panel’s report, members of the public occupying Trust land have complained that development on Trust land is carried out without the consent of people occupying the land and the benefits also do not go to residents but to the Trust.
The report and recommendations of the Panel are a culmination of a 2-long extensive public consultation process in all provinces to solicit views of diverse South Africans on the impact of key legislation on their lives. The Speakers’ Forum commissioned the Panel to conduct this independent exercise.
The Panel, having concluded its work, submitted its report to the Speakers’ Forum in November 2017. The report has been published in the parliamentary papers and will be processed through the Houses of Parliament and its procedures. Public consultation on the Panel’s findings and recommendations will form part of the process before Parliament takes a final position.
The Ingonyama Trust and communities residing on Trust-managed land will be amongst those who will be consulted when public involvement process take place.
It must be stressed that the report’s findings and recommendations are not personal opinions or wishes of Panel members but were informed by the views of ordinary South Africans and various sectors. Parliament has a constitutional obligation to listen to and consider the views of all South Africans, not only influential and powerful organisations.
The Trust’s public posture on the report’s proposals even before they are either considered by Parliament or ventilated with the public and stakeholders, suggests an attempt to stifle debate and intimidate Parliament from carrying out its constitutional duties. It would be most unfortunate if this was the Trust’s intention, as it is not in the nature of the national legislature to bow to the bullying tactics of lobby groups or sectoral interests.
Parliament calls on the Trust to observe the parliamentary process on the Panel report and take advantage of the consultation process that will be scheduled to express its views on the recommendations and findings like all other South Africans.
Parliament once again commends the Panel for its extensive work on the report and expresses its full confidence in the former Panel Chairperson and all Panel members for their great service to the Legislative Sector and the people of South Africa.
Source: Government of South Africa