Ninety-eight percent of money intended to improve the livelihoods of residents living on the Ingonyama Trust Land in Kwazulu Natal has not been spent. According to the Ingonyama Trust's 2010/11 annual report, only 2% of the funds were paid over to beneficiaries.
The Ingonyama Trust board, currently led by King Goodwill Zwelithini, excused this under-expenditure on the basis that "no amounts have been earmarked to be paid over the long term; also these are driven by requests on an ad hoc basis".
It is unacceptable that the board continues to draw salaries and yet has not devoted time to drawing up a plan for distributing funds received from government for the purposes of improving the living conditions of the residents of the trust land.
Currently, over 4 million people live on Ingonyama Trust Land, covering almost 32% of the land mass of Kwazulu-Natal, in conditions of dire poverty. They deserve better than this.
The DA will be writing to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform requesting that he summon the board to present a plan to Parliament detailing how these funds will be distributed to land beneficiaries.
We have also submitted a Private Members Bill to Parliament calling for people living on communally owned land, such as the Ingonyama Trust land, to be given full and unhindered individual ownership of their land. Should the Bill be approved by the Speaker for discussion in Parliament, we hope that it will also stimulate debate about the need for existence of trusts holding funds and land in trust for communities.
Statement issued by Annette Steyn MP, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, October 23 2011
Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter