Govt owes land reform beneficiaries R1bn - DA

Annette Steyn says recipients aren't getting post-settlement support

Land Reform: R 1 billion owed in post-settlement support

A reply to a Democratic Alliance (DA) parliamentary question has revealed that the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform owes land claim beneficiaries R944 996 101 in outstanding payments for post-settlement grants.

The reply lists the following outstanding payments from the national Department of Rural Development and Land Reform:

  • Eastern Cape - R 396-million
  • Free State and the North West - R13-million
  • Western Cape - R196-million
  • Gauteng and North West - R35-million
  • Limpopo - R305-million

The DA believes in equitable and sustainable land reform in South Africa. It is imperative that South Africa's skewed patterns of land ownership are urgently modified and that those modifications, when affected, are sustainable. This will not be achieved unless the Department ensures that land claimants have the necessary skills and funds to make a success of the land transferred to them. By not paying out these post-settlement grants, the Department is incapacitating land claimants from making a success of the land transferred to them, unfortunately evidenced by the 90% failure rate of land transferred.

Not only has the failure to award the requisite financial support to land claimants resulted in a 90% failure rate, it has also resulted in the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform having to divert R500-million from their current budget in order to recapitalise these projects. The need for recapitalisation could have possibly been avoided had post-settlement support been awarded in the first place. This means that R500-million that could have been used to settle further land claims has now been diverted from its purpose to cover for the Department's own failure in ensuring that the necessary post-settlement support was awarded to land claimants.

The DA will be issuing further questions to the Minister to determine what contingency plans are in place to ensure that this support is paid out to land claimants.

Statement issued by Annette Steyn, MP, Democratic Alliance Shadow Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, July 6 2010

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