DA Launches Plan To End Communal Land System In Mpumalanga

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

The Democratic Alliance in Mpumalanga today launched our Plan for Growth and Jobs in Mpumalanga. The full plan outlines our policy platform as an alternative provincial government.

Over the next few weeks, we will systematically release our growth and job creation proposals. Mpumalanga must become a province of workers and our proposals seek to fill the vacuum created by the ANC’s failed attempts to create jobs in our province. Every corner of our province has unique yet endless opportunities, and the DA has a plan to kick-start growth and job creation where it is needed most.

A key proposal in our jobs plan is the capitalising of rural areas by reforming the communal land system, and allowing individuals to register for title deeds for their own land. We believe this would flood millions of rand’s worth of capital into Mpumalanga’s rural areas.

This plan has the potential to benefit hundreds of thousands of people currently living on communal land in Mpumalanga without any property rights.

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was able to lift millions of people out of poverty by reforming the communal land system and capitalising emerging farmers to make a success of their agri-businesses.

The DA’s plan is the “Lula moment” Mpumalanga needs, as opposed to the empty rhetoric of those in the Tripartite Alliance who, 18 years after democracy, continue to support the Apartheid-style system of communal land under tribal authority.

The DA’s policy for land tenure reform will empower the poor by allowing them to leverage their financial assets to pursue a range of economic opportunities.

Tribal authorities could remain in place, but not in their current form where too much power over who gets what land is vested in the hands of a few individuals.

As the provincial government in Mpumalanga, the DA would as a first step campaign for the repeal of the Communal Land Rights Act, Act 11 of 2004. We would also take a number of steps to transfer communal land to individuals, including:

· a comprehensive survey of all land in the former homelands;

· a dedicated registration process in which individual community members are given assistance registering ownership of the land they are living on; and

· an appropriate rates collection system applied thereafter, consistent with the Municipal Systems Act.

We intend to campaign in the coming weeks for Premier David Mabuza and his current provincial government to back these proposals.

The only way to end separate development and to capitalise the rural poor of Mpumalanga, is to end the Apartheid system of separate development where millions of people are denied their rights to property and capital.

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