Rural Development and Land Reform too broke to process Limpopo land claims

Jacques Smalle MPL

DA Limpopo Provincial Leader

At a meeting this week at the Limpopo Provincial Legislature in Lebowakgomo, the regional land commissioner, Tele Maphoto, made the shocking revelation that the Rural Development and Land Reform Department is too broke to fund government’s land reform objectives in Limpopo.

Mr Maphoto indicated that only 1.5% of the 664 outstanding land claims in Limpopo will be finalised in the next financial year.

The total budget for these claims amounts to R412 million. He also indicated that the current shoe string budget won’t be increased in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, making it clear that the department simply can’t afford to pay for all of the claims on its books.

This is of serious concern. The DA wants to speed up the process for legitimate land claims to be finalised. Furthermore, the department should be able to finalise land claims, and provide emerging farmers with support to ensure new farmers are successful.

If the department cannot afford all the claims, it is doubtful whether it can afford the appropriate support for new farmers.

We call for the immediate review of the land revelation policy in a bid to resolve the department’s financial troubles as well as the enormous backlog in land claims.

This process must be urgently reviewed to make sure that legitimate land claimants  have their land restored to them. We cannot allow financial mismanagement to derail this process.