SUBMISSION ON THE COMMUNAL LAND RIGHTS BILL TO THE
PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND LAND
10 NOVEMBER 2003
The Ubumbano Lwabesifazane is a women's organization that represents the rights of women especially around land and property ownership. This organization is affiliated to RWM and is community based. It's jurisdiction is in the following districts: Mvoti, Ndwendwe, Maphumulo, Mgungundlovu, Vulindlela. Its represents more than 500 women organizations.
We have been working with RWM during the process of the Bill since March 2003. This did not give us enough consultation time since we were not able to get all the opinions of our fellow members.
THE PROCESS OF THE BILL
We feel that we are not happy with this process simply because we were not consulted about the Bill.
The Bill provides the Ingonyama Trust with Ministerial powers or duties in the KZN province only. Therefore this Bill is not constitutional since it does not have the same rights in other provinces, which will result in women who reside in the Ingonyama land doubting the hope of having the owner ship of land and property. We refer to Section 34.
The Bill has inherited the injustice of the Past Laws, e.g the Code of Zulu Law says that women could not own property. The Bill provides for PTO's to be converted into new order rights but the PTO's are issued to men only which is discriminatory against women. Therefore, the Bill is not redressing the injustices but creating the situation where women do not have secure land rights and reinforcing the customary prohibition on allocating the land to women. We refer to Section 13. (3),
Another example of current discrimination is that the land that has been allocated to a woman can be transferred or sold by the traditional leaders to anyone without any consultation with the woman who is the owner simply because the female owner could not afford to build on that land, hence it was seen as "vacant."
Section 18.(4) of the Bill does not require the Minister to confer new order rights to women, therefore this has worsened the position of women to own the land.
The Bill should equally distribute the powers on all provinces and should not show preferential treatment to Kwa-Zulu Natal.
The Bill should repeal all the laws that were created by Apartheid regime for example Black Administration Act and the Code of Zulu Law.
The Minister should be required to confer new order rights to women in order to allow women to own land and property and also title deeds should have both names of both partners whether they are husband and wife or partners living together. It must also include the names of all the children.
This Bill in unconstitutional and is not addressing the injustices of the past, it is not gender sensitive and we feel that not enough consultation has been done. Therefore, this Bill should not be approved and taken back for redrafting.