ORAL INPUT ON LAND REFORM TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT'S PUBLIC HEARINGS ON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS FRAMEWORK BILL
Land and Tenure Reform Branch
Department of Land Affairs
Tuesday, 15 March 2005
The Department of Land Affairs is of the view that the Intergovernmental Relations Bill is very relevant to the core function of the Department; that of sustainable land reform delivery. Land is one of the major driving forces socio-economic development. Land reform is one of the interventions to address poverty alleviation and creating employment opportunities, within the context of contributing both to the growth of the first economy and ensuring transformation of the second economy.
The Department of Land Affairs is responsible for developing national policies that have a direct impact on provincial and local level delivery. The policies and programmes of the Department aim to redress the legacy of apartheid which relates to dispossession of land and forced removals. The three programmes namely restitution, redistribution and tenure reform allow for communities and
individuals to access land for productive purposes, settlement and tenure upgrading. This implies that communities and individuals will be settled or agricultural and urban land.
Although land is a National competency it is implemented and delivered through Provincial Land Reform Offices (PLROs) at a provincial and district/local level. Most land transferred has a settlement and or development component i.e. agricultural support services or bulk infrastructure.
The Department depends on appropriate and suitable intergovernmental relations to ensure that the intended land reform beneficiaries and communities at local level benefit in terms of services delivered. In the area of Integrates Development Plans in the context of the ISRDP and URP, the Department would like to see the introduction of integrated planning and budgeting which means
that planning and budgeting of the various spheres of government must be aligned for maximum effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery across government.
The Department envisaged setting up National Intergovernmental forums with the relevant Provincial Government Departments responsible for land, agricultural, housing and local government to ensure that policies and programmes related to land reform and land planning are adequately cover and that communities and individuals are settled in sustainable surroundings.
addition, the Department will engage with alt relevant Departments and spheres of government that are involved in nodal areas with a view to clarify Department's roles and responsibilities in line with the development plans for nodal areas.