NATIONAL IMPLICATION PLAN

 

  1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

At a MinMec meeting that was held in Cape Town on 3 June 2004, the Minister agreed with the MECís and Commissioners on the fast tracking of settlement of all restitution land claims, in order to meet the Presidential directive that restitution claims be finalised by 2005. A MinMec Restitution Workshop was held in Pretoria on 29 July 2004 where the Provincial MECís presented their integrated approach to the settlement of land claims as well as their commitment and support to be given to the Commission.

The White Paper on South African Land Policy provides a five-year period for the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights and the Land Claims Court to finalise all claims. In his State of the Nation address of 8 February 2002, the President defined this time frame when he expressed the intention that all outstanding restitution claims should be finalised by 2005. The White Paper on S A Land Policy provides that the restitution programme shall be implemented over the following time frames:-

In his State of the Nation Address of 11 February 2005, the President gave a directive that additional resources would be allocated over the next three years to cover outstanding claims in the land restitution process. The Commission is however determined to settle all outstanding urban claims by December 2005 and all outstanding rural claims by 31 March 2008, as per the Presidential directive.

The Commission has embarked upon a "Restitution High Drive 2008" process in order to comply with the above-mentioned directive.

The total number of outstanding rural claims to be settled by 31 March 2008 is as follows:-

RLCC

Rural

Urban

Total

Eastern Cape

965

2869

3834

Free State

143

893

1036

Gauteng

91

19

110

Kwazulu-Natal

2132

3311

5443

Limpopo

1281

56

1337

Mpumalanga

1185

215

1400

Northern Cape

394

643

1037

North West

561

52

613

Western Cape

1051

2005

3056

TOTAL

7803

10063

17866

 

 

 

 

 

The outstanding claims (17 866) are currently at various stages of the settlement process. It is to be noted here that some of these outstanding claims (mostly rural) have claimants that are untraceable. However it is expected that all urban claims except for those that will be legally encumbered, will be settled by 31 December 2005. This will therefore allow for better focus in dealing with rural claims, which have been found to take longer to settle due to their complex nature.

In line with "Restitution High Drive 2008", the Commission developed an implementation plan that seeks to address the accelerated nature of the process, the involvement of all key relevant stakeholders amongst other being the Provincial MECís for Land and Agriculture and also highlighting the critical issues for the implementation of strategies developed.

The plan also indicates an implementation strategy, basically indicating what it will take to push the claim from its current stage to settlement. Key strategies that will be implemented include the batching, prioritising and sequencing of unsettled claims and beefing up of human resource capacity by outsourcing some phases to service providers where necessary, appointing interns especially unemployed graduates, improving existing capacity by devising a staff retention programme and appointing additional staff. The plan will also stipulate in terms of government and other relevant stakeholders who will play what role in the process of fast tracking of claims.

The CRLR recognises that political commitment as well as direct involvement by Government Departments will be a key element towards a successful and sustainable settlement process. Commitments are reflected in this regard from the National Department of Land Affairs, Department of Public Works, the Department of Agriculture, as well as Provincial MECís, Municipalities and District Councilís, SALGA and other relevant role players for example the South African National Park (SANPARKS).

In processing rural claims, Regional offices are also embarking on establishing strategic partnerships with relevant stakeholders that should fast track the settlement of the claims while at the same time ensuring sustainable development planning.

Another challenge for the finalisation of the process is the resource requirement and the financial implications.

Please refer to the MTEF Budget on the following page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUDGET FOR MTEF PERIOD Ė 2007/08

BUDGET FOR MTEF PERIOD UP TO 2007/08 - CAPITAL

Province

Total

Rural

Urban

2005/2006

2006/2007

2007/2008

 

Capital

claims

claims

1

2

3

Budget (R'-000 000)

Budget (R'-000 000)

Eastern Cape

1,108

965

2,869

381

382

345

Free State

238

143

893

116

91

31

Northern Cape

376

394

643

159

163

54

Gauteng

105

91

19

26

41

38

North West

551

561

52

137

213

201

Kwazulu/Natal

2,297

2,132

3,311

701

859

737

Limpopo

1,284

1,281

56

320

509

455

Mpumalanga

1,196

1,185

215

299

477

420

Western Cape

1,151

1,051

2,005

349

445

357

TOTAL

8,306

7,803

10,063

2,488

3,180

2,638

BASELINE

 

 

 

2,488

3,180

3,639

OPTION I.T.O MTEF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Minister of Finance has in his Budget speech on 23 February 2005 announced that R6 billion has been allocated to complete the land restitution process.

Although there had been several proposals around models for financing land reform, i.e. scheduling of payment, scheduling the return of land, strategic partnerships, land tax, subdivisioning of large farms etc, these proposals are still under discussion various stakeholders.

 

  1. CONCLUSION

It is evident from the Implementation plan that the settlement of all outstanding rural restitution claims by 2008 poses various challenges that are surmountable, subject to the necessary collaboration and commitment from key stakeholders as well as role-players.

The CRLR is committed to "Restitution High Drive 2008." It is of critical importance that all the parties including National Treasury, the Department of Land Affairs, Provincial Departments (MECís), Provincial Land Reform Offices, Deeds Offices, SG Offices, Municipalities, be in the "High Drive" mode otherwise this project will not achieve its desired outcomes. The Commission cannot do this alone! The Commission is however engaging at various levels with Departments such as Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Department of Public Works, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Department of Housing, etc

We have just concluded another agreement of R49 million with the Belgian Government to speed up the verification of remaining claims.

 

The Belgian Government has approved a further 6 million Euros for post settlement support for the 2006/07 financial year. This will help toward the implementation of sustainable development for land reform projects.

The Minister of Finance has in his Budget speech on 23 February 2005 stated as follows:

"A new Micro Agricultural Finance Support Agency is proposed, to complement the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme and provide further assistance to emerging farmers and land reform beneficiaries. An amount of R1 billion is available for this initiative, of which R600 million is expected to be allocated over the next three years."

The Comprehensive Agricultural Finance Scheme (CASP) will also help toward the implementation of sustainable development for land reform projects.

The Commission is the key facilitator of a restitution process that is much more complex and legalistic.

The Commission, whilst attempting to ensure compliance with the set time frame is also very conscious and committed to dealing with issues of poverty alleviation by ensuring a quality settlement process that is intertwined with sustainable development.

Concerns around the issue of the "disruption" of the agricultural industry and subsequently the main economy are constantly interrogated and efforts are made to circumvent this. However this is one other specific issue that needs everyone to get involved.

The CRLR acknowledges that the "Restitution High Drive 2008" process will be associated high risks such as poor quality of settlement, human error, and fraud due to short-circuiting some of the processes. With all these risks in mind the CRLR will endeavour to achieve the noble goal of sustainable settlement of rural land claims by 31 March 2008.