Limpopo rural sites dispute
OFFICIALS of the department of rural development and land reform in Limpopo yesterday embarked on an evidence-collecting mission to strengthen their efforts to interdict the Mamahule Traditional Authority from illegally demarcating residential sites on agricultural land that is still under claim.
Land officials still have to settle the claim lodged by five clans: Mamahule, Maboi, Tholongwe, Mothapo tribes -and the Mothapo Traditional Authority.
But certain members of the Mamahule traditional authority were allegedly demarcating residential sites for sale to members of the public for up to R5000 each.
Regional rural development and land reform department spokesman Motlatsi Lebea said the officials were collecting evidence to prove issues including allegations that members of the public were paying money to get residential sites.
Lebea said the evidence would enhance efforts aimed at obtaining an urgent court interdict to stop the demarcation of the land before the land claim had been resolved.
"As of now, the property is not owned by any of the claimants and therefore none of them have any right to make developments on the property, including selling sites, until the claim is finalised," Lebea said.
This comes at a time when the Limpopo department of agriculture was battling to put a plan together to stop the increasing collapse of agricultural land returned to previously disadvantaged people from further deterioration.
So far, more than 70 farms which were highly productive and crucial to food security in the province were lying fallow because of, among other things, bitter infighting and lack of farming skills.
The most notable communities that have run down farms returned to them were the Makgoba community in Makgobaskloof and the Ratsaka community in Soekmekaar.
Agricultural authorities still have to publicly release and act on a forensic report into the collapse of 35 farms returned to the Makgoba clan.
Sowetan has seen a copy of the report which blamed the Mamphoku-Makgoba community trust for the collapse of the farms.
Limpopo agriculture department spokesman Kenny Mathivha said authorities were still assessing the situation so they could come up with a plan to reverse the trend.