Land claim settled
MEMBERS of the Molekana clan have opted to share more than R2-million as compensation for their dispossessed land on which Anglo Platinum runs operations outside Mokopane in Limpopo.
The community was forcibly removed between 1969 and 1970 by the apartheid regime after the discovery of the minerals in the area. After the forced removals the community found themselves scattered around nearby villages.
The Molekana land claims committee chairperson, Leseja Tjatji, told Sowetan that they opted for cash compensation to avoid infighting among the clan over money from the possible payment of rent for the land by Anglo Platinum.
"We stay at a village and we were told that therefore the land belongs to a chief. So to avoid problems for ourselves, we opted for cash compensation for our land," Tjatji said.
A total of 69 members of the clan lodged claims on two farms that are now a hive of mining activity.
The claims were accepted and finalised in terms of the Restitution of Land Rights Act.
On Tuesday, 42 households were each handed vouchers worth R54,650 as compensation at a ceremony in Mokopane.
The claims of a further 27 households who did not register in time will be processed.
Speaking at the ceremony, Waterberg district municipality mayor Rosina Mogotlane applauded the clan for opting for cash compensation and appealed to the clan to use their money wisely.
"Some agricultural and tourism land returned to previously disadvantaged people is lying fallow in the Waterberg region.
"Also, many of the game farms are not being used because of the infighting among the communities," she said.
"You made a good decision because you had to think of the future of your children. You can invest the money wisely for the education of your children."
Molokana clan and Anglo Platinum have agreed on action that will uplift the community.
This includes payment of rent by the mine to the community, incorporating the community into the mine's social and labour programmes, a community centre and Internet cafés.
The mine will also make a payment of R4.3-million to the community.