After the Agriculture and Land Affairs Minister Lulu Xingwana delivered her budget speech on May 18, some political parties such as the DA and FF+ blamed government and the minister for the slow pace of delivery in land reform.
The South African Council of Churches recently organised a church land conference for three days where the department was invited and blamed for not delivering.
When we deal with land issues as individuals, political organisations, NGOs or civil societies one needs to be sober and mature. One needs to understand the history and dynamics of land reform in the world, particularly in Africa.
Africa is facing challenges of unemployment, poverty, and HIV-Aids. All these challenges derive from land disputes. Land plays a significant role in the socioeconomic development of any country.
People should acknowledge the efforts by the government and the minister, who introduced the following programmes within eight months in office: Gijima, Letsema, women in agriculture and rural development. She also hosted the 4th World Congress on Rural Women and introduced a six-month negotiations process before land is expropriated.
Land reform is a collective and holistic programme that should be supported by all.
King Solomon Phetla, Pretoria