Ancestral land returns to families

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

About 250 families in KwaHlomendlini in northern KwaZulu-Natal will finally get back their ancestral land.

The families were forcibly removed from their area near Stanger under apartheid legislation.

After a protracted struggle, the Land Claims Commission has now ruled that the families' 534 hectares be returned.

Told that they were using their land illegally, they were loaded onto trucks in the 1970s and dumped on the Bulwer Trust Farm in Stanger.

Their land was then used to farm sugar cane and no compensation was ever offered to the families.

Minister of Land Affairs Lulu Xingwana, accompanied by the land claims commissioner, Tozi Gwanya, will officially hand over the title deeds on Sunday at the Esseina Farm, in the Ilembe municipality.

S'bu Dladla, the spokesman for the region's Land Claims Commission, said the beneficiaries would be encouraged "not to use their land for housing".

"However, if there is a need for housing, a suitable piece of land in the area will be made available for housing," Dladla said.

"Their ancestral land is suitable for commercial farming to generate some income for themselves and also to create job opportunities," he said.