Corporates mock ancestral land

Over the past few years we have seen graves, traditional land and caves bulldozed by big corporations to make way for business interests.

Over the past few years we have seen graves, traditional land and caves bulldozed by big corporations to make way for business interests.

One such example is a recent report in Sowetan of a mining group's encroachment on the tribal land in Limpopo. This is a grave concern, a shame. Traditional or ancestral lands are not economic entities. They are spaces of spirituality and a cultural heritage. They define and express people's identity and pride.

Many communities are still barred from certain areas where they would like to perform rituals and ceremonies. The buying off of traditional land needs intervention.

With its constitutional mandate, the role of the commission for the promotion and protection of the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities has become crucial as a voice for these communities.

The commission must keep development agencies accountable for ignoring the issue. It must also engage stakeholders reviewing legislation and policies, to ensure that they effectively respond to the challenge of the diminishing of people's heritage.

South Africa must show a strong sense of commitment to move towards spiritual development and harness spiritual, cultural and religious aspects in the processes.

Mathew Gopane

Johannesburg

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