Land tenure challenges remain

THE 1913 Natives Land Act was the first of several discriminatory laws that reinforced the massive dispossession of land from black South Africans.

THE 1913 Natives Land Act was the first of several discriminatory laws that reinforced the massive dispossession of land from black South Africans.

The act resulted in major challenges related to land reform in the former homelands.

The memoirs of Paul Kruger, "the last president of the Transvaal Republic", narrates how the Basotho people, under the rule of King Moshoeshoe, were attacked and had their land dispossessed and their livestock seized.

After the 1994 elections, the new government introduced various policies that aimed to correct the cruel past.

While land reform has succeeded in some aspects in the past 20 years, other aspects such as tenure challenges in communal areas are still in desperate need of attention.

A variety of land rights insecurities and conflicts are prevalent in the communal areas.

To eliminate some of these challenges, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform hosts various discussion forums such as land tenure summits.

Such summits aim to engage in practical measures pertaining to land tenure in South Africa with relevant stakeholders.

During the 2001 national land tenure conference and the 2005 land summit, challenges to securing tenure were central to discussions.

The 2005 summit assessed the progress made in meeting the land and agrarian reform ideals of South Africans as reflected in the Freedom Charter and the constitution.

This year's land summit will follow up on the resolutions of the previous conference and summit, and focus on addressing the main land tenure reform challenges raised in the 1997 white paper on land policy.

Nthabiseng Matabane

Pretoria

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