Parliament to embark on land enquiry
SPEAKER of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete said Parliament will soon embark on a national land enquiry aimed at accelerating the slow pace of the land reform process.
Mbete made the statement when she tabled Parliament’s Budget Vote in the National Assembly yesterday.
She said out of the 50 debates that Parliament held over the fifth term of Parliament, the land issue has been one of the most important topics in Parliamentary chambers.
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform said the government has restored nearly 8 million hectares of land, which is 9.8% of the 82 million hectares of arable land in South Africa.
“Our people have long alerted us to their frustration on the matter of land reform and it is time that we listen to their voices. The most pressing of frustrations raised by our people is the slow pace of land reform and meeting targets for land redistribution,” Mbete said.
She said more needs to be done to ensure that the country has a law that provides direction.
“Crucially, we must also repeal the 1975 law that prohibits sub- division of agricultural land.”
Mbete said Section 25 (9) of the Constitution requires Parliament to introduce a law that secures the tenure of those whose insecurity arises from past racial discrimination.
“Passing a law that adequately defends the tenure rights of rural people thus becomes pressing,” Mbete said.