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Conflict erupts over Limpopo CPA control

Bitter conflict has erupted over the control of a communal property association (CPA) that runs five lucrative farms in Limpopo, with community members complaining that the local tribal authority has hijacked the association and is running it as “a family trust”.

AmaBungane has also learned that the department of rural development and land reform is taking the CPA’s leaders to court, after community members accused them of corruption, nepotism and maladministration. 

A spokesperson for a residents’ body calling itself the Concerned Group, Alfheli Bvumbi, claimed that nine of the 13 committee members are related to the Ravele royal family.

At issue are farming operations in the Levubu area outside Makhado – formerly Louis Trichardt – that were restored to the local community under the land restitution process. 

Producing macadamia nuts, avocados and bananas, they turned a profit of R5-million last year.

The Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform was briefed by the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights (CRLR) on its 2014/15 annual report. The Commission had exceeded its targets by settling 428 new claims against a target of 379; finalising 372 claims against a target of 239; approving 119 projects against a target of 53; researching 1 525 claims against a target of 1 445; establishing 14 operational claims lodgement offices; and acquiring four mobile lodgement offices.

Restitution claims settled between1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015 were: Western Cape 194; Eastern Cape 79; Free State one; Gauteng nine; KZN 59; Limpopo 35; Mpumalanga 35; Northern Cape nine; and North West seven. The total financial value of the claims that were approved during the period under review was R 2.778 billion. Total expenditure was R2.488 billion. Expenditure included backlog claims which had been approved in previous financial years, where payments had not yet taken place. Expenditure for claims approved prior to 2014 had been R501 million, while expenditure for claims approved in 2014/15 had been R1.987 billion.

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