Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, CRLR & Ingonyama Trust Board on their 2014/15 Annual Report
Author: Mr O Sefako
The Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources was briefed by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) on its 2014/15 annual report. Key issues highlighted were its performance against the budget allocation, the achievement of an unqualified audit with findings, progress in training and the surveying of state domestic facilities, and the registering of almost a million deeds and documents. The Department had received an appropriation of R9.455 billion and spent 99.4% of it. Fruitless and wasteful expenditure had increased by 12%, and an increase in irregular expenditure had been due to non-compliance with supply chain management prescripts. Warning letters had been issued and disciplinary actions were under way for the officials who were found guilty.
Members asked why there had been a decrease in achievements against targets, when funds had been there to be spent. Why had the development of a rural development strategy system not been achieved? Why was there no deeds office in Limpopo? They questioned the status of the report on irregular expenditure, as well as the logic in saying that the River Valley Catalytic Programme had been achieved when nothing had been done in four provinces. What would the Department do to ensure food production continued in community property associations (CPAs)?
The Commission on Restitution of Land Rights (CRLR) gave details of the land claims which had been researched, settled and finalised, and projects which had been approved. It had established 14 operational claims lodgement offices and acquired four mobile lodgement offices. The Act required the Commission to attend to old claims before dealing with the new ones. The financial value of the claims that had been approved was R 2.778 billion. Lodgements at mobile offices had totalled 13 985 and the number of people reached to date was 45 363. The Commission had 819 funded posts, of which 743 were filled and 76 were vacant.
Members questioned the budgetary constraints and when outstanding claims would be finalised. They asked why claims of over 15 years had not been settled and the turnaround time for settlement. They asked who determined what was paid to researchers and said there was a need to improve communication with the claimants.
Follow the link below to read the minutes of this meeting and to download all supporting documents: