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Inefficiency of land restitution process leaves many gloomy

Author: Constance Mogale and Thuto Thipe

Now, by a vote of eight provinces to one, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) has given the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill its final approval and people who lost their land to colonialism and apartheid will have another five years to lodge claims. The government estimates that there could be 379,000 new claims with the reopening of the land claims process. That is nearly six times the 63 455 claims lodged before the previous claim window closed at the end of 1998 and could cost between R129 billion and R179 billion over the next 15 years.

The bill adopted in the last minutes of the life of the current NCOP does not mention traditional leaders, but one of the eight provinces that backed it in a final vote last Thursday (March 27) made the same link as President Zuma to its significance as a potential bolster to the status and power of traditional leaders in rural areas.“The Bill should… fulfil its legal mandate to protect, support and build the capacity of traditional leaderships,” the North West legislature said in its brief voting mandate to provincial delegates in the NCOP.


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