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Asserting traditional leaders own land opens old wounds

Author: Nomboniso Gasa

IF THE past has nothing to say to the present, history may go on sleeping undisturbed in the closet where the system keeps its old disguises. — Eduardo Galeano. 

Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti is scheduled to meet the National House of Traditional Leaders on Friday following a standoff about implementation of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act. 

House delegates protested that the act’s implementation earlier this month undermined their authority in communal areas by giving planning responsibility to municipalities. 

Nkwinti reassured them they were the “de facto owners of the land”; they insisted he should put that in black and white by amending the act to state that traditional leaders are the owners of the land.

“Ivusa umnyele ke le’ (this brings old wounds and anger),” I thought.

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