Traditional leaders should not lodge competing land claims, Zuma says
Author: Staff Writer
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has asked traditional leaders‚ as custodians of tribal land‚ to improve farming of underutilised land to ensure food security, and to work with communities on land claims instead of lodging competing claims. Addressing the annual opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders in Parliament‚ Mr Zuma said the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform was finalising business plans for all the 44 districts in the country where agricultural parks — known as agri-parks — would be established.
One of the strategic objectives of the parks was to bring underutilised land‚ especially in communal areas‚ into full production within three years and expand irrigated agriculture.
The government had also developed an agricultural policy action plan under which food security at household level should be achieved through the use of 1-million hectares of the communal land for food production. “We have noted that some of the productive communal land under traditional councils remains inadequately utilised,” Mr Zuma said. “I urge traditional leaders to encourage communities to plough and till the productive land so that they can produce healthy food for their families and reduce the levels of food insecurity and poverty that are so prevalent.”
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