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Traditional leaders vow to defy government over new land law

Author: Babalo Ndenze

Angry traditional leaders have dared the government to arrest them and have vowed to defy the newly enacted Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (Spluma), which they say does not recognise them as traditional leaders and landowners. 

“With this act, abakhosi are very angry. They are very angry and we were praying that the minister will give us an explanation that we can understand,” said deputy chairman of the National House of Traditional Leaders Sipho Mahlangu,“We don’t want ourselves fighting with our own government. We plead with the minister to suspend the implementation until amendments are made.” 

Mahlangu said the act gives sole discretion to the municipality on who gets to sit on municipal planning tribunals – even on communal land. Mathibela Mokoena from the Mpumalanga house of traditional leaders said it would be impossible to implement the law.

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