The South African government is considering various options regarding the contentious matter of land under traditional leadership and part of the land tenure system including Ingonyama Trust, said Deputy President David Mabuza.
“These would be finalised by Cabinet, and will be considered alongside the resolutions of the Communal Land Summit which was held in May this year,” the Deputy President announced on Thursday during a courtesy call on Isilo Samabandla, His Majesty King Misuzulu Ka Zwelithini at the Royal Palace.
He engaged the Zulu King in his capacity as Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team established to respond to matters raised by traditional and Khoi-San leaders.
The trust, whose sole trustee is now the Zulu monarch, King Misuzulu is currently responsible for managing some 2.8 million hectares of land in KwaZulu-Natal.
In 2019, a panel of experts led by former President, Kgalema Motlanthe, recommended that the Ingonyama Trust Act, which grants the Ingonyama Trust power over the province’s rural land, should either be amended or repealed.
However, according to Deputy President Mabuza, the State is working around clock to achieve sustainability of rural communities by developing policy and legislative reforms that will guarantee that land tenure rights are secured.
“We continue to serve as the first line of defence for our land, which is traditionally held by the Black indigenous people,” the Deputy President told the King.
“We will continue to work towards the goal of achieving the growth and sustainability of rural communities by developing policy and legislative reforms, which will guarantee that land tenure rights are secured, ownership of property is transferred from the State to the people, and settlement support is provided to those communities who are legally entitled to it.”
He told the delegation that government remains committed to ensuring that the land reform programme delivers to the aspirations of ordinary people.
“It is imperative that access to land be prioritised as a crucial asset for rural development and economic transformation for the land that is held in the custodianship of traditional and Khoi-San leaders to be exploited for agricultural purposes in a way that is both productive and profitable.”
The country’s second in command has also urged people who have been given the land to start cultivating it, as government provide support and resource allocations.
He said the Majesty’s ascension to the throne marks a watershed event in the AmaZulu’s rich, world-acclaimed history, and customary observance.
The Deputy President’s engagements form part of the government’s efforts to join hands with traditional leaders to address broader challenges confronting the institution. – SAnews.gov.za