COMMISSION ON RESTITUTION OF LAND RIGHTS by HC120701201218

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									   COMMISSION ON RESTITUTION OF
                    LAND RIGHTS
              UPDATE : PETITION MATTERS
                          to the
Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform
           10th NOVEMBER 2010, CAPE TOWN
                Under the Rule of Law,
                   The Orderly Way,
                  The Peaceful Way,
                  The Patriotic Way,
                 The Sustainable Way,
                The South African Way.
         BACKGROUND
 A group of members of the public lodged a petition
  dealing with complains on delays in settlement of
  claims by the Western Cape Regional Land Claims
  Commission.
 The complainants represents bodies such as
  CONFALSA and IRASA and ordinary citizens from areas such as
  Constantia, Stellenbosch, Kirstenbosch, Claremont/Newlands, Klawer,
  Goodwood/Kensington/ Windermere and Hout Bay.
 After perusing the petition, the Commission found
  that:
- No claims were lodged by CONFALSA and IRASA:
  therefore they are considered as Non-Claimants.
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    BACKGROUND (CONT.)
- Signatories to the petition: only five (5) reference
  numbers were submitted: therefore only five (5)
  specific reports can be issued, certain claims were
  found to be Non-compliant.
- The D6 Action Committee does not represent any
  claimants, there is a Task Team of which the
  Commission forms part of.
- Raapkraal: this claim was found to be non-
  compliant, therefore a Non-Compliant claim.
 The following responses to challenges listed in the
  petition are:


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CHALLENGES RAISED IN THE PETITION
1.   NUMEROUS CLAIMANTS HAVE SINCE PERISHED IN THE HOPE OF BEING RESTORED TO
     THEIR LAND / NUMEROUS UNRESOLVED CLAIM APPLICATION EXISTS

     In the White Paper on South African Land Reform it was envisaged that the restitution programme
     would be finalised within five years of the enactment of the Restitution of Land Rights Act, 1994 (Act
     No. 22 of 1994) (Restitution Act).
     The delays in the finalisation process have been caused by numerous factors such as
    A lack of supporting documentation or information to support land claims
    Community or family disputes relating to entitlement to restitution or proceeds of restitution
     Unavailability of land to provide land restoration, especially in the Western Cape;
    Validity and challenges of land claims by current landowners; insufficient resources (human and
     financial); etc.
    A number of claims is still in the process of being resolved/settled.

2.   CLAIM APPLICATION FORMS WERE LOST / METHOD TO DEAL WITH CLAIMANTS WHO HAVE
     NO RECORD OF CLAIM REF NUMBERS AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

     Land claims were lodged using a prescribed form, which were handed into any Government
     institution. The Commission is indeed aware of allegations that claim forms were lost or misplaced.
     Claimants who provide proof of lodgement of the claims will processed.
     Where the claimant does not have proof of lodgment of the claim, and the Commission does not have
     record of receiving the claim by no later than 31 December 1998, the Restitution Act does not allow
     the Commission to process such “claims”.
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CHALLENGES RAISED IN THE PETITION
3.   DEVELOPMENTS HAVE OCCURRED ON RESTITUTION LAND

•    Section 11(7)(aA) of the Restitution Act prohibits the disposal, lease, subdivision, rezoning or development of
     land under claim.
•    Landowners wishing to develop such land can apply to the Commission to do so- after claim was published in
     the Government Gazette.
•    The Commission may allow for development, if the land is not required as the settlement option, where
     claimants opt for financial compensation.
     The court can be approached by the Commission for an interdict if the Restitution Act is ignored. Should
     development continue it would amount to a criminal offence.

4.   CLAIMANTS HAVE BEEN LIED TO AND THREATENED BY OFFICIALS / INEFFECTIVE AND
     IRRESPONSIBLE APPROACHES TOWARDS

     The DRDLR strives to ensure that every employee complies with Batho Pele principles and does not
     condone the actions of any employee who does not act in accordance therewith.

     Where such behavior takes place, any member of the civil society, including claimants, are
     encouraged and requested to report such incidences in order for the Department to conduct and
     investigation and deal with the matter appropriately depending on the outcome of such investigation.




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CHALLENGES RAISED IN THE PETITION
5.   ALLEGED CORRUPTION BETWEEN OFFICIALS AND DEVELOPERS

     The DRDLR has a zero tolerance for corruption.

     Incidents of corruption and/or other illegal activities can be reported to the anti-corruption hotline at
     0800 701 701, alternatively to the South African Police Service or other relevant authorities.

6.   DELIBERATE SETTLEMENT DELAYS

     The Restitution Act stipulates the process that must be followed in the settlement of land claims.

     There are, however, challenges that hamper the speedy processing of claims. Strategies to settle the
     outstanding land claims are being reviewed.

7.   OFFICIALS HAVE ABUSED THEIR ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITY / DELIBERATE
     MISINFORMATION TO CONFUSE AND FRUSTRATE CLAIMANTS

     Where officials have abused their responsibilities or powers, those aware of such abuse are
     encouraged to inform Senior Management or the Ministry, alternatively approach the offices of the
     Public Protector.
     Decisions or action by functionaries of the Restitution Act constitute administrative action and
     therefore can, in terms of section 36 of the Restitution Act and the Promotion of Administrative Justice
     Act, be reviewed by the Land Claims Court should any party be aggrieved by them.


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CHALLENGES RAISED IN THE PETITION
8.   SELECTIVE AND SUBJECTIVE ADMINSITRATIVE APPLICATIONS

     Specific details are required to investigate this allegation.

     However, the office has systems, policies and procedures to adhere to. The Restitution Act, which is
     followed by the office, also has Rules regarding procedure of the Commission (GN no R1961 of 29
     November 1996 and GN no R706 of 03 August 2001.)

9.   NUMEROUS CLAIMANTS HAVE EXHAUSTED THE OVERBEARING BUREACRATIC PROCESS

     Specific details are required to investigate this allegation.

10. CLAIMANTS HAVE BEEN FORCED TO UTILIZE LEGAL REPRESENTATION AND IN SO DOING
    EXHAUST THEIR FINANCIAL RESOURCES

     The Commission assist claimants with legal advice, as the office has a legal unit with experienced and
     qualified legal officers. Section 29.4. of the Restitution Act allows the Commission to pay for legal
     costs incurred by valid claimants. However, claimants have the right to consult legal experts on their
     own account. The office has never forced any claimant to do so.




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CHALLENGES RAISED IN THE PETITION

FEEDBACK ON THE SETTLEMENT OPTIONS OF THE LAMBERTS BAY COMMUNITY CLAIM

LAMBERTS BAY

This claim is settled. 2,4 hectares land was granted by the Municipality. The claimants are currently in a
process of requesting a change in their option to financial compensation.

SARON MISSION STATION

Mr Frans approached the court without claimants support. The claim is not valid. Mr Frans to provide
further evidence to validate the
 claim.

POLICY FRAMEWORK ON RESTITUTION MODELS

A Standard Settlement Offer policy wad developed to determine settlement amounts to claimant opting for
financial compensation. This policy is reviewed annually to be in-line with the relevant housing subsidy and
CPI.




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CHALLENGES RAISED IN THE PETITION

DETAILS OF WHEN, WHO AND HOW THE CLAIMS OF THE PETITION WILL BE
   SETTLED

•   Ms Ester Sozawe – S1846: Settlement in March 2011 – Financial compensation
•   Ms Ally and Buffkins – A124 & A822; Hout Bay - Settlement pending release of land –
    Development/Land
•   Ms Annie Schoeman – M1100: Lamberts Bay Community Claim: Settled –
    Development, pending claimant option change
•   Ms Veronica Nxukuma and Ms Hazel Koaho- N31- Settled – Development,
    implementation pending finalisation of Business Plan.

    NON COMPLIANT CLAIMS/ REJECTED CLAIMS:

•   Mr Nigel Daniels - J707 – Claim rejected.
•   Mr Nigel Daniels – J767: Claim rejected.
•   Mr Peter Jafta - J775: Claim rejected.




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WAY FORWARD
The Commission will follow-up on all claims outstanding
contained in petition.
Claims lodged and found to be valid will be processed
accordingly.
The Commission will request those people who allege that
they lodged claims to come forward in order to submit proof
of lodgment.
On all the allegations relating to misconduct or
unprofessional behavior by officials, we request detail
information to take the necessary discipline actions and
investigate



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                        THANK YOU/ BAIE DANKIE


                             MRS BEVERLEY JANSEN
                 REGIONAL LAND CLAIMS COMMISSIONER,
                                   WESTERN CAPE
            Private Bag X9163 / 04TH FLOOR, MATRIX HOUSE,
                                73 STRAND STREET,
                                          8000
Telephone number: (021) 486 7300
Fax number: (021) 422 3160
E-mail address: Fwilliams@ruraldevelopment.gov.za




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