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Saai bekommerd oor grondeise- Suid Afrika

Die toename in die getal grondeise wat in die aanloop tot 2021 se plaaslike verkiesings weer aktief verwerk word, is vir die Suider-Afrika Agri-inisiatief (Saai) ’n bron van kommer.

“Dié verhoogde aktiwiteit word weerspieël in ’n toename in plaasbesoeke deur eisers en amptenare verbonde aan die grondeisekommissie, aanbiedinge aan grondeienaars en druk om hul eiendom teen minder as markwaarde te verkoop,” sê dr. Theo de Jager, direksievoorsitter van Saai.

Saai is bekommerd oor die gebrek aan deursigtigheid in dié proses, veral omdat grondeienaars sukkel om basiese dokumente – soos eisvorms en die navorsing oor geldigheid van eise – van die Departement Landbou, Grondhervorming en Landelike Ontwikkeling te kry. In die meeste gevalle wil dit voorkom of daar nooit navorsing gedoen is nie.

Hoewel die Departement en veral die Grondeisekommissie die afgelope tyd herhaaldelik bloedneuse in die howe kry en verdoemende uitsprake oor gebrekkige administrasie en wanbestuur tot groot verleentheid gelei het, beur amptenare voort om grondeienaars buite die wetlike of voorgeskrewe prosesse te intimideer.

Die hoofredes vir die kommer sluit in:

  • Die Departement se gebrekkige begroting om die grond te koop wat hulle in die proses betrek;
  • die stadige pas waarteen die proses gedryf word – sekere eise waarvan die grondeienaars reeds in 2002 aanbiedinge aanvaar het, is steeds nie afgehandel nie;
  • verwagtinge wat by grondeisers geskep word dat hulle óf plase, óf finansiële vergoeding gaan kry in die geval van eise waarvan die geldigheid onder verdenking is; en
  • ’n gebrek by die Departement en veral die Grondeisekommissie om binne ’n realistiese begroting die vermoë te skep om die eise te verwerk en af te handel.

Saai het by verskeie grondeienaargemeenskappe in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Limpopo en Noordwes betrokke geraak om hulle van prosedurele en regsadvies te bedien, praktiese hulp by in loco-inspeksies te verleen en die geaffekteerde grondeienaars in die proses te ondersteun.

 

“Terwyl grondeienaars individueel aan onbeholpenheid, korrupsie en wanbestuur in die Departement en die Grondeisekommissie uitgelewer is, is goeie organisering en kollektiewe aksie onontbeerlik om boere se belange te beskerm,” meen De Jager.

Saai concerned over land claims

The increase in the number of land claims actively processed in the run-up to 2021’s local elections is a source of concern for the Southern African Agri Initiative (Saai). 

“This increased activity is mirrored in the increase of farm visits by claimants and officials from the Land Claims Commission, offers to landowners and pressure to sell their property at lower than market value,” says Dr Theo de Jager, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Saai.

Saai is concerned about the lack of transparency of the process, especially since landowners struggle to obtain the basic documents from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, such as claim forms or research on the validity of the claims. It seems that, in most cases, no research has ever been done.  

Although the Department and especially the Land Claims Commission recently suffered bad setbacks in the courts – with damning rulings over poor administration and mismanagement leading to major embarrassment – officials are forging ahead and intimidating landowners, showing no concern for the law or prescribed processes.

The main reasons for the concern include:

  • The Department’s insufficient budget to buy property affected by the process;
  • The low pace at which the process is driven – certain claims in which landowners had accepted offers already in 2002 are still not finalised;
  • Expectations created in land claimants that they would either be receiving land or monetary compensation in cases where the validity of claims is under dispute; and
  • The Department or Land Claims Commission’s inability to create the capacity to process and finalise claims within a realistic budget. 

Saai have approached various landowner communities in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Limpopo and the Northwest to support them with procedural and legal advice, provide practical help during in loco inspections and to support affected landowners in the process. 

 

“While individual landowners are at the mercy of ineptness, corruption and mismanagement in the Department and the Land Claims Commission, a well-organised, collective action is essential to protecting the interests of farmers,” De Jager argues.

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