The Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform this week met with communities of Kuruman, Kimberley and Welkom to receive inputs on the Communal Property Associations (CPAs) Amendment Bill. The Communal Property Associations Act was passed in 1996 and has been implemented over the past 20 years.
The communities alleged that government officials and politicians are interfering in the activities of CPAs. The Committee stated unequivocally that unless there is a direct interest in the CPA, officials and politicians must leave the CPA to do its work unhindered.
Other challenges reported were a lack of post-settlement government in the allocation of development grants to CPAs. Failure to provide such support has resulted in a decline in farm productivity and thus no improvement in the socio-economic conditions and livelihoods of beneficiaries.
Many CPAs complained about delays in transfer of land to CPAs and the issuing of title deeds, and alleged corruption by some government officials. In response, departmental officials reported that the reasons for the delay in transfer of farms to the state was a result of conflicts and tensions within the CPAs. Once CPAs are in order, government would be in a position to transfer land and issue title deeds to CPAs. The Committee urges the Department to work intensively with CPAs to resolve issues and fast-track the transfers.
Tomorrow, 15 September, the Committee will be at Simson Sefuthi Hall in Botshabelo, Mangaung District Municipality.
Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa