MULTI-MILLION RAND BOOST 

FOR RESTITUTION CLAIMANTS


Khetha Nzimande


Government and the South African Sugar Association (SASA) have signed a multi-million rand administration agreement which will benefit three restitution claimant communities in the sugar industry.





Signing an administration agreement worth R15 659 092 with Chief Land Claims Commissioner Nomfundo Ntloko-Gobodo and SASA's Vice-Chairman Hans Hackmann, for the benefit of three restitution claimant communities – Eyethu, Gayede and Siyathokoza. 


The deal was sealed by Chief Land Claims Commissioner Nomfundo Ntloko-Gobodo and SASA Vice-Chairman Hans Hackmann at the recent Land Reform Restitution Dialogue in Durban. The dialogue was hosted by the Restitution Commission of Land Rights (CRLR) and it focused on three commodities – sugarcane, forestry and conservation. SASA made a presentation on behalf of the sugar industry pointing out the state of land reform in the sugar industry and the progress that has been made so far. In terms of the sugar industry, approximately 22.3 % of area under cane has been transferred to the land reform growers. These figures are expected to increase with more farms being acquired through the land restitution programme. This suggests that land reform growers will in future be responsible for the significant percentage of the sugar production in the country.


We as the sugar industry remain committed, as demonstrated by our pro-active approach, to sustainable land reform.

The administration agreement will result in the transfer of R15 659 092 for the benefit of three restitution claimant communities (Eyethu, Gayede and Siyathokoza). Upon signing the agreement, Ntloko-Gobodo pointed out that the agreement was an indication of the confidence that CRLR had in the partnership that they have with SASA. She said the cooperation between the two entities was moving in the right direction and producing positive results. “We continue to see the fruits of SASA and government in joining hands to advance the agenda of successful and sustainable land reform in our country. We as the sugar industry remain committed, as demonstrated by our pro-active approach, to sustainable land reform,” said Hackmann.



From left: Protus Zuma (Manager Post Settlement Support at Shukela Milling, Sbusiso Dlamini (Director at KwaCele Farming), Nomfundo Ntloko-Gobodo (Chief Land Claims Commissioner CRLR) and Anwhar Madhanpall (General Manager: Land Reform and Development at South African Sugar Association).


Gayede Community

The claim was lodged by Inkosi Jabulani Muntukaboni Dlomo on behalf of Amakhabela Claimant Community on 16 January 1996. The claim was approved on the 25 August 2004.  There are 267 households with an estimated 2 000 beneficiaries. The total extent of the properties restored is 19 273, 9026 hectares.


Eyethu/Amabomvini Community

The claim was lodged by Inkosi Themba Theo Khomba Ngubane on the 28 October 1998. The claim was approved on the18 June 2007. There are 220 households with an estimated 1 320 beneficiaries. The total extent of the properties restored is 3 085, 1456 hectares.


Siyathokoza/Amahlongwa Community

The claim was lodged by Inkosi Ndiza Timothy Hlongwa on the 28 July 1998. The claim was approved on the 18 June 2007.  There are 140 households with an estimated 840 beneficiaries.  The total extent of the properties restored is 1 524, 6973 hectares.

SASA and CRLR entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in April 2015 to partner in the implementation of a sustainable restitution programme in the sugar industry. Following this signing of the MoU, both parties have since embarked on annual joint planning processes every year to ensure that key activities are well planned and co-ordinated to ensure sustainability of production. The signing of the administration agreement is as a result of the annual planning process. The MoU provides for the formation of structures within which induction of new entrant growers could take place and continue to support existing growers. The MoU is based on the belief that all stakeholders, involved in this crucially important transformative endeavour, will shift their focus from an approach which focused primarily on the legal transfer of land to the long-term sustainability of restitution beneficiaries’ capacities to maintain commercial operations, and appropriately coordinated, comprehensive support models.


In her address, Ntloko-Gobodo highlighted the significance of holding the dialogue with these three key commodities, pointing out that these commodities were responsible for the significant land acquisition that has been seen taking place in the country. She further advised the delegates that one of the expected outcomes of the dialogue was
the recommendation around the preferred settlement models for the respective commodities. Recommendations arising out the dialogue would be refined further during the colloquium that the CRLR would be hosting in the
near future.


The sugarcane commission resolved on progressing the following matters to the colloquium.

  • An audit of all restituted farms should be carried out to determine their condition and productivity status
  • Due diligence to be conducted on already transferred farms to measure benefits and beneficiation
  • Peer review platforms to be established to enable claimants themselves to find home-grown solutions to their problems
  • Establishment and strengthening of the already existing restitution structures for claimants to engage each other
  • The CRLR together with all industry role players were requested to convene a session that would fine tune the resolutions of the dialogue in preparation for the national colloquium. 




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