Category Archives: Africa

Final Report of the Presidential Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture

Introduction

The summary is based on the recommendations contained in the final report of the Presidential Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture.

The final report of the Panel was released on Sunday 28 July 2019, by Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister, Ms Thoko Didiza, accompanied by members of the Panel.

In September 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed the Panel to support the work of the Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Land Reform and to advise the IMC on a broad range of policy matters associated with land reform, including restitution, redistribution, tenure security and agricultural support.

Overview
The Panel – individually and collectively, believe that land reform can contribute to inclusive growth and sustainable development and enable social cohesion, deliver social justice and restore dignity to the majority of South Africans.

The Panel’s proposals contain wide-ranging recommendations with a view to government implementing fair and equitable land redistribution.

The Panel over the duration of finalising the report met and discussed with relevant ministers and experts on several platforms.

The Panel’s final report has been noted by Cabinet.

Findings
In its findings, the Panel in the report states:

1. Critical issues of land hunger, insecurity of tenure with the majority land rights that are not legally recognised in both rural and urban areas, are threatening stability, inclusive growth and development.

2. With 80% of urban dwellers residing on only 2% of the country’s land, a radical shift was required in land reform trajectory. This is exacerbated by government’s reluctance, we believe, to address communal tenure and underdevelopment of communal areas perpetuating the marginalisation of women, the rural poor and the communal farmers, in general.

3. Among the Panel’s immediate recommendations and actions, is the allocation of land, building on and refocusing private partnerships and strengthening of food systems and rural urban linkages.

4. There is a need for a consolidated national land reform policy framework with a new whitepaper that will address current gaps to include urban land, address spatial transformation and climate change. The framework must also add land administration as the fourth pillar, retaining and strengthening land restitution, redistribution and tenure, as indicated in the 1997 land national land policy.

5. There is a need to expedite and refocus of land reform to address inequality and historical injustices.

6. South Africa has made world headlines as the most unequal country. The report attributes the persisting inequalities to the manner in which land is owned, managed and transacted.

7. It is urging President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Cabinet to expedite land reform by using all its powers to resolving all outstanding land restitution claims, release lease acquired private land and much more effectively identify privately owned land needed for redistribution.

8. With regards to land redistribution without compensation:-
 
a. The majority of Panel members endorsed the proposed policy shift towards using provisions of the Constitution, with the majority of the panel feeling it is an inescapable fact that Section 25 of the Constitution is “compensation centric”. It draws from global examples where it is inextricably linked to some form of compensation.

b. The Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture has proposed for the amendment of the Constitution that clarifies that expropriation without compensation may be necessary in limited circumstances.

c. The Panel has therefore offered a proposal for a constitutional amendment that clarifies that expropriation without compensation may be necessary in limited circumstances, and it proceeds to indicate those circumstances.

d. The Panel said some members felt compensation may be zero in justifiable circumstances.

e. Another recommendation was for the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to finalise the database of applications under the land reform labour tenants of 1996 and prepare a proper time bound and publicly available plan for implementation.

f. The Panel calls on Parliament to monitor implementation of this plan and to amend regulation to the act addressing labour tenants and restitution claims. Those whose claims have been lost must have an opportunity to resubmit and the Department must identify claims where expropriation may be used to break the deadlock.

g. As a bold approach to land reform, the Panel proposed and recording the varying tenure rights that exist in the country, saying 60% of land rights in South Africa were not recorded or recognised.

h. The Panel in the report also calls for the reform of the Land Claims Court, the establishment of Land Reform Fund that will bring together state and private finance to support land reform – both the acquisition of land and support for beneficiaries thereafter.

i. The Panel also recommended the development of a Donations Policy, which encourages landowners to donate properties, or part of their properties, by offering exemptions from donations tax, and carrying the conveyancing costs of land transfer.

j. Minister Didiza, on behalf of the Cabinet, appreciated and thanked the Advisory Panel for the work done and the speed with which they have completed the task.

k. Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza said:

“The panel was to advise government on circumstances in which the policy on expropriation without compensation will be implemented, what procedures to follow and institutions to enforce as well as the rights of any affected persons, including the rights to judicial review. In a sense this process of the panel was to do a review and also be forward looking in anticipation of the Constitutional Amendments.”

SA’s Mahlangu president of Commonwealth Parliamentary body

The Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Mninwa Mahlangu (of the ruling African National Congress), has been elected the President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) for the coming year. In a statement on the website of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa on Friday 14 September 2012 (http://www.parliament.gov.za/live/content.php?Item_ID=2451), Mr Mahlangu’s tenure as the President of the association is was confirmed with effect from 14 September 2012 at the end of the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference which took place in Colombo, Sri Lanka until the conclusion of the 59th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.

The 59th Conference is scheduled to take place in South Africa from 28 August – 6 September 2013, in Johannesburg. As the host of the next conference South Africa was entitled to nominate Mr. Mahlangu, who assumed the role of Vice President of the CPA  at the 57th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in 2011 in London, United Kingdom and has represented the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa at the CPA for a number of years.

In 2007 he was elected for three years to the position of Chairperson of the CPA Africa Region, driving the development of the CPA’s strategic plan for 2008 to 2011.

About Mr. Mninwa Mahlangua
A member of South Africa’s first democratic Parliament in 1994, Mr. Mahlangu has held a number of strategic positions in Parliament, the regional and inter-parliamentary organisation and the African National Congress. These include as:

  • The Pan African Parliament and Working Group on the Pan African Parliament;
  • Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces and National Assembly Whip;
  • Portfolio Committees on Constitutional Affairs, Provincial and local government;
  • Governance and Legal, Political and Deployee Committees of the the African National Congress;
  • Co-Chairperson of CODESA (multiparty negotiating Congress for a Democratic South Africa);
  • The Constitutional Assembly and Transitional Executive Council.

The National Council of Provinces
The National Council of Provinces of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa of which Mr. Mahlangu is currently its Chairperson, came into existence with the adoption of South Africa’s first democratic in 1994. It provides South Africa’s nine provinces with a forum in which to engage with the national government on matters concerning areas of shared national and provincial legislative powers. It also oversees the programmes and activities of national government relating to provincial and local government matters. The NCOP is constituted to ensure that provinces are given an effective voice in the national legislative process. It consists of 9 provincial delegations, i.e. a delegation for each of the nine provinces. A delegation consists of 6 permanent delegates and 4 special delegates. The premier of a province is the head of that province’s delegation, but he or she can select any other member to lead the delegation in his or her absence. In exercising its legislative power, the NCOP may consider, pass, amend, propose amendments to or reject any legislation before it.

About the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
The CPA is an association of Commonwealth Parliamentarians from Parliaments and Legislatures of most of the Commonwealth states.  South Africa joined the Commonwealth in December 1931 but left in May 1961, when it became a republic under the apartheid rule of the National Party. In 1995, following our first democratic election, South Africa rejoined the Commonwealth and the CPA. The CPA’s mission is to promote Parliamentary democracy by enhancing knowledge and understanding of democratic governance. It seeks to further cooperation among member Parliaments and Legislatures.

The management and staff of ETHICORE Political Consulting congratulates Mr. Mahlangu on his historic nomination as President of CPA, a position he is capable of fulfilling with distinction given his consistent track record of achievement and commitment to advancing and strengthening parliamentary democracy and governance. Mr. Mahlangu’s election to the presidency of the CPA at the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference held in Colombo, Sri Lanka profoundly coincides with South Africa’s readmission to the CPA during the 1995 Conference in Sri Lanka. The African continent is presented with unique challenges and opportunities for strengthening parliamentary governance and democracy, in pursuit of continent development and integration. The hosting of the 59th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference to be held on African soil in South Africa in 2013, must make significant contribution to advancing the deepening and strengthening of Parliamentary governance and democracy through practical measures to empower parliamentarians and legislatures to deal with and confront Africa’s development and governance challenges with innovative solutions. Critical in this regard is to strengthen measures of dialogues, engagement and public participation between parliamentarians, legislators and non-parliamentary stakeholders.

For enquiries and commentary on South Africa’s Presidency of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), South Africa’s hosting of the 59th CPA Conference in 2013 and  the National Council of Provinces of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, kindly do not hesitate to contact us.