Motlhabe Village excluded from legislative reform processes

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By Zoliswa Gqamane and Othusitse Rapoo

Over 40 young people including leaders of Motlhabe Village Council attended a Community Impact Assessment Workshop at Motlhabe Community Hall conducted by Bafokeng Land Buyer’s Association on the 23rd June 2018. The Workshop considered the topical Land Expropriation without Compensation debate, and how to get youth to be more involved in knowing the history of the land of their forefathers, and how to protect and exercise control over it.

Many traditional communities in the North West Province and elsewhere around the country are concerned that decisions about their land are taken on their behalf by various organs of state, traditional leaders and mining companies without their consent. Such decisions having devastating impacts on their livelihoods.

Mr Ruele took the community through the impugned section 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa which he indicated already provides for land expropriation without compensation. Assisted by Mr Thusi Rapoo, they explained that section 25(8) is very clear that the State can expropriate land without compensation. The section provides that “no provison of this section may impede the state from taking legislative and other measures to achieve land, water and related reform, in order to redress…..’.

Many private farmowners have been applying subsections 25(2)b (compensation) and 25(3)c (market value) to inflate the value of their farms identified for restitution claims. This willing buyer and willing seller method has frustrated the land reform process in South Africa.

The difficulty has been that the ANC-led government lacked political will to expropriate land without compensation in terms of above section 25(8).

It was further suggested that traditional chiefs be stripped off their Executive powers conferred on them by the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act (‘TLGFA’). The community was urged to make submissions in this regard in the ongoing public participation process on the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Bill (‘TKLB’) that seeks to repeal the TLGFA.

Motlhabe community was thankful to BLBA and the sponsors for the educational Workshop, and felt empowered to exert their rights with more vigour in the coming months. The community indicated that they have been excluded in the ongoing public participation processes on related legislative reforms affecting them.

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