Possible extension of land claims

MPs are holding public hearings on a bill which seeks to amend the cut-off date for lodging land claims.

FILE: MPs are holding public hearings on a bill which seeks to amend the cut-off date for lodging land claims.

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament (MPs) are holding a series of public hearings on a bill which seeks to amend the cut-off date for lodging land claims.

The previous deadline was the end of 1998.

If the bill becomes law it will give people a second chance to claim the land taken from them as a result of the 1913 Native Land Act.

Members of the portfolio committee on rural development and land reform are visiting several provinces this week to speak to communities about the bill.

Committee chairperson Jerry Thibedi says, "Many people have been saying they fear the previous unresolved cases will be buried."

He says an electronic method will be used to capture the new claims.

"We have been explaining to them the different methods that will be used."

MPs will also meet with non-governmental organisations and academics in Cape Town in the coming weeks to hear their views on the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill.