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Fraudsters trying to exploit new land claims process

It appears opportunists are trying to fleece claimants in areas such as Crossroads in the Western Cape.

FILE: The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform says it’s alarmed by claims that fraudsters are trying to exploit the new land claims process. Picture: Regan Thaw/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform says it's alarmed by claims that fraudsters are trying to exploit the new land claims process.

The department has processed more than 5,000 new applications in the first month since the reopening of the land claims lodgement process in July.

But it appears opportunists are trying to fleece claimants in areas such as Crossroads in the Western Cape.

Yesterday, Deputy Minister Mcebisi Skwatsha and his team told Crossroads and Langa residents not to be fooled by fraudsters.

Skwatsha said his officials received word that fraudsters were asking people for money in exchange for processing their land claims.

"We have heard alarming rumours about people who go around our communities, purporting to be representatives of the department trying to sort out people's claims."

President Jacob Zuma signed the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act earlier this year, giving people five years to file their claims.