Restitution of Land Rights Act ruling a ‘victory for landless communities’

In a unanimous judgment today, the ConCourt found Parliament failed to properly consult over the law.

FILE: The Constitutional Court. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Constitutional Court's decision to declare the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act invalid has been hailed as a victory for landless communities.

In a unanimous judgment today, the court found that Parliament failed to properly consult over the law, which was passed in 2014.

It's given Parliament 24 months to re-enact the law and says no new land claims can be processed until it does so, or until the backlog in outstanding land claims is cleared.

The Amendment Act gave those who missed the 1998 deadline for land claims another five years.

Land rights organisations and communities went to court because they had no guarantee that old outstanding claims would be finalised first.

They argued there hadn't been proper consultation.

Constance Mogale of the Land Access Movement of South Africa says, "It is a major victory for the ordinary people."

The Constitutional Court has sent Parliament back to the drawing board and interdicting the processing of any new claims until it's re-enacted the law or cleared the backlog of outstanding claims.