Land redistribution programme on track, says minister

Deputy Land Reform Minister Skwatsha says the land redistribution programme is on track despite ‘teething problems’.

FILE: A farmer inspects his land, in the Free State. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Rural Development and Land Reform Deputy Minister Mcebisi Skwatsha says the land redistribution programme is on track despite “teething problems”.

Ministers of the Economic Cluster are responding to questions from Members of Parliament.

Skwatsha was responding to questions when an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP accused the government of failing in the land redistribution process.

But Skwatsha says South Africa is “doing it as a responsible government”.

“The land redistribution programme is on course with its teething problems. We access those problems, sharpen our tools and improve in order for us to move forward.”

The bill preventing land owners from evicting lifelong farm workers from their property is currently under review to further close loopholes.

Skwatsha has responded in the National Assembly to the question about the impact of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act.

“Sadly despite this law, some 17 years after the act came into force, some landowners continue to evict arbitrarily farm dwellers from the land.”

He adds that the bill has been brought before Parliament for some amendments.

“To substitute the provision of subsidies with tenure grants, to further regulate the right of occupiers and provide for legal representation for occupiers.”

Skwatsha adds that the department has also been providing legal assistance to farm workers since 2008.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)