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Parliament hits out at Ingonyama Trust Board over its plans on land certificates

The board was briefing the committee on its intention to convert permission-to-occupy certificates on its land to long-term rental agreements.

Parliament of South Africa in Cape Town. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Parliament's rural development and land reform oversight committee is not happy with the Ingonyama Trust Board and its plan to change people's permission-to-occupy certificates into long-term leases.

The board was briefing the committee on its intention to convert permission-to-occupy certificates on its land to long-term rental agreements.

Parliament has also hit out at the Trust for its public attacks on the high-level panel on key legislation and the acceleration of fundamental change, chaired by former president Kgalema Motlanthe.

The panel has recommended and called for the repeal of the Ingonyama Trust Act, to bring KwaZulu-Natal in line with national land policy.

The board has defended its decision to lease out its land despite heavy criticism from MPs.

Chairperson of the Ingonyama Trust Board Judge Sipho Ngwenya has told MPs that financial institutions do not recognise permission-to-occupy certificates and only recognise lease agreements.

He says the trust is now busy conducting a land audit which it hasn’t completed yet.

But committee chairperson Phumzile Ngwenya-Mabila objects to any further plans by the Trust.

“It’s clear, judge, that we are not happy with this process. We are not happy as a committee, I will request that the department look at this matter and maybe put it on hold.”

While Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has come out strongly against the government and its plan, threatening to go to court, MPs say the Ingonyama Trust should not be seen as a “theatre for land dispossession”.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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