Dept pressing ahead with land reform - Minister Didiza

Land Reform Minister Thoko Didiza told MPs that the release of apartheid-era farms owned by the South African Development Trust would go a long way in addressing the imbalances of the past and addressing land reform.

FILE: Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza Thoko Didiza. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza said that her department was pressing ahead with land reform.

She has told Parliament’s oversight committee that hundreds of state-owned farms had been released for agricultural purposes.

Didiza told MPs that the release of apartheid-era farms owned by the South African Development Trust would go a long way in addressing the imbalances of the past and addressing land reform.

Minister Didiza gave MPs an update following an undertaking by the president last year to release state-owned farms to landless South Africans for agricultural purposes.

The department said that in terms of the Land Rights Enquiry, all provinces except for Mpumalanga and North West had been completed.

The minister said that in the North West province alone, over 246 farms had completed a land rights probe.

"With regards to Public Works, the majority of land under Public Works are state land. Those they have released to the department for restitution, for instance, which the commission is dealing with."

Committee chairperson Zwelivelile Mandela said that the transfer of ownership was long overdue.

"How we proceed with completing the transfer of ownership of land from South African Development Trust land to affected communities is therefore critical but also long overdue."

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