Govt ‘working on Khoi, San land rights’

18 April 2013

South Africa’s Rural Development and Land Reform Department says a platform for the Khoi and San to lodge their land claims is part of various initiatives to reverse the negative effects of the 1913 Natives’ Land Act.

The department says it has already kick-started the process, which will lead to amendments of the Restitution of Land Rights Act of 1994.

According to the department, the amendments will provide for the re-opening of the lodgement of restitution claims, by people who missed the deadline of 31 December 1998.

It will also involve the creation of exceptions to the 1913 Natives Land Act for heritage sites, historic landmarks, and opportunities for the descendants of the Khoi and San to claim.

These developments follow the announcement by President Jacob Zuma during his State of the National address in February.

The Natives Land Act contributed a lot to creating the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality confronting the country today, government believes.

The plans emerged at the two-day Khoi and San Dialogue held in Kimberly in the Northern Cape.

Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti said the dialogue with the Khoi-San was an epic and historical moment, one which has not been embarked upon before.

“It reaffirms government’s commitment to address the concerns and needs of the Khoi and San communities, and to social cohesion and nation building,” he said.

The inputs made during this dialogue will lay a solid foundation that will help the government in the process of the lodgement of the claims by the descendants of the Khoi and San, Nkwinti said.