Pretoria – Rural Development and Land Reform Deputy Minister Mcebisi Skwatsha has handed over 32 title deeds to communities who successfully lodged their land claims.
Four claimants were given financial compensation to the value of R50 million while five others got title deeds. All the claimants lodged their claims before the initial cut-of date in 1998.
Speaking prior to handing over of the title deeds, Minister Skwatsha said government is in a process of restoring dignity to all the communities who were forcefully removed from their land.
“We are restoring the dignity of people and building a new nation, a new South Africa,” he said.
Minister Skwatsha said the restitution process might be slow but eventually all the claims will be attended to.
He explained that the delays in some instances, are caused by some land owners who are resisting to sell their land.
“We are giving back land to the rightful owners, we are also celebrating the resilience of our people,” he said.
According to the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, since the process of land claims started in 1998, more than 13 000 claims received were from Gauteng.
Of these, 450 are still to be processed.
Minister Skwatsha reminded all other communities who still wished to lodged their claims to do so before the cut-of date.
“We want to make sure that after this process there is lasting peace,” he said.
The closing date for lodging claims is 2019. President Jacob Zuma announced the reopening of the process in 2014.