Extensive Consultations Planned for Restitution of Land Rights Bill

Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform

The portfolio committee on rural development and land reform plans to conduct extensive public consultation on the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill.

The private member’s bill was published for comment in April 2017 and tabled in August 2017.

It is the brainchild of P.J. Mnguni, an African National Congress member of parliament.

The bill proposes certain amendments to the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act so as to:
•    develop and keep a National Land Restitution Register;
•    mend the cut-off date for lodging a claim for restitution;
•    regulate the prioritisation of claims;
•    further regulate the appointment, tenure of office, remuneration and terms and conditions of service of judges of the Land Claims Court; make further provision for the advertisement of claims;
•    create certain offences;
•    extend the Minister’s powers of delegation;
•    repeal the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act, 2014; and
•    provide for matters connected therewith.

The date for lodging a claim for restitution would be extended to five years after the bill is enacted.

The details of all land restitution claims lodged from 1 July 2014 would need to be entered into the proposed Register.

The lodging of fraudulent claims will be an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment or both.

The proposed legislation also stipulates that the Land Claims Commission must ensure that claims lodged by 31 December 1998 are finalised first before new claims are processed.

In a statement, the committee pointed out that the tabling of the bill flows from the Constitutional Court judgment that nullified the 2014 Restitution of Land Rights Act.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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