South Africa’s land use management has collapsed and has opened the way for anyone to grab land and use it as they wished, said former president Kgalema Motlanthe, chair of the panel on Key Legislation and Acceleration of Fundamental Change.
The panel was tasked by parliament in January last year to identify blockages in the implementation of various laws since the dawn of democracy.
Motlanthe said land became a common issue raised by the public throughout the hearings.
He said there was a huge land hunger among black South Africans, in particular.
People needed to access land for various purposes including farming, tenure security and housing, among others.
But Motlanthe said what emerged was the land use management of existing land.
“Land use management has collapsed, as a result, people are building anywhere,” he said.
He said the constitution was inadequate to address the people’s needs and more needed to be done about the issue.
“What is needed is legislation to properly manage the land use,” Motlanthe said.
Motlanthe was addressing media in Johannesburg, along with parliament Speaker Baleka Mbete, on the preliminary report of the panel, which has been submitted to Mbete as chair of the Speaker’s Forum.
It would submit its final report in August.
The panel visited all the provinces. Hundreds participated in the process including farmers, traditional leaders, civil society organisations, farm dwellers and individuals with interest in the land.
Many, including the Khoisan, demanded back their ancestral land taken from them during the colonial and apartheid rule.
Mbete said the National Assembly wanted to have an insight into what needed to be improved in the legislation.
“Somewhere along the way we had to establish where the blockage is in the implementation of our legislation. We will look at the report’s recommendations and see how to action them.”