The Democratic Alliance has today thrown its weight behind King Goodwill Zwelithini on the principle that ownership of land under the Ingonyama Trust be given over to the people, through individual title deeds.
“We do not share the [African National Congress] ANC and [Economic Freedom Fighters’] EFF’s view that the state should be the sole owner of land and everyone else tenants on state land,” said Zwakele Mncwango, the party’s provincial leader in KwaZulu-Natal.
“This approach to land reform by the ANC continues to alienate traditional leaders who are critical stakeholders in ensuring that a process to transform communal land to individual ownership is successful.”
In a statement, the opposition party said they have submitted a motion to the Speaker of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, Lydia Johnson, requesting an urgent debate on the recommendations made by former president Kgalema Motlanthe’s panel on Ingonyama Trust land.
The parliamentary-led discussion, which is on a roadshow throughout the country on possible changes to the Constitution to allow expropriation of land without compensation, has further exacerbated the discussion on traditionally held land.
The DA said successful land reform does not require a Constitutional amendment, what is needed is strong leadership and proper funding.
“Individual land ownership gives residents security of tenure and ability to create economic value through agricultural or commercial enterprise underwritten by enterprise finance from banks and micro lending institutions,” Mncwango said.
The Ingonyama Trust owns about 29.67 percent of mostly deep rural land in KwaZulu-Natal, which covers an area of 94 361 km². The land was part of the KwaZulu Government bantustan created under Apartheid’s separate development doctrine. While Zwelithini is the sole trustee of the land, it is divided according to clans and is overseen by traditional leaders.
Mncwango said the wholesale expropriation of the Ingonyama Trust land by the state will do nothing to improve the material and economic conditions of residents living in the area.
“If anything, it will perpetuate the cycle of poverty among the people as they won’t be able to realise any economic value as ‘tenants of the state”.
He said if the DA’s policy of individual land ownership and freehold was to be implemented, it will enable black South Africans to own the majority of land owned by private individuals.
– African News Agency (ANA)