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The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has coughed up a whopping R19 billion to buy land for restitution purposes as at the end of March.

This was revealed by Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza when she was responding to parliamentary questions from EFF MP Sam Matiase.

Matiase asked about the extent of the land that has been redistributed to black people as a result of the land redistribution programme, and the amount it has cost the department since April 1994.

“Since 27 April 1994, an amount of R 19 809 billion has cost the department to buy land for redistribution,” Didiza said.

She also said a total of 5 198 594 hectares has been redistributed to black people as at March 31.

The breakdown of redistributed land is as follows:

  • Eastern Cape: 569 189.
  • Free State 434 799.
  • Gauteng: 63 575.
  • KwaZulu-Natal: 621 674.
  • Limpopo: 197 973.
  • Mpumalanga: 498 426.
  • North West: 594 297.
  • Northern Cape: 1 622 208.
  • Western Cape: 596 453.

Responding to a separate set of questions, Didiza said 82 549 claims had been settled since the 1998 deadline for lodging claims.

“The figure excludes the report on urban claims from 2006 to 2011/12, the verification of the statistics is work in progress because during the various stages of settling the claims, counting changed from counting land claims forms to counting land rights restored,” she said.

According to Didiza, a total of 8 938 claims were settled through land restoration.

“The number is not a reflection of the extent. For example, one claim can represent two hectares in the Western Cape but 20 000 hectares in North West,” she said.

The minister also 69 933 claims were settled through financial compensation.

There were 2 892 966 hectares that were transferred and 3 835 167 hectares that were settled.

She said the cost of the land bought for redistribution totalled R24 578 801 491.71, while the financial compensation was R17 361 570 718.22.

Didiza added that the department had approved development grants to the tune of R 4 018 918 373.87.

Earlier this week, the Cape Times reported that the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights was saddled with nearly 7 000 outstanding land claims that are yet to be finalised, and dating back to the 1998 deadline for the submission of claims.

Didiza was asked about the date when the land claims lodged by the December 1998 deadline would be finalised, as well those that were between July 2014 and July 2016, would begin.

Didiza has said the Land Claims Commission had a total of 6 685 outstanding claims dating from the 1988 deadline.


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