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Deputy President Mabuza pleased with progress on Land Reform

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The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform and Agriculture held its monthly meeting on 31 March 2021 to deliberate on a range of programmes and initiatives aimed at fast-tracking land reform. 
The Committee is seized with the task of ensuring that access to land is broadened to cater for agriculture, human settlements and industrial development. 
More importantly, that access to land is central to achieving restorative justice and promoting inclusive economic participation.
The meeting received progress reports on a range of issues, including progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture. The need to provide a progress report to Cabinet was emphasised in this regard.
Following the approval of the Land Allocation Policy at its last meeting, the Inter-Ministerial Committee received a progress report on the release and allocation of state owned land for redistribution. The processing of all applications received for land allocation is in progress and a sizeable number of farms have been assessed to ensure that targeted support packages are prepared for each farm that is to be allocated to beneficiaries. This will ensure that all allocated land is productively and optimally utilised. 
The Committee also agreed that the project team must speed up administrative processes while ensuring that all transparent and due processes are followed in the allocation of land.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee welcomed demonstrable collaboration across government institutions responsible for enabling the release of land to claimant communities who, in most cases, have been waiting for the transfer of title deeds. 
The Committee took a decision on the parcels of land that will be handed over during the month of April. It further commended the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure and the Department of Defence for releasing additional land that will further ensure targeted development in identified priority areas.
The release of land during the Freedom Month is a demonstration of this government’s commitment to human dignity, freedoms, and the pursuit of an inclusive economy based on equitable spatial justice. “Surely, we have travelled a long way in ensuring that we address the injustices and inequalities of the past that defined apartheid spatial planning. As government, we are resolute in protecting human dignity and freedoms by ensuring that spatial justice is realised. This will go a long way in deracialising human settlements thereby building a cohesive nation that lives in harmony, said Deputy President Mabuza 
To this end, the meeting resolved that a technical team of senior officials should make a presentation on the National Spatial Development Plan to the next Inter-Ministerial Committee to show how this framework should guide spatial development priorities and land use decisions across all spheres of government. This will ensure that land reform is central to spatial transformation to bring about a co-ordinated and integrated approach to development.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee further received proposals on addressing challenges related to rural safety in order to address issues of violent crimes in farming communities, as well as conflict that arises as a result of land related matters. The Inter-Ministerial Committee resolved that tenure security of farm workers and farm dwellers must be prioritised. Government will work collaboratively with all local stakeholders such as farmers, farm dwellers, traditional leaders and communities to ensure that safety is improved.
Under the joint leadership of Minister of Police and the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, a comprehensive outreach programme will be implemented to ensure that communities and stakeholders are engaged in the implementation of interventions that respond to crime and development needs of affected communities.
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Issued by: The Presidency