Land reform minister: My dept and Ingonyama don't lease state land

Cape Town – Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has shed light on land ownership by her department and the Ingonyama Trust Board, in a written reply to questions from Parliament.

Responding to a written question from Democratic Alliance MP Thandeka Mbabama, she said her department owns 13 588 879 hectares of land and has exclusive rights to 2 222 920 hectares. She said her department does not lease land from the state for use or occupation.

Her reply came shortly after the African National Congress announced its decision to start expropriating land while Parliament investigated the need to amend Section 25 of the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation.

Some critics have questioned the need to begin expropriation without investigating the available land for land reform, with Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema calling on South Africans to occupy unused land.

Other critics have queried a perceived lack of transparency regarding land owned by the Ingonyama Trust. The trust manages and sets the framework for the realisation of tenure rights to land, especially rural communities. It is also the body corporate and registered owner for various pieces of land which form the Zulu kingdom.

The Ingonyama Trust owns about 2 million hectares of land and has exclusive rights to 2 882 00 hectares, Nkoana-Mashabane said. 

The Ingonyama Trust Board does not lease from the state to use or occupy either, she added.

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