AfriForum rejects insufficient amendments to Land Court Bill

According to the civil rights organisation AfriForum, the Land Court Bill still represents a disingenuous, costly, and potentially unconstitutional attempt to purportedly improve the adjudication of land-related disputes in South Africa. The organisation has made written representations to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Select Committee on Security and Justice, urging that the Bill in its current amended form be rejected.

The Bill seeks to establish two new courts: the Land Court and the Land Court of Appeal. AfriForum has been involved in the public participation process regarding this Bill and submitted comments on it in 2021 when the Bill served before the National Assembly.

Amendments and changes that have been brought about to the Bill are encouraging and welcomed but have not addressed the most fundamentally concerning aspects of the Bill, as highlighted by AfriForum.

“Even in its amended form, this Bill represents an attempt by the government to cut blocks with a razor without addressing the underlying issues that plague the existing land restitution process,” says Ernst van Zyl, Campaign Officer for Strategy and Content at AfriForum.

“The land restitution process that is currently in place has been sabotaged by rampant corruption, political greed, and mismanagement. Until these basic issues are resolved, no amount of new courts will contribute towards resolving the issue at hand. The problem is not the willing-buyer-willing-seller model. The problem is that the ANC government has proven itself to be an unwilling distributor of the land that it has hoarded over the years,” Van Zyl concludes.

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