It is with great concern that AfriForum takes notice of the R1,7 billion that was paid to 37 920 people as financial compensation after most of these applicants had taken no interest in the land concerned but had rather preferred financial compensation.
The report that contains this information was tabled in Parliament in Cape Town on 2 August 2019 by Thoko Didiza, Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.
AfriForum has already expressed its concern on various occasions in the past about the reckless and baseless manner in which land claims are being managed. The unsound way in which these claims are investigated causes enormous amounts of taxpayers’ money to be spent on land claims. If an applicant therefore submits a claim, but the claim fails, the taxpayer has to foot the bill for any costs incurred as a result of this opportunistic chancer.
AfriForum is opposing various claims where the Land Claims Commission attempts to push through land claims based on hearsay evidence by informing the current owners of the relevant properties that their properties would not be expropriated, but that other options are being investigated, such as financial compensation by the state – all in a bid to finalise these claims with the least possible resistance. This modus operandi costs the taxpayer a lot.
“The current claim process followed by government creates an opportunity for anyone who meets the criteria to try to submit a fraudulent claim for land with almost no merit in the hope of a windfall from the state – without any risk to the claimant,” says Marnus Kamfer, AfriForum’s Legal and Risk Manager.
“AfriForum cannot allow taxpayers’ money to be squandered on baseless land claims. The organisation will continue to fight the current state of affairs,” says Ian Cameron, AfriForum’s Head of Community Safety.