South Africa News

Government unlikely to settle land claims due budget cuts

The government says it is unlikely to meet its targets in settling land claims for the 2023/2024 and 2024/2025 financial years. It has attributed this to a reduction in budget allocation by the National Treasury. The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development says the Land Claims Commission has already started revising its annual targets.

Minister Thoko Didiza has revealed this in a written Parliamentary reply. It confirmed that about R34 million had been cut from her allocation for the land reform and restitution programme for the 2023/24 and 2024/25 financial years.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament Noko Masipa wanted to know what strategies are in place following the reduction in the department’s funds. The FF Plus MP Tamarin Breedt has expressed concern about the budget cuts.

“The decline in the budget of the department and especially the decrease of targets of the department is extremely worrying. All this proves is that the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development have failed its people. Ninety percent of all land projects have failed and the pre-1998 land claims are still not settled. This decline in the budget will only exacerbate this fact and increase the amount of people living without title deeds and living with uncertainty.”

ACDP in Parliament has also criticised the government for the reduction in budget allocation. The ACDP says this decline in funds is a reflection of failure on the part of the government.

“The African Christian Democratic Party is dismayed, though not surprised at the cabinet’s approval of R34 million reduction in the Department of Land Reform and Rural Development’s baseline budget for programme three. The net effect of this budget reduction impacts service delivery. What this speaks to is the failure on the part of the ruling party on two fronts, political stability and policy certainty. This has resulted in capital flight and our coffers drying up,“ explained deputy party leader Wayne Thring.

Source: eNCA

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