…By Roland Peterson for TDPel Media.
The Vumelana Advisory Fund (VAF), an NGO working with land-reform beneficiaries, is calling for increased collaboration to tackle the backlog of 7,000 unresolved land claims in South Africa.
They emphasize the importance of partnership and cooperation to expedite the resolution process and empower affected communities.
Importance of Collaboration for Land Reform:
The VAF works with land-reform beneficiaries to facilitate productive land use through partnerships between communities and investors.
While the South African government has allocated a significant budget for food security, land reform, and rural development, the VAF stresses the need for broader collaboration to meet the land reform targets outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP).
Addressing Challenges and Empowering Communities:
Unresolved land claims pose substantial challenges for affected communities, hindering their ability to capitalize on income-generating opportunities from their land.
The VAF’s CEO, Peter Setou, highlights the urgent need to accelerate the resolution process, enabling communities to benefit from their land and promoting economic empowerment.
Community Property Associations (CPAs) have faced persistent challenges, such as post-settlement support, market access, and governance issues.
Setou calls for comprehensive collaboration, including support for partnerships with the private sector and like-minded organizations, to address these issues and achieve lasting results.
Government Commitments and Backlog Reduction:
The South African government has allocated funds for land acquisition, tenure security improvement, and resolving land claims.
While the VAF praises the government’s commitment to expedite land-claim settlement through its backlog reduction strategy, they emphasize the importance of close monitoring to ensure progress and timely resolution.
The call for increased collaboration by the Vumelana Advisory Fund highlights the challenges faced in resolving the backlog of land claims in South Africa.
By emphasizing the importance of partnerships and broader cooperation, they recognize that resolving land claims and empowering communities require collective efforts.
The allocation of government funds for land reform initiatives is a positive step, but collaboration with stakeholders from various sectors is necessary to achieve the targets set by the National Development Plan.
The recognition of persistent challenges faced by Community Property Associations and the call for support and scaling up of successful interventions demonstrate the need for comprehensive approaches.
Continued monitoring of performance and timely resolution are crucial to ensuring progress in addressing the backlog of land claims and promoting inclusive and sustainable land reform in South Africa.