Government still using land reform as a political football

2013-10-29
Dr Pieter Groenewald

The ANC government is still busy politically abusing land reform to stir up emotions and create expectations to canvass for votes for next year’s elections, Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the Freedom Front Plus’ parliamentary leader says.

“The manner, in which the governing ANC is using it, is nothing other than abuse to stir up emotions and create the expectations with people which cannot be fulfilled.

“You want to create the impression that you just want to give a small pieces of land to everybody. And if you have land then you will be rich. The reality is that you are focussing on race and I want to tell you today: You must shift your focus because with race as your focus you are stirring up emotions.

“The focus with land reform, if you have to enforce it, should be the economy. It should be economically feasible because then it could be a success. Then nation building and social cohesion can take place.

“It will not happen in a manner where it is politically abused to canvass for votes for next year’s elections,” Dr. Groenewald says.

Regarding lodgement of claimso land in terms of the restitution process in instances where the land had already been awarded as restitution, Dr. Groenewald asked whether it means that fraud had been committed in the land reform process.

“If this happened, somebody must have lied to say it was their land. How are you going to deal with this?

Regarding the cost of the re-opening of land claims in terms of the restitution process, Dr. Groenewald said it is totally unacceptable that taxpayers will have to pay so much money for it.

He said in the report of the Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on to exercise coordinated oversight on the reversal of the legacy of the Natives Land Act of 1913, the administrative costs just to establish an office to re-open the lodgement of restitution claims will amount to R 1,367 billion, of which salaries will make up half of the amount.

“Is it merely cadre deployment again to give people jobs? Rather get the officials already employed in the department of Rural Development and Land Reform to do their jobs, then there won’t be any need to incur these costs,” Dr. Groenewald said.

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