President Jacob Zuma will on Thursday hand over land to the N’wandlamhlarhi Community Property Association made up of communities who claimed land from Mala Mala game reserve in Mpumalanga province.
“The claimed land falls within the Bushbuckridge Municipality under the Ehlanzeni District, one of the prioritised districts by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform due to high levels of poverty,” the Presidency said in a statement.
The Presidency said this process, which forms part of government’s efforts to accelerate land reform programmes, will benefit 960 households.
The Mala Mala claimants have lodged claims against 21 properties consisting of 63 portions, measuring 65 000 hectares as the total extent.
The claimed land includes the Mala Mala Game Reserve, which is currently operating as an internationally renowned game farm and ecotourism destination.
“The Mala Mala settlement framework restores a total of 5 farms, consisting of 9 portions, that is 2 portions of farm Mala Mala No. 359 KU, 2 portions of farm Eyrefield No 343 KU, 2 portions of farm Flockfield No 414 KU, 2 portions of farm Charleston No 378 KU and 1 portion of farm Toulon No 383 KU having a total extent of 13,184.1601 hectares,” the Presidency said.
After lengthy negotiations, the legal representatives of the land owners considered a settlement amount of R939,360,000 which equates to R71,250 per hectare for the purchase of the land in respect of the 13,184 hectares.
“The total land value appears to be exorbitant, however it should be noted that this is prime game land that were attested to by expert witnesses in Court,” said Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti.
The restitution will restore the land rights lost to the Mala Mala community and will further assist with the creation of jobs, opportunity for further education as well as general development of the area.
President Zuma will be accompanied by Minister Nkwinti and Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza.
SA Govt News Agency