The Democratic Alliance(DA) says it welcomes the historic ruling by the Pietermaritzburg High Court declaring the Ingonyama Trust’s policy of making communal land occupants sign leases and pay rent as unlawful.
The Trust’s communal land occupants will now get back their lease rentals which they have paid to the Trust to date.
DA Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Annette Steyn said Ingonyama Trust communal land occupants had been reduced to tenants on their ancestral land and were often forced into restrictive land leases. “The arrangement was particularly discriminatory against women who were told that they could not enter into leases with the Trust without the presence of a man.”
Steyn added that the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), which the court found to have failed in its constitutional duties to protect community rights, must now ensure that the court’s ruling is implemented fully and to the letter.
“Following today’s ruling, it is clear why the ANC/EFF want to exclude the courts from adjudicating land expropriation cases” concluded Steyn.