KwaZulu-Natal (KNZ) Premier Senzo Mchunu was delivering his State of the Province Address at the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg, Mchunu when he encouraged rural communities not to sell or even lease lands to white farmers.
The Premier complained that rural communities are quick in giving out land they struggled for instead of working to derive economic benefits from the lands.
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“The problem is that our people rejoice once they get the land. Once they realise how difficult it is to manage it they want to give it back. Don’t give back the land once you have acquired it,” he pleaded.
“Land that has been returned gets leased back to the white farmers and sometimes it is sold outright. Another challenge is that efforts aimed at speeding up land reform are stalled by quarrels and disputes arising after the land has been returned.”
With that, Mchunu asked the people not to fight over the land but should rather, work together and develop the land for the benefit of the communities.
“People can work together instead of fighting over who should rule. Remember that this is land we did not have. We don’t have to fight about something that we have been trying to get for so long. Do not sell land and do not fight over it.”
The Premier further related that “limited budgets for land reform programmes have resulted in a slow pace which has created a perception that there is no commitment on the part of government” in resolving land reform and restitution issues.
Also, Mchunu revealed that the KwaZulu-Natal government is expected to cut over R1 billion in spending in the first year of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.