Cape Town - The Commission Commission on Restitution of Land Rights in the Western Cape is appealing for help to find 34 land claimants it is having difficulty finding in order to process their claims.
The commission sent a list of the claimants to the media asking for help and asking anyone with knowledge of them or their whereabouts to urgently get in touch with land restitution manager Xolela Batembu.
Some of the people are named as Allan Howard Adonis, Latief Abdulatief, Shaheen Adhikari, Hanna Booysen, Johannes Hermanus Bouwer, Majorie Battis, Dianne Bouwers, Georgina Angeline Beuke, Beatrice Davids, Ismail Abrahams, Hester Hartnick, Willem Hartnick and Hendrik Jacobus Hartzenberg.
Others are Andrew James Jansen, Abdullah Joubaar, CTH Flanders, Helen Lenders, Peter C Edmund Loots, Creslyn Logenstein, Stephanus Marias, Johannes C Matthee, Beatrice Msadu, Sivakalai Naidu and Thomas Mbulelo Ngcayisa.
Also on the list are Moenieba Sinclair Saville Penkin, Benjamin Martinus
Petersen, Elizabeth Magaretha Swarts, Jeanette Smith, Bernard Swartz, Johaar Salie Shobodien, Notesti Angelina Sikiyi, Catherine Titus and Margaret Penfold.
Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Reform spokesperson Vuyani Nkasayi said: “If you are one of the people whose name appears above, please contact us. If you know them, tell them we are looking for them.
“They must contact Xolela Batembu on 021 658 6870 or 082 827 6224, or email [email protected]”
The appeal comes as Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza told Parliament that although 82 549 land restitution claims lodged by the 1998 deadline had been settled across the country, there were nearly 7 000 outstanding claims that had not been finalised.
Didiza said the figure excluded the report on urban claims from 2006 to the 2011/12 financial year and was separate from the more than 160 000 claims that were yet to be processed when the commission was interdicted in 2019 by the Constitutional Court.
In a ruling, commonly known as the Land Access Movement of South Africa (Lamosa) judgment, the Constitutional Court put the processing of claims that were lodged between 2014 and 2016 in abeyance until all land claims lodged by December 1998 were finalised.
KwaZulu-Natal had the most outstanding claims at 2 124, followed by Mpumalanga with 1 588, Limpopo with 1 349 and Eastern Cape 657. Western Cape had 338 outstanding claims, Gauteng 379, North West 208, Northern Cape 37 and Free State five.
Didiza, who was answering a series of parliamentary questions from EFF MP Sam Matiase, said: “The verification of the statistics is a work in progress because during the various stages of settling the claims, counting changed from counting land claims forms to counting land rights restored.”
She said of the 82 549 settled claims, 8 938 were settled through land restoration and 69 933 were settled through financial compensation.