GA-SEROKA – The Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Maite Nkoana Mashabane handed over a title deed for the land for the Roka Lebea tribe of Ga-Seroka village outside Jane Furse.
The minister handed over the title deed for the land claimed through the restitution of land rights process during her visit in Seroka Primary School on Friday, 18 May 2018.
Avhashoni Magada, Limpopo Department of Rural Development and Land Reform Spokesperson, said Roka Lebea tribe occupied the land claimed since around 1800 to date.
Magada said the tribe was never physically removed from the claimed property, however, they had informal unregistered rights on the land due to section 11 of the Native Trust Land Act of 1936 which prohibited ownership in the title or purchase of land by Natives.
“The claim has been processed under Section 3 of the Restriction of Land Rights Act of 1994. The main objective for the Roka Lebea tribe in lodging the claim was to acquire formal rights in the form of a title deed,” concluded Magada.
Kgoshigadi Tlakale Monica Seroka, tribe traditional leader, lodged the claim on behalf of the Roka Lebea tribe on 23 November 1998 with the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights which was since finalised.
Kgoshigadi Seroka expressed gratitude for the department to process their land claim and said the tribe was jubilant to have their land.
In her address to the community, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said land was an economic asset and therefore through rural development and land reform programmes, the process of returning land to its rightful owners would be fast tracked in order to advance the socio economic development agenda.
“Let this title deed bring dignity and economic opportunity to you. The work of the CPA is not to wait for the next election but to find economic opportunity for the community. You are here to find solution for the community,” said the Minister.
The Minister further said 7 374 claims were lodged in Limpopo before the 1998 cut-off date and that the progress of the claims lodged before 1998 deadline reflected that 5 290 were settled in the province, 218 were phased claims involving more than one land owner and 1 866 were outstanding.
Nkoana-Mashabane reassured communities whose claims were still outstanding that the commission was working hard to finalise such claims.
She added the department was committed to developing the 50 hectares of the Roka Lebea land for agricultural purposes.
Besides the agricultural project, the department promised it would refurbish ablution facilities for the learners attending the local high school and refurbish all the five community boreholes.