Joy as Ou Tuin beneficiaries get their land back
I was emotional while officially handing over final documentation of ownership to the Ou Tuin claimants in Paarl yesterday (12 March 2020).
The Ou Tuin Community site is a property of the Western Cape Government on which the La Rochelle Girls High School hockey field is situated. The property was subject to a land restitution claim and in terms of a Western Cape Cabinet decision was transferred free of charge to the National Department of Rural Development and Land Reform for the purpose of settling the land restitution claim.
The Western Cape Government can hold its head up high on the matter of land restitution. The Province has provided land and property for more than 60 % of all approved restitution claims. This includes land in prime locations in the province e.g. 95000 square metres in the middle of Constantia.
We have a moral obligation as government to fast track land reform in South Africa. In this case it has taken very long to hand over this property back to its rightful owners as a result of the complications arising from the current land use so that beneficiaries and rightful owners can get back their land back as quickly as possible.
It can never be correct that after 26 years of democracy we have a limited number of people who equally own vast tracks of land and many people who do not have land. That can never be justified. It is very dangerous to resort to a knee-jerk reactions just because we want to address the issue of land.
I’m very happy and have mixed emotions.
I thank the beneficiaries of Old Tuin for their patience and their cooperation.
May this property be something that will benefit their generations to come.