ADDRESS BY Mr ML Filtane MP in Parliament

Honourable Speaker and members

The United Democratic Movement (UDM), support the budget vote with the following important comments.

The most common problems with this programme are:

·       Insufficient support by the department with no collaterals from any other source, including the beneficiaries themselves. This makes the beneficiaries to be almost totally dependent on the department; a rather too heavy a burden to bear.

·       Lack of Project Management skills on the part of the senior management of the department its glaring. This puts the beneficiaries, and therefore, the department in an invidious position where there is so much reliance on the Director General department as stated above. Hence the Minister recently directed that from downwards, staff members should attend a project management course.

·       The department is caught up in a situation where the Community Property Associations (CPAs) become a law unto themselves thus failing to maximise the opportunities presented to them by the department. In some cases courts are brought in to resolve internal issues.

·       Kwa Zulu Natal was beginning to see the unfortunate, but unavoidable effects of the drought that has devastated crops and livestock in most provinces of South Africa.

·       Most beneficiaries of the restitution programme prefer cash to land. This is a political scenario brought about by severe levels of poverty, both of the ability to develop land and make it productive, as well as lack of foresight in so far as the long term benefits of owning land are some people do not understand that land appreciates in value because of external factors not necessarily influenced by its owner. More advocacy is needed as a critical component of the restitution programme.

Accordingly; we strongly suggest that this political challenge should no longer just be addressed through a simple mechanical process of qualifying people for restitution but rather that people must be offered land only. I cannot find anything contrary to the Bill of Rights therein and therefore such a policy would withstand a constitutional test.

The slow pace of restitution is actually a contravention of section 25 (6) of the constitution. Government just cannot deliver on its promises of the promised land.

Thank you