Comments on the Communal Land Tenure Bill

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The emerging Land Governance Transformation Network ( LGTN), of which Afesis-corplan is a member, has made a submission on the Communal Land Tenure Bill (CLTB) to the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. To see a copy of the LGTN submission click here.

“The submission questions the assumption that ‘communities’ are appropriate vehicles for owning land.  … The approach we advocate is to start with existing rights in households and families and building up a national legal-administrative infrastructure that will accommodate all off-register rights in the country. We believe that new tenure legislation should … recognise [land] rights by reference to people in households and families as the basic rights-holding units rather than large collective entities that should only play a governance function. We propose bringing these rights into a recorded system of rights that is able to recognise individuals in families or households. The system should be set up to articulate with the Deeds Registry, which should be modified to allow for new institutional formats.

“Our argument is that the key focus of new law should be rebuilding a [land] administrative framework across the country. This would involve expanding the existing land administration infrastructure for all off-register rights to allow for recordal of rights in a range of contexts, including:

  • the communal land areas;
  • farms;
  • informal settlements, including those undergoing upgrading;
  • occupied buildings;
  • Communal Property Associations and Trusts.”

For similar arguments made by Afesis-corplan for a new land records system see Learning Brief 8: A New Land Records System