Opening Remarks by the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Mr G Nkwinti, National Restitution Consultative Conference, St George Hotel, Pretoria
7 May 2011
MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development in Gauteng
Director-General and staff
I acknowledge that we have not done well in managing the Restitution Programme, as government, causing strain, pain and frustration. It has been a 10 to 16 years of waiting. Some of the people who were expected to have benefited from the restitution programme have even passed on. On behalf of government, I apologise. Let us rise in their honour.
The objective of this National Restitution Consultative Workshop is to evaluate the impact of the restitution programme, in terms of its intended objective – the restitution of land rights on people who lodged claims. The key word is equitable redress.
We must therefore look at, amongst others, the following:
- What have been our successes?
- What have been our shortcomings?
- What is to be done?
It would have been folly of government if it thought it could run this massive, extremely emotive national project, on its own. It could never have been the intention of government to deny people, even a single individual, their constitutional right of equitable redress from the brutal and unjust policies and laws of apartheid.
We are here today to draw on your experiences - sweet and bitter ones - of this programme. Even more importantly, we want you to work with government to resolve all problems/challenges facing government in this programme. That is why we are here. We are all privileged here to embark on this noble exercise.
We must stay focused on this task throughout these two days. There is no predetermined outcome. It will emerge from debates and discussions.
Thank you and good luck.
Source: Department of Rural Development and Land
Issued by: Department of Rural Development and Land Reform
7 May 2011
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