Media statement by the Regional Land Claims Commissioner for Free State and Northern Cape Mr SJ Hlongwane
22 September 2008
The Regional Land Claims Commission for Free State and Northern Cape believes that it is our responsibility to inform the public on the progress made thus far with regards to the Pniel land claim. The commission has set aside R4.5 million for the payment of Pniel financial compensation claimants on the 25th and 26th of September 2008. Out of 203 approved financial compensation claimants, we will be paying only 62 claimants that were checked and verified by the national office as valid and eligible recipients.
In order for claimants to know whether or not they are part of the list to be paid this week, the commission has dispatched the list to all committee members of the Communal Property Association (CPA) of Pniel for them to check their names. We have also identified different venues where our claimants can easily access the list next to where they reside as from the 23rd of September 2008. They are Gong-Gong, Galeshewe Social Centre in Galeshewe, Sonny Leon Library in Roodepan, Retswelele Community Hall in Mataleng, Lutheran Church in Pampierstad and Tidimalo Community Hall in Delportshoop.
It must be mentioned that the reason we are unable to pay the whole 203 claimants is because other claimants have not yet submitted all necessary outstanding documents for verification and quality assurance before payment is effected. That is despite our calls and initiatives made during the past two months to ensure that we get all outstanding documents from claimants in order to process their claims.
On the issue of claimants who opted for land, the nation would recall that after restoration, the matter was referred to court for litigation with regards to the valuation report of the farm, operations and administration of the Communal Property Association of Pniel and other external interested parties.
During the court proceedings it was recommended that the matter can and must be settled out of court. There was consensus amongst the commission and the conflicting parties of the CPA that an independent mediator must be sought. The Commission is therefore tasked to appoint such a mediator soon after the mediation process will start which will take this matter to its finality.
With regards to the management of the farm, the Commission took it upon itself that the contract of South African Farm Management is extended at least for another two years to ensure that the restored land is properly managed before its total transfer to the CPA which solely depends on the co operation and willingness of everyone involved with Pniel.
In conclusion, it must be clear to the nation that Free State and Northern Cape Regional Land Claims Commission office is wrapping up and we appeal to those who knows that they still have outstanding matters with the office to come to the fore.
Innocent Sphelele Ncanana
Cell: 082 387 0705
Tel: 053 807 5702
Fax: 053 831 6501
Issued by: Commission on Restitution of Land Rights
22 September 2008