Residents build shacks on a piece of land. Picture: SIMTEMBILE MGIDI
Residents build shacks on a piece of land. Picture: SIMTEMBILE MGIDI

The importance of consultation between the government and stakeholders in an endeavour to address land reform issues, in particular the acquisition of private land by the government for redistribution, cannot be overemphasised.

The process of strategic land acquisition by the government is unwieldy. Tenure rights of labour tenants and occupiers should be considered, as are the rights of landowners, in the context of the looming finalisation of legislation on expropriation without compensation.

Sound spatial planning imperatives are needed to build seamless, integrated, socially cohesive and economically inclusive areas that are underpinned by sustainable development. Land valuations need to be fairly executed to arrive at negotiated agreements between sellers and buyers.

If such due diligence is undertaken and is understood by land sellers and land acquirers, the process of land redistribution will be smoothed and fast-tracked, thereby reducing the procedural delays that hamper it.

Proper interaction between landowners and the government is essential because it fosters healthy relationships.

That is why I applaud the strategic land acquisition unit of the Gauteng provincial shared service centre of the department of agriculture, rural development & land reform for inviting land owners, estate agencies and the office of the valuer-general to a meeting to discuss how they can forge a way forward in the name of a streamlined land reform process.

Themba Mzula Hleko
Rosslyn Gardens