On Thursday 21 February 2019, SERI participated in a round-table hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform entitled, “Grassroots Voices on Urban and Rural Land Reform”. The Expert Panel was appointed in late 2018 and is tasked with gathering stakeholder feedback on land reform in South Africa and presenting a report on their findings to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform and to the President. The report will be finalised at the end of March 2019.
The round-table was convened to provide a platform for community organisations, grassroots organisations, and activists to discuss their experiences with the land reform process and to share any recommendations to be included in the forthcoming report. This engagement covered both past measures of land redistribution as well as the potential impact of the new Draft Expropriation Bill, which was published in December 2018.
The 25 participants included, among others, representatives from the Inner City Federation, Abahlali baseMjondolo, Slovo Park Community Development Forum (SPCDF), Ndifuna Ukwazi, Reclaim the City and the South African Cities Network as facilitators. The conversation highlighted a number of issues including the negative impact of the lack of tenure security and the negative impact it has on people’s overall quality of life. Other issues discussed included the need for a fair, gender-inclusive redistribution process and the need for transparency from government on who the beneficiaries of expropriated land are going to be.