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The land question once again was the central feature during the Limpopo High Level Panel’s (HLP’s) public hearings in Polokwane. The Limpopo public hearings represented the last leg of public hearings held across the country to find out how laws passed since democracy have impacted on people’s lives.   

During a briefing session at the High Level Panel’s public hearings held in Limpopo, the Chairperson of HLP, former President Kgalema Motlanthe, said the land question featured prominently across all provinces. “While the panel was focusing on four broad areas of the “triple challenge of inequality, poverty and unemployment; land reform as well as nation-building, the land question came up prominently. All these are serious matters that need to be looked at and be resolved,” said Mr Motlanthe.  

In his opening remarks he encouraged people to present the issues that are troubling them in their respective communities in order for the panel to take notes and present them to the Speakers’ Forum. “The purpose of this session is to afford you an opportunity to share with us your experiences under various pieces of legislature,” said Mr Kgalema Motlanthe.

The Panel said the submissions presented will be supplemented by a desktop research that will be conducted. “This is an effort to ensure that the country’s legislative framework performs as per its intentions,” Mr Motlanthe emphasised.  

A community member, Mr Joseph Mahlasela, said: “The main issue is that we should remember when we went to the previous elections, we were promised that our land will be given to us, but this is not what we are getting, and we are pleading with the government to assist us to give us the land. Before we go to the 2019 elections, please ensure us that we will be given back our land.”

The many stakeholders, organisations and communities raised issues affecting them daily and the majority of the people who complained demanded their lives to be improved through the returning of the land by government back to its rightful owners.

By Sam Khetheng
15 March 2017