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Dr Kenneth Kaunda residents call for Agricultural Land to be protected from mining


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Dr Kenneth Kaunda residents call for Agricultural Land to be protected from mining

Dr Kenneth Kaunda residents call for Agricultural Land to be protected from mining
Photo by Reuters

24th July 2023


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The residents of the North West Provinces’ Dr Kenneth Kaunda District supported the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land (PDAL) Bill and made several proposals, including that agricultural land should be protected against mining activities in the area and that the wildlife industry should be included in the proposed legislation.

Residents made these proposals during public hearings on the Bill conducted by the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development in Klerksdorp yesterday. The committee successfully held similar hearings at Dr Ruth Mompati and Ngaka Modiri Molema districts in the province.


The residents described the Bill as a good piece of legislation and called for its full implementation. They indicated that protecting agricultural land against mining rights and mining activities is an important aspect of the Bill, as good agricultural land has already been lost because mining interested superseded agricultural ones.

Environmental authorisations was another area of concern for residents, who indicated that an integrated system is required, so that different authorities act in a coordinated way when it comes to environmental authorisations.


Another point of concern for participants was the inspection of agricultural land. Clause 31(3) of the Bill provides that: “An inspector contemplated in subsection (1), subject to subsection (6), may: (a) enter any agricultural land at any reasonable time without previous notice for the purpose of ascertaining an issue required to ensure compliance with this Act.”

Participants pointed out that this provision is not practical, as clause 31(4) states: “When an inspector enters any agricultural land in terms of subsection (3), the owner or person in control of the land must at all times provide such facilities as are reasonably required by the inspector to enable him or her to perform his or her functions effectively.”

They indicated that compliance to this requirement does not take into consideration that owners are sometimes unavailable, which will make it difficult for them to provide information when inspectors make unannounced visits. Farmers said they understand that some circumstances might require such an intervention, but it should not be stated as a general rule.

Representatives of the wildlife industry raised concerns that the Bill does not explicitly accommodate game production owners. The committee heard that game owners currently privately own more than 20 million hectares of land in South Africa. However, they are happy that the definition of agricultural purposes in the Bill includes wildlife. Further clarity is required, they said, because what they do it often rejected under the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment because wildlife is not considered for conservation.

Youth participants told the committee that they do not have access to land and do not get funding, while the recipients of land allocations do not use it. Because they don’t have access to land they use unrecognised methods, including backyard small-scale farming. They also said that they have established agricultural organisations in the area that are led and managed by young people.

The Chairperson of the committee, Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, assured residents at the end of the hearings that the committee will take into consideration every input from individuals and organisations. When the committee has visited all nine provinces, it will consolidate all the submissions and write a report that will be submitted to the National Assembly for its consideration and further processing.


Issued by the Parliamentary Communication Services on behalf of the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela


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