Coastal Land Rights finally restored

The West Coast of South Africa is an area where numerous coastal communities have been dispossessed of their land, and therefore their livelihood. Diamond mining, exploitative Apartheid legislation, and sometimes downright greed has meant that scores o communities and thousands of people have lost ancestral lands and their access to marine and other coastal resources.

Today I would like to share the good news that one of the numerous cases have finally been corrected after an 18 year battle. A West Coast community has finally had their land restored to them after an 18 year tussle with the state. The Ebenhaeser community lodged a restitution claim in 1996 on land near Vredendal from which they were forcibly removed under apartheid laws. White farmers moved into the fertile lands along the banks of the Olifants River and the local community was displaced to margin lands in the drier hills.
More than 23,000 hectares of land has now been handed back to the community over to the community today. The claim has been valued at more than R360 million.
In South Africa many successful land restitution cases did not work out, often because of lack of proper planning and aftercare. In this case a Community Development and Land Acquisition Plan (CDLAP) was first prepared by EcoAfrica and Phuhlisani who worked hand in hand with the local community, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and other authorities, as well as the white farmers. The area is a very important coastal area with an estuary of high importance, and these environmental aspects have been thoroughly taken into account in the CDLAP. Hopefully we will be soon witnessing a very successful land restitution project.

RE: DLIST Benguela: Coastal Land Rights finally restored

It is an achievement,I am happy to learn that environmental aspects are taken into consideration.

RE: DLIST Benguela: Coastal Land Rights finally restored

Excellent news indeed!

Land is believed to be one of the most important resources - the Ebenhaeser and Papendorp communities have been dispossessed of their most fertile land in 1926.

The community has decided to claim the return of all the land lost and additional resources. The multifaceted Community Development and Land Acquisition Plan (CDLAP) which was a highly participative planning process together with the Ebenhaeser and Papendorp communities commenced in 2012 and was concluded in 2013. The CDLAP was the community’s position in the negotiation with the Government.

Finally and before the end of 2014 the community land claim is being restored. This is certainly a start to a fruitful settlement agreement.

Please see link below of a newspaper article from Die Burger
http://www.dlist.org/document-library/weskus-gemeenskap-kry-grond-na-80-...

Umaymah Jattiem, DLIST Team

RE: DLIST Benguela: Coastal Land Rights finally restored

Congratulations to the community, and well done to EcoAfrica and Phuhlisani for their role in the successful land claim on the West Coast. May this process continue into the future with even greater success.