Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi.
How exactly did indigenous South Africans lose the land? Why have CODESA and the Truth and Reconciliation process not been able to rectify this situation? Why has the current land reform and land redistribution arrangements failed so dismally? And what can be done to get the land redistribution programme back on track? These are some of the questions and themes which advocate tackled as he outlined on occasion of the launch of his book.
In his address, Advocate Ngcukaitobi also unpacked critical developments in the current land redistribution, restitution and tenure reform programmes. He made suggestions for what needs to be done in future.
Ngcukaitobi suggested that the current land restitution programme was, amongst others, designed to give land back or provide adequate compensation to up to five million South Africans who were forcefully removed from their land, as a result of the Native Land Act.
Lamenting the opportunities missed by the present government in this regard, Ngcukaitobi said: “There is a period in which we acquired enough political power, military power and police power. But what did we do? That is where we squandered freedom and also squandered the possibility of freedom for young people coming after us”.
Prof Tinyiko Maluleke, Vice-Chancellor and Principal.
He further gave reference to a case that came before the Constitutional Court in 2019, indicating that if the government goes according to the current pace, it is going to take another 718 years before it can settle all restitution claims.
In his welcome speech, Prof Tinyiko Maluleke, Vice-Chancellor and Principal said it was an honour for TUT to host Ngcukaitobi, whom he characterised as belonging to the most talented 10% of South Africans. “You are continuously leading, provoking serious conversations and debates on land matters. I encourage you to continue asking these difficult questions that influence transformation”, Prof Maluleke said.
Tembeka Ngcukaitobi. Land Matters. South Africa’s Failed Land Reforms and the Road Ahead. Cape Town: Penguin, 2021.
Please click here to watch the recorded book launch