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Communal land saga: Northern Cape municipality in trouble

───   OLEBOGENG MOTSE 14:00 Fri, 11 Mar 2022

Communal land saga: Northern Cape municipality in trouble | News Article
Busisiwe Mkhwebane also found the municipality to be guilty of maladministration and improper conduct. PHOTO: OFM News

The Kareeberg Local Municipality in the Northern Cape is in trouble regarding the leasing of communal land to civil servants in the area.

In a report released in February 2022, the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, says the municipality under which the towns of Carnarvon, Vanwyksvlei, and Vosburg fall, irregularly leased out communal land to current and retired civil servants, as well as people without valid animal identifications marks. 

The registration of these identification marks needs to be done with the National Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. Mkhwebane also found the municipality to be guilty of maladministration and improper conduct. The complaint was launched by the Kareeberg councillor, Esau Hoorn, in August 2019.

Mkhwebane’s remedial action on the matter requires the acting municipal manager to obtain legal advice on whether the lease agreements entered into by the municipality, in violation of the Communal Land Policy, can be cancelled. Furthermore, the municipality must, within 60 working days from the release of the report, determine the appropriate legal remedy to address the impropriety. Disciplinary processes need to be instituted against the officials implicated in the lease saga within the aforementioned period.

Mkhwebane further adds the municipality must “ensure that all the officials of the municipality that are involved in the leasing of communal land are properly trained on the provisions and application of the Communal Land Policy, within 60 working days from the date of the report; ensure that the Internal Audit Unit of the municipality, on an annual basis, conducts audit to determine the adequacy and effectiveness of the municipality’s system of internal controls to identify risks; and ensure compliance and prevent irregularities as envisaged by section 165 of the MFMA”.

Agriculture accounts for over 30% of the economic activity in the area.

OFM News


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