Land Committee Chairperson welcomes interventions by Minister Thoko Didiza to reinforce governance of ingonyama Trust Board

By Parliamentary Press

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Inkosi Zwelivelile Mandela said the inauguration of King Misuzulu offers an opportunity to usher in a new era in respect of the Ingonyama Trust and Ingonyama Trust Board. 

These entities came into existence to enhance the lives and livelihoods of the communities that reside on the Ingonyama Trust land. 
 “We appreciate the efforts by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza to navigate the complex issues that have historically plagued the trust. The measures that have been put in place are far reaching and directed at achieving greater transparency, accountability and good governance. 
 “We call on all stakeholders to work cooperatively to ensure that the intended benefits flow to the beneficiary communities. We must seize this opportunity to use the Ingonyama Trust model to ensure that we drive the agenda of restorative justice for all traditional land ownership,” he said. 
 He said the committee welcomes the report on the interventions by Minister Dididza to reinforce governance, oversight and accountability of the Ingonyama Trust and the Ingonyama Trust Board. 
 The committee reaffirmed its position regarding the role of the Ingonyama Trust Board as an accounting authority for the Ingonyama Trust. 

The committee believes that the Ingonyama Trust Board should fully account on all funds voted by Parliament for the Ingonyama Trust Board and all funds that the Trust levies from communities, collects through leases and/or royalty revenue as well as revenue generated through the work of the Ingonyama Holdings (PTY) Ltd as a subsidiary company of the Trust. 
 In emphasising the significance of good governance Inkosi Mandela, said: “This committee will ensure that administration of the Ingonyama Trust land is for the benefit of deserving communities living on that land.” He further said that the committee envisioned a public entity that is transparent, efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of communities living on its land. 
 The Minister Didiza, reported that her department has been grappling with the matters relating to the Ingonyama Trust Board and the Ingonyama Trust. 

Such matters she said included strengthening the Ingonyama Trust’s governance issues, transparency in the management of the finances of the Ingonyama Trust and the Trust Board, and assisting the Ingonyama Trust to develop its disbursement policy that must assist oversight bodies such as Parliament to assess the manner in which the public entity fulfils the mandate for which they were established. 
 The committee welcomed progress report regarding interventions that the department to strengthen administration of the Ingonyama Trust land. One such contribution was secondment of the Chief Financial Officer to assist the Ingonyama Trust Board in financial management and accountability. The Minister also informed the committee about processes to establish the new Board. 
 Another intervention was made through the Inter-Ministerial Task Team set up by the President of the Republic of South Africa to address issues that have arisen due to the Report of the High Level Panel on Assessment of Key Legislation and Fundamental Transformation and the Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on Amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution. 

The Inter-Ministerial Task Team had engagement with the relevant stakeholders and is yet to table a report of its work to the President who set up the Team. 
 The Minister was also considering matters that the committee has raised regarding the mandate and the role of the Ingonyama Trust Board vis-à-vis the obligation of the Ingonyama Trust; the role of the Ingonyama Holdings (PTY) Ltd as a subsidiary of the Ingonyama Trust together with its accountability; and the conversion of customary tenure rights and PTOs to leases.

 Given that the Minister Dididza was grappling with the same issues that the committee has raised over the last three years, the committee agreed these matters must be put under spotlight with a clear programme for 2023 to ensure that they are resolved before the end of the term for the 6th Parliament. 

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Thoko Didiza

Ingonyama Trust



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