South Africa Renews Law Allowing Claims For Land Taken Under Apartheid

South African President Jacob Zuma
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – South Africa has relaunched a claims process that would allow Black families who were removed from their land under apartheid rule to apply for compensation, the presidency said on Monday.

President Jacob Zuma signed into law a return of the Restitution of Land Reform Act, which includes an extended deadline for people who lost their land to make claims.

“The act now provides for the reopening of the lodgment of land claims by those who missed the 31 December 1998, deadline,” a presidency statement said.

The process will run for five years starting at the end of June, it said.

The law builds on a previous process that saw the examination of 80,000 requests for compensation, but which expired before all those who had been forcibly driven from their land had a chance to lodge a claim.

The 1913 Natives’ Land Act allocated just 10 percent of land to non-whites — later upped to 13 percent — which led to the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Blacks, systematized after 1948 under apartheid.

The government estimates as many as 400,000 requests for compensation could be made at a cost of between 130 and 180 billion rands ($12-17 billion, 9-12 billion euros).

White South Africans — approximately 10 percent of the population — still own as much as 80 percent of the land 20 years after the end of apartheid.

"to my knowledge whites are still 10% of the country but still run everything over there. i hope it works out but you got to get them white folks out of your country to get that thing right over there.."

"unless the people wants to sell their land, compensation does not do justice to those driven from their land and forced out into the street where some of them have been living for years. The only remedy that would bring justice is taking back every land back to the rightful owners. With the minority controlling the market and the economy in South Africa they would increase price of commodities, rent, and other necessities, and would make that money back in less time. Also, in a world where people build blocks, and maintain those blocks through monopoly and discrimination, ownership in this case is better than money."

"Stolen Goods Must Be Returned"