Dozens of land claims beneficiaries and land activist organisations in Limpopo marched yesterday to the provincial land claims commissioner, demanding that government speeds up the claims process.

The march was led by Nkuzi Development Association and Landless Peoples Movement, an organisation advocating land rights.

Protesters said they had been ignored for more than 15 years. Marchers, most of them pensioners, walked for more than two kilometres in the Polokwane CBD to hand over the memorandum, singing and toyi-toying along the way.

No land, no vote,” some posters read. Land claim activist Matt Mathabatha of Mathabatha Communal Property Association, said there was no progress on claim lodged in 1998.

“We want our land back. We don’t want to hear stories. Our parents died waiting for land, we will also die waiting, we want our land now,” she said.

The memorandum stated: “As land claimants we are aware that the government has failed on numerous occasions to adhere to its promise of settling claims. Year in and year out targets are set but not met.” Claimants said the opening of new claims in the last year was nothing but a plot to entice voters.

Last year, government announced the opening of new claims, allowing those who missed 1998 deadline to set new claims. Provincial Land Claims director Miyelani Nkatingi received the memorandum and promised that the commissioner will respond soon.

“The Commission has dismally failed to restore their land rights, failed to give them updates on the status of their land claims despite numerous letters of enquiry, instead leased their land to third parties without prior, free and informed consent,” said Vasco Mabunda of the Nkuzi Development Association. — News24.

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