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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What is a land claim?
A land claim is a request for the restoration of a right in land, lodged with the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights, in the prescribed format.
What is a land right?
A land right is a registered or unregistered right in land, the interests of labour tenants and sharecroppers; customary law interests; or beneficial occupation for a period of more than 10 years.
Against whom do I lodge a land claim?
All land claims are lodged against the state.
Who can lodge a land claim?
A person or a community that was dispossessed of a right in land after 19 June 1913 as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices, and who did not receive just and equitable compensation at the time of dispossession, can lodge a claim for the restoration of such a right, or equitable redress.
Categories of claimants:
a. Individual dispossessed of a land right
b. A direct descendant of a person with a land right (such as the wife or children)
c. A juristic person, such as a company or a trust
d. An executor or an administrator of an estate of a deceased person
e. An executor of a community
Who may not claim?
Persons who have lodged claims before, and received redress (land or financial compensation) may not claim again for the same right lost. Persons who have lodged a claim before, but have not yet been compensated, must contact their respective provincial offices to verify whether the office has their original claim, before they can submit a new claim.
It is illegal to submit a fraudulent claim, including not disclosing other potential interested parties such as siblings, etc.
Where can I go to lodge a land claim?
There are 14 lodgement offices situated across the nine Provinces. To get information about a lodgement office nearest to where you stay, please call the toll-free number 0800 007 095 or visit: www.ruraldevelopment.gov.za
What documents must I bring along to lodge a land claim?
a. A certified copy of your South African green bar-coded Identity Document or Smart ID card.
b. A signed letter authorising you to act on behalf of your family or community, signed by two witnesses (power of attorney), if you are acting on behalf of your family or community.
c. A list of the people you represent
d. A letter from the Master of the High Court if you are the executor of an estate
e. A written decision from a community meeting, signed by the person who facilitated the meeting (community resolution), if lodging on behalf of a community
What other information is required?
a. Particulars of the person who lost the right
b. Particulars of the claimant and the capacity in which he/she is acting, e.g. community representative, son, executor of the estate, etc.
c. The description of the property, e.g. farm name and number or erf/stand number in an urban area
d. Information about the Government department or state organ that acquired the land, e.g. Department of Native Affairs.
e. The year of dispossession
f. Information on the compensation received as a result of dispossession
g. History of dispossession
How do I submit a claim?
Claims must be lodged at a designated lodgement office on a prescribed form, which will be captured electronically during lodgement. Claim forms will not be distributed to the public. Prospective claimants must physically go into the lodgement office to lodge their claim.
What can I expect when I visit the lodgement office to lodge a claim?
• A Commission on Restitution of Land Rights official must assist you to complete your claim form.
• Lodging a land claim is a free government service. You are not required to pay anything. Do not buy a form to lodge a claim from anyone, it is a criminal activity.
• Your claim information will be captured electronically and a notification of receipt will be issued to you on immediately, on site.
• If you do not receive a notification receipt on site, your claim has not been properly submitted. Please insist on a notification receipt.
What will happen after I have successfully lodged a claim?
Once you have submitted all the required documents. The Commission will now investigate the merits of your claim. If there are disputes the Commission will mediate and attempt to resolve disputes. You will be informed about the progress on your claim at regular intervals or on your request.
How long does it take to settle a claim?
The time involved in settling a land claim is entirely dependent on the complexity of the claim. Some claims, due to their complexity, take longer to settle.
How do I make follow-up on my claim?
You must contact the provincial office to get information about the progress on your claim.
Why do I need to submit supporting documentation for my claim?
• The Commission requires considerable proof to make a determination whether a claim is valid and can be processed.
• Proof may include historic research; documentation from archives; deeds registration; information relating to companies; as well as information relating to land dispossessions (by whom and how they were carried out).
• Any additional documentation that can support the Commission to expedite your claim will be appreciated. Please ensure that such documentation is properly submitted together with your claim and that receipt of such documentation is acknowledged.
It is illegal to submit a fraudulent claim, including not disclosing other potential interested parties.
It is also illegal for a person to prevent or obstruct another from lodging a claim.
The following government departments and agencies may assist you in obtaining information to support your claim:
Registrar of Deeds:
Title deeds, Notices of Expropriation, rights registered against the title, property descriptions, details of owners at different times.
Office of the Surveyor General:
Description of properties, now and at the time of dispossession.
Master of the High Court:
Information on deceased estates and trusts.
National and Provincial Archives:
Information relating to dispossessions, including how and by who they were carried out.
The contact details for the government departments and agencies that may assist you to get information to support your claim, is available from the lodgement office in your area or the website: www.ruraldevelopment.gov.za. You can also get the information by calling the toll-free number 0800 007 095.
The Commission on the Restitution of Land Rights
National office contact details:
Private Bag X833, Pretoria, 0001
184 Jeff Masemola Street, Pretoria
Fax: (012) 328 7133
Toll-free: 0800 007 095