In search of solutions at Ebenheaser

EcoAfrica and Phuhlisani are making progress to assist the claimant community to finalize a restitution settlement agreement with the State. The team has conducted research as the basis for developing various scenarios which are under discussion within the claimant community. These proposals have also been subject to independent analysis by agricultural economists based at Stellenbosch University. Once ratified these scenarios will inform the development of a Community Development and Land Acquisition Plan (CDLAP). This plan has to address a number of complex local constraints. While Ebenheaser has good quality land it is very short of water. The average annual rainfall is 110 mm but this is offset by some irrigation which is available from the Oliphants River Irrigation Scheme. However only 153 individuals out of a community of 2000 currently have access to irrigated arable plots so part of the plan is examine how others can also get access to land and water.

Phuhlisani is the lead agent in collaboration with EcoAfrica to help establish a new Communal Property Association which will hold the existing  land to which the community has access in terms of the Transformation of  Certain Areas Act (TRANCRAA) as well as the claimed land which they lost in 1925. In the process the team must confirm and record the existing land rights of individual members. The Legal Resources Centre acts a community legal adviser and has also undertaken initial work on the development of the CPA.

This is an enormously complex project which must accommodate a variety of interests and involves multiple stakeholders. Ebenheaser has been identified by the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform as a flagship rural restitution project.

Ebenhaeser Estuary
Ebenhaeser Estuary
Posted: 5/3/2013 (9:43:46 AM)

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