A group of land activists are concerned about the act’s impact on customary and informal property rights, and say there was not adequate public participation before it was passed.
Land activists including the Land Access Movement of South Africa (pictured) are challenging the controversial Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act. Picture: Land Access Movement of South Africa (LAMOSA)
The Constitutional Court is set to hear a challenge to the controversial Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act on Thursday.
The act found itself on the receiving end of widespread criticism after it was signed into law in 2019, with concerns around the impact on customary and informal property rights taking centre stage.
Now a group led by land activist Constance Mogale and the Land Access Movement of South Africa is asking the Constitutional Court to declare the act invalid.
At the core of the challenge is the group’s position that proper public consultation did not take place before passing the act.
The act for the first time recognised Khoi-San traditional leaders and communities, which Constance Mogale said was in the papers they supported.
The problem, she said, was that this was but one of multiple changes to the regulation of traditional leadership and traditional communities that the act affects.
One of the other changes with which the group is particularly concerned, is contained in section 24 of the act, which they said effectively allowed a traditional or Khoi-San council to enter into agreements with third parties without the consent of the affected land right holders.