Ingonyama Trust and the Ingonyama Trust Board should stop with PTO to lease conversions

On its appearance before the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform on Wednesday the 07th of March 2017, it was emphasized that the Ingonyama Trust and the Ingonyama Trust Board are public entities that must benefit the Zulu people rather than hinder their progress and development.

This was the sentiment of the Portfolio Committee members after the Ingonyama Trust Board and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform appeared before the committee to clarify the adverts that the Ingonyama Trust Board issued towards the end of 2017, calling for holders of the certificate of ‘Permission To Occupy’ on Ingonyama Trust land to come and convert them into lease agreements. The Chairperson; Judge Jerome Ngwenya; argued that the PTO, as an Apartheid era document, has no legal standing in the current dispensation and was no better than a lease, as Banks and other institutions do not recognize it. Conversion of PTOs to Leases is procedurally unfair and substantively unjust as it degrades the rights of people on the Ingonyama Trust land. The portfolio committee in no uncertain way told the ITB to put on hold the whole process while they embark on a thorough public consultation in all the Ingonyama Trust regions, and to come back to the committee before they implement the conversion.

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