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Comment Sought on National Standard on Land Cover Classes

March 20, 2017

Department of Rural Development and Land Reform

Comment has been called on the Draft National Standard on Land Cover Classes and Definitions.

The proposed standard was drawn up in terms of section 11 of the Spatial Data Infrastructure Act.

Published in Government Gazette 39860, the draft national standard contains definitions on forest land, shrubland, grassland, waterbodies, wetlands, barrenland, cultivated, built-up, mines and quarries.

Forest land is sub-divided into natural wooded land and planted forest while grassland contains definitions on karoo and fynbos scrubland, herbland and natural grassland.

The rural development and land reform department invites comment on the proposals within 60 days of publication of the notice.

Meanwhile, in its annual performance plan for 2016/17, the department has given feedback on current draft bills in process.

Some of the draft bills include:

• Communal Land Tenure Bill

The draft bill seeks to provide for-
(a) The regulation of communal land;
(b) The administration of communal land by entities chosen by communities;
(c) Communities choosing type of rights for community members in respect of residential and business properties;
(d) Land rights enquiries;
(e) The establishment of the Communal Land Board;
(f) The amendment and repeal of certain laws.

Submitted to chief state law advisor for a pre-certification opinion.

• Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill

The draft bill seeks to provide for-
(a)The establishment of the Land Commission;
(b)The disclosure by land owners of public and private agricultural land of their nationality, race and gender as well as the size and use of the land;
(c)The prohibition on the acquisition of and regulation of lease and disposal of agricultural land by foreign persons;
(d)The determination of ceilings in respect of agricultural land;
(e)The manner in which redistributed agricultural land must be dealt with;
(f)Investigations by the Land Commission.

Submitted to chief state law advisor for a pre-certification opinion.

• Communal Property Associations Amendment Bill

The draft bill seeks to provide for-
(a) The redefinition of the kind of communities and persons to whom the provisions of the Act apply;
(b) The definition of the nature and substance of the report on Communal Property Associations that has to be tabled in Parliament

To be placed before cabinet committee in May 2016.

• Deeds Registries First Amendment Bill

The draft bill seeks to effect technical amendments to the Deeds Registries Act to address problems identified in the administration of the Act

Submitted to chief state law advisor for a pre-certification opinion.

• Deeds Registries Second Amendment Bill

The proposed amendments are aimed at providing for the conversion of the current paper based system of deeds registration to an electronic system.

The draft bill served before the Cabinet Committee on 10 February and Cabinet on 17 February for approval for publication for public comments.

Other draft bills in the pipeline include the Sectional Titles First Amendment Bill, Sectional Titles Second Amendment Bill, Planning Profession Amendment Bill and the Land Survey Amendment Bill.