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Communal Property Associations Under the Spotlight

September 17, 2019

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

17 September 2019

A new strategy focused on the basics that the Communal Property Associations Act and Regulations require of Communal Property Associations (CPA) was approved in February 2019 and is being implemented.

The agriculture, land reform and rural development department confirmed this during a briefing in parliament on the CPA Compliance and Intervention Report.

It pointed out that it has been focusing on regularisation of CPAs since it submitted its first annual report to Parliament.

CPAs were assisted to comply with the act and their constitutions by holding regular annual general meetings, producing annual financial statements and recording of prescribed transactions.

According to the department, the approach has yielded limited success and requires a paradigm shift.

The new Strategy is designed to transform all CPAs out of a dysfunctional state for them to be able to function as organisations and perform the basic functions of holding and managing land on behalf of their members.

This will be achieved via the application or enforcement of the provisions of the act and regulations and providing support to CPA leadership and general membership by continuous training and support.

The department indicated that, in the 2019/20 financial year, training will be provided to 900 CPA (members & committees) focused on, inter alia, corporate governance, financial management, compliance requirements and compilation of reports to the department.

The development support programme to land reform beneficiaries is also being reviewed.

Other initiatives include that an integrated financing/funding model for agriculture support which incorporates a producer support model is currently being finalised through the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform and engagements are also being held with sector departments mobilizing for support to CPAs that own land where the land use is not agriculture such as forestry or conservation.

The department also informed parliament that it is encouraging agricultural cooperatives to participate in the setting up of the Cooperatives Financial Institution with the aim of establishing a Rural Development Bank.

The Cooperative Financial Institution will serve as a co-operative that takes deposits and issues out loans to its members.

In conclusion, the department emphasised that all three spheres of government have a role to play in ensuring that CPAs are functional.

The proposed District Based Service Delivery Model was highlighted as an effective vehicle to assist in ensuring the provision of basic services to and the sustainable use of land awarded to CPAs.