Legal researcher Mr Shirhami Shirinda raised serious concerns about the stagnancy and quarrels within communal property associations.

“People don't understand what CPAs are”


“People don’t understand what communal property associations are about, and this is the reason why they are always having problems that have them entangled in endless infighting.”

A researcher at the Legal Resource Centre’s satellite office in Louis Trichardt, Mr Shirhami Shirinda, raised serious concerns about the stagnancy and quarrels within communal property associations during the hearing on the Communal Property Associations Amendment Bill at Louis Trichardt.

The hearing was hosted by the Limpopo Legislature’s portfolio committee on economic development, environment, tourism and forestry on 21 November. The purpose of the hearing was to introduce the bill more fully to the people and to get some input.

Shirinda was therefore quite vocal on several issues in relation to the operations of the communal property associations and the bill.

“I am not being negative or racist, but it will seem like our people are not used to committees because once a person is elected as chairperson of a communal property association, that person wants to be the chairperson forever,” he said. “The elected committee’s term lasts for only five years and then a new committee must be elected. If the members elect another chairperson for the next term, that outgoing chairperson feels that he is not being re-elected because of some hidden agendas. Our people don’t want to give up on position because they think they have been badmouthed or are being persecuted.”

He further stated that he failed to understand the logic behind the supply of ready-made constitutions to CPAs by the department. “In most cases, in a bid to assist the CPA to establish their property association, the department shoves the ready-made constitution onto any new CPA, so that they only fill in their CPA name and the names of the board of executive directors,” he said. “A constitution of one CPA becomes exactly the same as those of many others; it's quite confusing in that those constitutions no longer serve a good purpose for those CPAs.”

He concluded by highlighting that CPAs were by no means business enterprises, but communal owners of a piece of land. “If they need to do business on that piece of land, they should register a separate company for that purpose of making profit,” he said. “But is the government making people aware of all these things? I don't think that it is beneficial for the department to even amend the CPA bill while there’s still so much work that needs to be done at the level of the operations and functioning of CPAs out there, so that the people or beneficiaries get to understand what a CPA is, and how it should be managed or run. ”

A report of the portfolio committee on Rural Development and Land Reform, dated 9 May 2018, states that many CPAs in different districts were dysfunctional because of internal conflicts within the associations and between the beneficiaries of claimed lands.

“In most CPAs, they are fighting because they don't know the contents of [their] constitutions since they didn't author those constitutions,” Shirinda said. “Those are just a few pointers to the problems faced by many CPAs, and if the CPAs are to thrive, much needs to be done, so that they stand firmly on their own ground.”



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    makhosini makhubele 8 months ago

    Since Kenya was decolonised in the 1960's, the new Kenyan government, dispite the fact that it was corrupt and continue up until today to be corrupt, has done a wonderful job in land reform. Unlike in South Africa where the new ANC government encourage the doomed and failed programs called socialism in its land reform programme, in Kenya the Government there did the opposite, it encourage capitalist approach to land reform and managed to produce more than 150 000 successful small scale coffee farmers, these 150 000 small scale coffee farmers employs more than 1 million workers who work in the coffee industry. These Kenyan small scale coffee farmers are successful and thanks to a clever government of President Jomo Kenyatta and President Moi, who encourage capitalist approach to land reform, in South Africa, almost more than 95% of all restituted land has failed dismally, simply because of socialism called CPA's, let us copy President Jomo Kenyatta's legacy in Kenya and our land reform programme will be very successful, we can produce more than 5 million successful small scale farmers in South Africa since our country is far more bigger than Kenya, let's do away with so-called community owned farms, they are the root cause of all failures in our land reforms, let's encourage individual ownership of small scale farms and we will be successful, we may even send our prospective small scale farmers to Kenya so that they may learn how things are done in Kenyatta-land

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    makhosini makhubele 8 months ago

    The reason why CPA's will never work all over South Africa is because it is run like Socialist programs, there is no individual accountability, everyone do as they sees fit, socialism has not worked anywhere in the world and definitely not in a country like South Africa where greed and selfishness is the order of the day. CPA's needs to be run as Capitalist programs and they will be successful, that is, individuals as opposed to community, should run CPA's as individuals not as groups. In Chavani village outside Elim, Mr "Madonoro se plaas" is one story of Capitalist success...Mr Mkhabela, the owner of Madonoro se plaas, own a small land holding, few hectares of land but his farm enterprise is very successful, and the positive thing is that he did not starts his small holding with help from "Comrades" but his own creative mind. So for all those that have got their land back, don't run that land with a socialist approach, rather, run them as Capitalist so that there is an individual accountability does not work and has not worked anywhere in the world, ask Russians, Cubans, Venezuelan, Tanzanian(ujama), the list is endless, community cooperatives does not work, individual ownership is wonderful, ask Kenyans, small holdings in Kenya, owned by their individual owners, not community, has turned Kenyan land reform into one of Africa's success stories...


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Date:03 December 2018 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho

Tshifhiwa Mukwevho

Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.



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