Victory for Ebenhaeser land claimants after settlement deal finally concluded
The community of Ebenhaeser, roughly 40km from Vredendal, has successfully concluded a land restitution claim they submitted in 1996.
The 2000-strong community will receive 23,700 hectares of land and significant government funding to help locals manage the restored farms, according to GroundUp reporter John Yeld.
The land was forcibly taken from the west coast community in 1926.
It's taken almost a century for residents of the historic village to get the land back.
Attorney Odette Geldenhuys represented the community in the final settlement deal. She says the restitution process will happen in phases.
"Up until now, they've had very little hope", Geldenhuys tells CapeTalk host John Maytham.
She says the farming community will need skills development, training, and key commercial partnerships to ensure that the settlement leads to long-term success in the area.
One of the elements that may contribute to the success of the Ebenhaeser land claim and farming operation is that it is a stage process.Odette Geldenhuys, Partner - Webber Wentzel
A part of the land claim was already settled in 2015, so a portion of the land has been restored gradually since then.Odette Geldenhuys, Partner - Webber Wentzel
We've seen more than one important sets of partnerships which the community has formed with commercial interests.Odette Geldenhuys, Partner - Webber Wentzel
If the community can see proper capacity building and proper farming operations... that will hopefully contribute to less community division.Odette Geldenhuys, Partner - Webber Wentzel
Listen to the discussion on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:
Source : Christa Eybers/EWN