By Libuseng Nyaka
QWAWA – Free State Corporate governance and traditional affairs MEC Ketso Makume has announced plans to hold talks with traditional leaders and the Maluti-A-Phofung local municipality leadership aimed at resolving disputes over land ownership.
Makume, who was representing the Premier of Free State at the opening of Provincial House of Traditional Leaders on Friday, made this revelation in an interview with this publication.
“I have already taken an initiative to provide a platform for engagement between chiefs and the leadership of the municipality here in Qwaqwa.
“Solutions can only be arrived at through dialogue because at end of the day, councillors, the municipality and traditional leadership all share the same constituency which is the community. They follow chiefs and also support municipality.
“We must share resources instead of not fighting over them. We must not allow things that we have to use for the betterment of our communities divide us; let us use them to unite us. I am going to head those engagements soon.”
Commenting on the matter, the Free State provincial chairperson of House of Traditional Leaders, Neo Mopeli said, chiefs are not supposed to sell land to members of the community for whatever reasons, as that land is no longer in use reverts back to the chiefs to allocate to other people who need it.
“These days we have heard of chiefs selling land to community member. This is uncalled for. There is also confusion because of new boundaries. People are evicted from land allocated to them by chiefs because such land has been affected by new boundaries and now belongs to the municipality.
“This was effected by department of rural development but chiefs still regard those pieces of land as theirs and end up apportioning them. This is because of the misunderstand and lack of clarity on boundaries between the municipality and chiefs,” Mopeli explained.