Webinar: Securing land tenure rights: Dissecting the Upgrading of Land Rights Amendment Bill

Thursday, 10 September 2020 from 13:00–14:00 (CAT)

Join PLAAS for a webinar on “Securing land tenure rights: Dissecting the Upgrading of Land Rights Amendment Bill.

The webinar will feature:

  • Dr Rosalie Kingwill – Research Associate at Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) and member of LandNNES,
  • Nokwanda Sihlali – Research Officer at Land and Accountability Research Centre (LARC) at the University Cape Town, and
  • Mlungisi Khanyeza from kwaDinabakubo community in KwaZulu-Natal.

The webinar will be chaired by Nkanyiso Gumede, a researcher at PLAAS.

Protecting informal land rights remains a challenge in South Africa. There is continued violation of informal land rights both in the rural and urban context. In the dying days of apartheid, the Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights Act, commonly known as ULTRA, was passed in 1991 to allow for ‘upgrade’ of semi-formal and informal land rights to ownership through registration in the Deeds Registry. However, it has since been declared unconstitutional based on gender discrimination. The Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development released the Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights Amendment Bill (ULTRA Bill), and called for comments. Different organizations from business, civil society, academia and individuals submitted written submissions and also made oral presentations virtually before the committee. On 1 September 2020, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development responded to the submissions. The process in its entirety is taking place in the absence of clear governance of unregistered tenures, with particularly negative impacts on rights holders in the communal areas and informal settlements in the urban areas. This is despite the Constitutional obligation of the state in Section 25(6) and 25(9) to develop legislation that protects and strengthens the tenure rights of all citizens in South Africa. This webinar seeks to explore the extent to which the Bill contributes towards this.

The discussion will cover:

  • the origins of ULTRA, it’s objectives, and the extent, and where, the Bill has been applied since it was passed in 1991,
  • the reasons why it has to be amended, the contents of the amendment and the likely impact,
  • the effect it has had on people in the communal areas, and
  • reflection on the Department’s response to submissions, and recommendations for appropriate law reform.

Tune in on Thursday, 10 September 2020 at:

  • 11:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
  • 12:00 West Africa Time (WAT)
  • 13:00 Central Africa Time (CAT)
  • 14:00 East Africa Time (EAT)

Watch the webinar here: https://youtu.be/DpalDiBwYBw Or click below to view it.