Cash Instead Of Land For Kruger Park Communities Displaced By Apartheid

The South African government on Friday paid more than $5 million in compensation to six communities for land in the Kruger National Park taken from them under apartheid.kruger-national-park-buffalo-chitwa

President Jacob Zuma said land compensation will restore the rights and dignity of those who have been dispossessed.

About 318,000 hectares of land was taken from hundreds families at the Kruger National Park after 1913 and 17 claims were filed against the park by locals in 1998. The communities compensated included three from Limpopo and three from Mpumalanga,

Zuma said land is paramount to the survival of South Africans.

“From land we derive our existence, our wealth, minerals, food and other essentials. From land we build our homes and without land we cannot exist,” he said.

Zuma said the game reserve as a national heritage site. But some people say money can never replace the ownership of land. Claimant Nelson Mona says he is not happy about the amount of compensation.

“In South Africa you have a concentration of land ownership in the hands of a few people. That is something we have to correct,” Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti said before a ceremony in Kruger National Park where Zuma handed over 84 million rand ($5.38 million US) in compensation to black communities evicted decades ago.