The ten-member Expert Advisory Panel, which comprises farmers, lawyers, agricultural economists and academics, was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to provide the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform with a unified policy perspective on land reform in respect of restitution, redistribution and tenure reform.
SERI provided written inputs for the panel to refer to in the drafting of their final report with specific focus on the question of urban land reform. The question of “urban” land reform is largely absent from land reform. Often, urban land is “hidden” inside the housing, human settlements, planning and municipal finance sectors, while land reform has always been located in a rural development department and has focused on rural land reform and agrarian reform. Furthermore, SERI participated in numerous gatherings including: 1) a stakeholder roundtable on Urban Land and Human Settlements, Spatial Strategies, Property Markets, Land Governance, Development and Administration; 2) a roundtable co-hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform focusing on highlighting the voices of grassroots organisations and activists; and 3) the Second Land Colloquium of the Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture.
In its final report, the panel recommends, among other things, that an urban land reform policy be developed that has a dual focus on equitable access and tenure reform. The panel also notes that “sections 25(5- 6) of the Constitution which mandate redistribution and tenure reform apply to urban areas, and need to be read alongside section 26 which deals with housing.”