A subject that causes a lot of contention within South Africa relates to the claiming of land.
Imagine a piece of land being in your family for many generations and then finding out that your family doesn’t have a right to ownership. It is a subject that really affects everyone concerned.
The scope of the issue can be seen clearly and thus it highlights the need for one to be informed about their rights regarding land claims, the implications involved and the processes that are followed.
The Restitution Act allows for the restoration of land to a person or community who were dispossessed of land rights as a result of racial discrimination after 19 June 1919.
This provision is made available on the basis of the person or community affected lodging a claim with the Commission of Restitution of Land Rights.
An amendment to the Act in 2014 extended the initial deadline from 21 December 1998 to 30 June 2019. This allows time for those who missed the initial deadline to lodge their claims for land.
Generally, a land claim is a written request that is made to the Commission of Restitution of Land Rights from a person or the descendants of that person so as to have their respective rights to ownership of a land that they were dispossessed of restored.
Restitution is available to any individual, descendant or community who was dispossessed of land after 19 June 1913 and they were not given fair compensation for the land that was taken from them.
It is important for a property owner to establish whether or not their property has a land claim on it as it could prevent them from being able to sell their property.
While selling a piece of land that has a land claim on it isn’t considered illegal, the seller does however have to inform the buyer of potential buyer of this fact.
The Regional Land Claims Commission will also have to be informed that the owner wishes to sell the land. Upon being informed, the Regional Land Claims Commissioner will have to decide within 30 days whether or not they will apply for an interdict to stop the sale of the property from happening.
Because of the potential of such an issue transpiring it is thus essential for a person to be educated in this area and to make sure they have a specialist who would have the ability to accurately advise on the best course of action.
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