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Richtersveld Community Land Settlement
|Date:||17 April 2007|
|Sub Category:||Land Restitution Agreement (South Africa)|
|Location:||Alexander Bay, Northern Cape Province, Republic of South Africa|
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|The Richtersveld is situated in the north-western corner of the Northern Cape Province, close to the Namibian border.|
|Subject Matter:||Compensation | Land Settlement | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests|
|The Richtersveld Community Land Settlement was agreed between the Richtersveld Community, Alexkor Ltd and the South African Government, following the community's successful nine year court battle to have their lands, expropriated in the 1920s in order to develop a diamond mine, restored to them. |
A Deed of Settlement, signed by Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin and community representatives in April 2007, and approved by the South African cabinet on 8 August 2007, restores to the community 84,000 hectares of land, mineral rights to that land, as well as providing a R190 million payment to compensate for the diamonds removed by the diamond company Alexkor Ltd. The settlement also includes the establishment of joint mining venture between the community and Alexkor, known as the Pooling Sharing Joint Venture (PSJV).
The South African cabinet released a statement applauding the settlement as a 'groundbreaking agreement' that 'demonstrates the possibility for broad-based and sustainable empowerment that exists in the process of land restitution and community empowerment.' (Department of Foreign Affairs)
|The right to land restitution for land alienated due to racially discriminatory laws or practices is constitutionally protected. The community's claim was made under the Restitution of Land Rights Act 1994.|
This settlement follows the successful constitutional court appeal by the community (see Alexkor Ltd v Richtersveld Community and Others Case below), as well as the case's remittance to the Land Claims Court in 2004 to decide on several technical matters relating to the final settlement.
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