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Richtersveld Community Land Settlement

Category: Agreement
Date: 17 April 2007
Sub Category:Land Restitution Agreement (South Africa)
Location:Alexander Bay, Northern Cape Province, Republic of South Africa
The Richtersveld is situated in the north-western corner of the Northern Cape Province, close to the Namibian border.
Payments:
  • Compensation - R190 million
  • Subject Matter:Compensation | Land Settlement | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests
    Summary Information:
    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)
    Detailed Information:
    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.

    Related Entries

    Agreement
  • Alexkor - Richtersveld Joint Mining Venture
  • Organisation
  • Government of the Republic of South Africa
  • Alexkor Limited
  • Commission on Restitution of Land Rights
  • Land Claims Court
  • Legal Resource Centre
  • Legislation
  • Restitution of Land Rights Act 1994
  • Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996
  • People
  • Richtersveld Community
  • Case Law
  • Alexkor Limited v The Richtersveld Community and Others Case CCT19/03
  • Policy/Strategy
  • Apartheid

  • References

    General Reference
    Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa (2007) Statement on the Cabinet Meeting of 8 August 2007
    Mining Weekly Online (8 August 2007) Cabinet approves Alexkor-Richtersveld deal
    IOL online (19 October 2006) Richtersvelders happy with land settlement
    Wyndham Hartley, Business Day (13 August 2007) Richtersveld Claim Settled
    Matthew Hill, Mining Weekly Online (24 April 2007) DPE, Richtersveld community ink long-awaited Alexkor deal
    Fin24 (8 October 2007) Richeterveld case 'settled'
    Journal Article
    Stephanie Patterson 5 Indigenous Law Bulletin 30 (February 2004) The Foundations of Aboriginal Title in South Africa? The Richtersveld Community v Alexkor Ltd Decisions

    Glossary

    Land Restitution Agreement (South Africa)

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