Community Property Association model has failed and must be discarded

Issued by Thandeka Mbabama MP – DA Deputy Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
05 Feb 2024 in News

The Community Property Association (CPA) model – as provided for in the Community Property Association of 1996, has failed and the model needs to be discarded to give land ownership back to individual land beneficiaries.

According to the 2022/2023 CPA Annual Report by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), it was revealed that 1 141 CPAs in the country were non-compliant with the rules and regulations of governance, 188 were partially compliant, while only 81 were compliant. Some of the key challenges necessitating this dysfunction include infighting, inadequate management skills, legal non-compliance, and little government support.

The result of this CPA chaos is that land is now lying fallow and is not being put to productive use to benefit the beneficiaries. In essence, CPA members who want to engage in productive farming are now being held to ransom by those who are only concerned about fighting for positions.

It is for this reason that the DA is calling for a re-evaluation of the CPA model to move to a new dispensation where individuals are allowed to own and farm their own piece of land. Individual ownership will address the current system where CPAs are now being used for rent-seeking purposes with limited to no production taking place.

The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza – in her foreword to the 2022/2023 CPA Annual Report concedes that governance challenges in CPAs have resulted in poor outcomes. As it stands, it would be a waste of time to try and work through the individual challenges affecting each CPA because some of the challenges are structural and systemic.

The DA will use the next available opportunity, when Minister Didiza appears before the portfolio committee of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to call for individual ownership of land among members of CPAs. Individuals must be allowed to decide what they want to do with their own land rather than be held to ransom by a communal association.