New land claimants opt for money

Cape Town - Just under 5 500 new land claims have been lodged around the country, but most of the claimants want money, not land, the rural development and land reform department said on Wednesday.

"[A total of] 5 495 claims have been received at lodgement sites across the country. The majority of these have been lodged in the Western Cape [1 363 claims] followed by Gauteng [956 claims]," it said in a statement.

The new five-year period for lodging land claims - which opened at the beginning of the month - ends in June 2019.

"We have noted that the majority of those who have lodged claims since the re-opening of the lodgement of land claims have opted for financial compensation," chief land claims commissioner Nomfundo Gobodo said in the statement.

He urged claimants to opt for land restoration rather than money, which would help address unequal land ownership patterns in South Africa.