Participatory Settlement and Development Support to Land Reform Beneficiaries
The overall objective of the Mid Term Review (MTR) was to assess the achievement of the project Participatory Settlement and Development Support to Land Reform Beneficiaries (PSDS) in reaching the expected results and the specific objective. The MTR also appreciated the recommendations and the findings of the backstopping mission (held in June 2013).
The Government of Belgium has been supportive of South Africa’s Land Reform Programme since 1998. Previous support relates to the communication campaign on lodging and validation of restitution claims and speeding up of the restitution process through the verification of validated claims. At present, the Government of Belgium supports the South African Government through the project PSDS. The PSDS project’s primary objective is to assist the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRLR) in ensuring that the livelihoods of land reform beneficiaries are enhanced through better coordinated and integrated policies and services for which different spheres of government are responsible. The emphasis in the PSDS project lies in piloting better practices of policy implementation and feed-back between provincial and municipal authorities.
In order to enhance coordination through integrated policies and service delivery, the PSDS has outlined 3 key result areas over a four year period (2011-2015):
- A countrywide review and subsequent in-depth analysis in 18 selected pilot District Municipalities of the integration of area-based planning in the IDPs and coordination amongst relevant departments and partners for service delivery to land reform beneficiaries (Year 1).
- Implement in 18 selected pilot District Municipalities countrywide better practices of integration and coordination between government spheres and departments for enhanced service delivery to land reform beneficiaries (Year 2-4). Especially between DRDLR’s Provincial Shared Services Centres (PSSC) and municipal authorities, closer interaction is sought through the deployment of young graduates under the DRDLR’s NARYSEC programme.
- Refining relevant aspects of policy frameworks such as the Recapitalisation and Development Programme (RADP) and Farm Equity Schemes (FES) (Year 1-4). This will include the compilation of implementation manuals and effecting training programmes, based on evidence from the pilot District Municipalities.
This work will contribute to the identification of best practices and toward the finalisation of the intergovernmental relations framework that will guide coordination of the stakeholder interventions that directed to the rural space in line with the targeted and integrated district plans. In addition it will contribute to identifying stakeholders who will be involved in the focus groups at local level toward the development of the stakeholder management strategy.
Taking into consideration the diversity of District Municipalities (DMs) geo-spatial, agricultural, social, economic and institutional profiles, a countrywide coverage over the 9 provinces was opted for and supported by the Joint Steering Committee. In every province, 2 pilot DMs were selected based on the following criteria:
- Inclusion into the Government’s strategic priorities (‘the 23 Priority Districts’);
- Identification as a Comprehensive Rural Development Plan (CRDP) site (number of CRDP sites as per DRDLR status-quo reports) and the number of households profiled under the War on Poverty programme; and the number of recapitalisation or other land reform projects.
Eighteen pilot areas have been chosen.
In order to bridge this gap between the work of the Provincial Shared Service Centres (PSSCs) and the District Municipalities, the project has employed 28 Rural Development Planning Assistants (graduates). These RDPAs are currently reporting to the Directors: Spatial Planning and Land Use Management (SPLUM) based in your province on a 70/30 basis. This means that at least 70% of their time will be utilised towards the development of rural development and land reform plans and related work. At least 30% of their time is supposed to be utilised by the PSSCs to foster integration of the Department’s work at district and local municipality level.