Land claims and restitution in South Africa : the valuation perspective
The subject matter of the paper is a description of the unique valuation research exercise currently being undertaken in South Africa to reopen the issue of compensation paid by the state in it's land acquisition/redistribution programme of 30 to 40 years ago and revolves around the effects of the infamous Group Areas Act.
Following the recent change of government in South Africa and the move to a new political dispensation, constitutional changes have provided for a measure of relief by way of land, or equivalent restitution, to those dispossessed of interests in property in pursuance of the previous government's racial policies. The provisions for this are embodied in the Restitution of Land Rights Act (22 of 1994).
The implementation of the provisions of this act include the investigation of original compensation paid to land owners and occupants when their interests were acquired from the 1950's onwards. In most cases original records are sketchy or non-existent and restitution will only follow claims.
In the 1960s a large urban area of Durban, mainly owned by members of the indian community was proclaimed for "white" occupation. This resulted in the acquisition of something like 3 000 properties by the state and the upheaval of tens of thousands of residents; being both owners and tenants.