Community advocacy group ACT NOW! is calling on Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko to name the Special Agriculture Business Leases he claims have been cancelled.
“For the last five years we have heard numerous false claims and unfulfilled promises from the government about the cancellation of the leases”, says Campaign Coordinator Eddie Tanago.
“While we welcome the information released by the Minister, the pubic simply cannot trust his numbers and he must reveal the names of the leases and other details".
The Minister has stated on social media that of 53 Special Agriculture Business Leases reviewed, 34% have been cancelled via voluntary surrender, 2% cancelled via consent or court order and 12% have been referred for further verification.
However, the numbers reported in various other media are different and contradictory. TVWAN for example has published a table showing 68 leases have been reviewed.
ACT NOW! says the Minister needs to publish a full list of the SABL leases with their names, portion numbers, locations and size, and identify those that have already been cancelled, those recommended to be cancelled, those that have been surrendered and those whose files are missing.
“The Minister says 53 leases have been reviewed but there were 77 that were investigated by the Commission of Inquiry, so what about the additional 24 leases?” asks Mr Tanago.
“These are leases that affect customary land and the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people. We all have a right to know the details of which leases the Minister is talking about and he should not be trying to hide the facts or confuse the public”.