Government announcement on SABL just more excuses and delays

The Chief Secretary has announced the government has a new way forward on implementing the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into the Special Agriculture and Business Lease land grab.

But ACT NOW! says the government's statement lacks any substance and is just the latest in a long series of excuses and delays.

"More than 5 million hectares of land has been unlawfully taken from customary owners and the government has been promising action since June 2013 when it received the Commission of Inquiry reports. All the Chief Secretary is now saying is the government hopes some of the leases will be revoked at some unspecified time in the future", says Effrey Dademo, ACT NOW! Program Manager.

"This is clearly unacceptable. People have already been waiting more than two years for the unlawful leases to be revoked as the Commission of Inquiry recommended"

ACT NOW! says the lack of action from the government can only mean one of two things, either the government is completely incompetent or there are hidden relationships with the foreign logging companies and the leaseholders that are preventing executive action..

Ms Dademo says the government needs to set a clear timetable explaining when all the leases will be revoked.

It should also explain why a Ministerial Committee sat on the Commission recommendations for nearly 18 months while doing nothing, as revealed by the Chief Secretary. It also needs to explain why it has taken the latest task force 10-months to produce a plan and why the National Forest Authority continues to renew annual logging licences for SABL areas when it knows the leases are unlawful.