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Community Reclaims Land in Kruger

  • Thursday, January 1, 1998

A community forced to move 30 years ago off land now falling within the boundaries of South Africa's Kruger National Park has regained its rights to nearly 100 square miles of park land.

Under the terms of the agreement reached in the spring with South Africa National Parks (SANP), the Pafuri region, just south of the current Kruger boundary, will be returned to the Makuleke community and will be maintained as a protected area.

The settlement followed 18 months of intense negotiations and could serve as a model for similar cases in South Africa and other African countries. A Makuleke spokesman said the 1,800 families in the community are eager to participate in conserving the Makuleke region, according to the EnviroNews Service. The community will use the land for economic development through ecotourism.

The agreement stipulates that the land cannot be farmed, mined or permanently inhabited by people without permission of the parks authority. SANP also has right of first refusal if the land is ever put up for sale.

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