After 37 years, the Umgungundlovu community has got its land on the KZN Wild Coast back, which includes the area on which the renowned Sun International casino and resort is built. A BusinessLIVE report says this was after a ‘landmark’ agreement was signed between the community, Sun International and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform last week.

As part of this agreement, the community will now get back its pristine 700ha of Indian Ocean-facing land, and will be shareholders of, and receive rent for, the land the multi-million Wild Coast Sun casino and resort was built upon.

The community lodged a land claim with the post-apartheid government in 1996, and it was later accepted as valid. Human rights lawyer Richard Spoor, who represented the land claimants, said the agreement was concluded ‘after months of hard work’.

He said that in terms of the agreement, the land the community was forcibly removed from will be restored to it before the end of November, and that Sun International will rent the land the Wild Coast resort was build on for R4m a year – at an escalating rate of 6% a year.

The agreement also stipulates that the Umgungundlovu land claimants will take a 28.4% shareholding in the resort, and will receive R27m from the government to develop those portions of the restituted land not leased to Sun International.

It also states that members of the community will enjoy preferential employment and procurement opportunities with the Wild Coast Sun, and that Sun International has agreed to donate R1m rand to be shared between the 117 households.

He added: ‘This is what can be achieved if land claim communities are competently represented and government and business come to the party.’

Full BusinessLIVE report