Author: Christian

The Land Saga: Mlapa’s Land Saga

The Land Saga: Mlapa’s Land Saga

This Indigenous-themed park is still closed — nearly a year after the city built it. Could land rights be the problem?

The Indigenous Land and Water Coalition of South Africa (ILWCA) recently launched a campaign to get the indigenous group that is the subject of a bitter land saga, Mlapa, to open its park back up to visitors. The campaign succeeded in getting the park back up to full capacity after five years of regular closures.

What was once known as the Horeb-Mt Horeb Park was given to “non-indigenous” South Africans in the early 1890s by the Transvaal provincial government in order prepare a park for what was called the “great white people.” Most of the park was never used, however, and it has sat mostly empty ever since.

After the park was opened to non-indigenous visitors in 1897, a section of the park was declared a reserve for indigenous people, but it was later decided that, rather than reopening the park to non-indigenous people, the area could be opened to indigenous visitors.

A small group of indigenous people refused to use the park for that purpose, however, and it remained closed until 2011.

The ILWCA now wants South Africa to finally open Mlapa to visitors.

It’s not the first time South African indigenous people have had their land seized and then returned to the nation under the land reform legislation that came into effect in the early 1990s.

Indigenous people across the country have had a very difficult time trying to get their land back as South Africa has taken a variety of approaches in trying to get the land back.

In 2012, South African Indigenous Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan gave government officials the authority to seize land and return it to them later in time. This is known as a “quotation.”


Leave a Comment