San community did not benefit from land reform programme: Activist

A SAN activist has bemoaned the disenfranchisement of the San community, which has resulted in them not owning land.


Speaking at the land, language and identity of San people conference held on Friday at Rainbow Hotel in Bulawayo, Tsoro-o-tso San Development Trust director, Davy Ndlovu, said the San community did not benefit from the county’s land reform programme.

“We are located 200 kilometres from Bulawayo, but we do not have access to information, we do not even know what happened and how people were claiming land. We only got to know, when the exercise was completed, we did not benefit from it,” he said.

Ndlovu said land was important to the San and, when it was taken away from the community during the colonial era, it had negative effects on their lives, identity and language.

He said the San, who stay in Ndebele communities in Tsholotsho and Plumtree, have lost their identity.

The San language was only recognised as one of the county’s official languages in 2013.

Speaking at the same conference, historian Pathisa Nyathi said the San’s language should be recognised.

“Let us not be particular about the majority language, but particular about all languages because ignoring other languages is where marginalisation originates from and we have to do away with such,” he said.

Nyathi said women need to be empowered more because they preserve languages and that the San should be involved in State affairs.

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