Paper and packaging group Mondi has settled its second set of land claims, worth about R38,7-million, with black communities in KwaZulu-Natal, the group announced on Friday.
Mondi joint chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa signed the agreement with Land Affairs Minister Lulu Xingwana.
The agreement entailed a 20-year sale-and-leaseback plan that would benefit seven communities, which would receive the titles to 13 700 ha of land.
The communities would benefit from an annual income, while ensuring a continued supply of timber to Mondi’s mills.
“It is a tribute to the constructive working relationship between Mondi and the Land Claims Commission that these sustainable solutions have been reached on seven settlements,” said Ramaphosa.
Over the first ten-year period of the lease, Mondi’s Forestry Partners Programme (FPP) would work closely with the communities to introduce them into Mondi’s supply chain and transfer the skills required surrounding the business of forestry farming.
“The [FPP] has a menu of support available to new farmers. This includes business planning, environmental and fire support and access to seedlings. In each case, Mondi will work with communities to match the required support to their needs and aspirations,” Mondi head of FPP Jim Matsho explained in a statement.
During the second ten-year period, the communities would be given the opportunity to take more direct control of the forestry land and processes, stated Mondi.
The group had signed its first land restitution agreement with the AmaHlongwa and AmaBomvu communities, in Kranskop, in KwaZulu-Natal, in October last year. This agreement saw the transfer of 4 000 ha of land to these communities.