Land Court Act

Land Court Act

After many revisions, the Land Court Act is finally enacted

The Land Court Bill has been occupying legislators for some time now. Last year, it was finally enacted and became the Land Court Act No. 6 of 2023. The Land Court Act is an attempt to right some of the wrongs of the past, and aims to accelerate the country’s land reform programme and resolve backlogs and disputes around land claims. The Act will tackle historical land injustices and advance transformation.

Land Court Bill – the path to legislation

The Land Court Bill was gazetted on 23 April 2021 and tabled in Parliament in May 2021. In June 2023, Parliament gave the approval for the Bill to be sent to President Ramaphosa. In September 2023, the Act was signed into law by the President, but he has not yet determined a date for the Act to come into effect.

Strengthening the Constitution

The main aim of the Act is to strengthen and promote section 25 of the Constitution, by placing certain obligations on the State to use its resources to ensure all citizens have fair access to land without any form of discrimination.

The Land Court

A Land Court will be established and it will play a critical role in resolving land and land-rights issues to promote equitable land distribution. The Land Court’s status will be equal to that of a Division of the High Court, and will therefore hold inherent power and create precedents for courts under its jurisdiction, according to the Superior Courts Act. The Land Court Act will also introduce an appeal process in the Land Court for challenging court orders and judgments, ensuring fairness and transparency in appealing such rulings.

With an excessive backlog of land claims in South Africa, stemming from the Restitution of Land Rights Act and the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act, the new Land Court will be tasked with handling backlogs as a permanent specialist court, expediting dispute resolution and adjudicating land-related matters. As these pending cases are heard, the Land Court will develop the legal principles envisaged by the Act.

The Court will be situated in Johannesburg and will replace the Land Claims Court. All proceedings will be conducted in open court.

Aims of the Act

The Act aims to:

  • Provide for the establishment of a Land Court and appeals against decisions of the Land Court
  • Make provision for the administration and judicial functions of the Land Court
  • Provide for the jurisdiction of the Land Court and Magistrates’ Courts for certain land-related matters
  • Provide for mediation procedures
  • Amend certain laws relating to the adjudication of land matters by other courts
  • Provide for related matters

For further information

Although the Land Court Act represents a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to foster equitable land distribution, questions remain about its execution. We look forward to reading the first judgment handed down by the Land Court.

Simon Dippenaar & Associates, Inc. is a law firm of specialist eviction lawyers in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. If you have concerns or questions about the Land Court Act and how it might affect you or your property, contact Simon on 086 099 5146 or email

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The information on this website is provided to assist the reader with a general understanding of the law. While we believe the information to be factually accurate, and have taken care in our preparation of these pages, these articles cannot and do not take individual circumstances into account and are not a substitute for personal legal advice. If you have a legal matter that concerns you, please consult a qualified attorney. Simon Dippenaar & Associates takes no responsibility for any action you may take as a result of reading the information contained herein (or the consequences thereof), in the absence of professional legal advice.

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