Municipalities and SOE’s need to release unused land for housing

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture Credit: Twitter @PresidencyZA

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the mooted expropriation of land will unlock the resources of South Africa that have not been properly utilised because they were reserved for a minority of the population.

Ramaphosa was speaking in the National Assembly while delivering the Presidency Budget Vote in Parliament.

Just days after the ANC emerged from its inaugural land summit Ramaphosa called on local government municipalities as well as state-owned entities to release unused land and service sites for housing so that people do not resort to what he termed “self-help measures”.

“We condemn the illegal occupation of land. It slows down development and undermines efforts to manage the spatial transformation of our cities and towns,” he said.

Ramaphosa also said that work is being done within the Presidency to accelerate the process of agrarian reform and assist black people to be productive contributors to agricultural activity in the country.

“The Presidency will oversee the work of departments like Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and Land Reform and Rural Development in making possible an agricultural revolution.”

On Monday the ANC announced that it would test whether or not if land expropriation without compensation was still possible without amending section 25 of the Constitution.

ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member Ronald Lamola during a press briefing said that the Expropriation Bill before Parliament was to help fast-track the implementation of the party’s 54th conference policy resolution.

Ramaphosa meanwhile encouraged South Africans to fully engage in the national debate around the proposal for the expropriation of land without compensation.

“We commend this House once again for its ground-breaking resolution on the matter, as well as the thousands of South Africans who have already made submissions, reinforcing the value of consultation and collaboration,” he said.

Afro Voice Reporter