Gauteng wants to resolve land issues

2015-01-20 14:16
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Johannesburg - Gauteng has identified land reform and redistribution as matters requiring immediate resolution, Rural Development MEC Lebogang Maile said on Tuesday.

"The Gauteng government is aware that land as an economic asset and public good is a crucial matter that is directly linked with historic injustice in our country," he said.

Maile was reacting to the EFF's call to invade vacant land.

The EFF in Gauteng resolved at its first provincial command team meeting on Saturday to occupy vacant land.

"Top on our priority list are the land occupation programmes, which will see dispossessed communities taking ownership of vacant land as a means of empowering themselves," provincial spokesperson Ntobeng Ntobeng said in a statement.

The meeting followed the EFF national people's assembly which was held in Bloemfontein in December.

Among its resolutions, the national conference called for the invasion of unoccupied land across the country.

The party's commission on land and agrarian reform said those who had lodged land claims should also occupy the claimed land.

Maile said the provincial government also recognised the great need for land amongst low-income groups and for various township development purposes.

"It is for these reasons that we have identified land reform and redistribution as urgent issues that require immediate resolution."

He said government had a constitutional obligation to ensure that all citizens enjoyed the basic rights to access to land and housing.

"We also have a similar duty to lead and encourage planned and orderly development within Gauteng and to safeguard the rights of private land owners."

He said the province, including municipalities, had elaborate plans for all government-owned land and would be announcing developmental and economic projects that would benefit communities in the next few months.

"The call for land invasions is not only reckless and populist but it is also geared at encouraging widespread lawlessness and sabotaging development."

Maile urged communities not to be tricked into a programme that sought to derail the strides made to improve people's lives.

"We also call on all law enforcement agencies to be on high alert to prevent illegal occupations and take steps against transgressors and those promoting anarchy."

Read more on:    eff  |  lebogang maile  |  johannebsurg  |  politics  |  land

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