Just give me land; I will find my own seeds, public hearing told

2016-04-22 11:20

Johannesburg - People expressed concern this week that people who might need to surrender their land in accordance with the Expropriation Bill would not be willing to comply.

Siyabulela Rampai from Kagiso who attended a public hearing about the Bill in Mogale City, Krugersdorp on Thursday said he was concerned to see that only a few white people attended the hearing.

"They are the ones that own the land but as you saw today, only a few of them were here. How many were they? About 10? And they left as we were sharing out views on this whole thing," Rampai said.

Speaking to News24 after the meeting, chairperson of the Gauteng agriculture and rural development portfolio, Errol Magerman said he was aware that there could be resistance from some people.

‘There will be casualties’

"You must remember that on the right, there are people who feel that the old Bill or Act worked for them and now with the new Constitution, they also don't want to lose out but you have got to find a balance of accommodating everybody so that we don't create a problem in the country, Magerman said, highlighting that the Bill also spoke about compensation.

He said some people would indeed feel as though they were at the losing end.

"There will definitely be casualties because in any struggle, there are those that are sacrificial but we will try to mitigate," he said.

Another Kagiso resident, Ntando Mgqubu said he did not understand why the current land owners needed to be compensated.

"Why should they be compensated for something they took for free and forcefully so?" he told News24.

About 250 people from around the province had come through to give their input into the Bill.

A ticking time bomb

One elderly man in the crowd told the panel of officials that he was tired of waiting.

"Give me land from after this meeting and I won't ask you for a tractor or seeds. I will find that myself," he said.

Rampai warned government that the land issue was a "ticking time bomb" and they needed to act fast.

Magerman said he understood where Rampai was coming from.

"As you can see, people's patience, as the new generation, is running out. They feel like we are diddly daddly but we have a Constitution that we have to uphold," he said.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  land

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