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An observer
 
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Government houses stand empty while land debate rages

10 April 2018, 10:54

I find this debate about land expropriation in South Africa amusing and misguided. No one is mentioning the fact that about a third of the land owned in South Africa is owned by the government that is controlled by the ANC.

In my own neighbourhood, in the surrounding 4 blocks, there are 6 houses owned by various government departments; council, provincial and federal, and they are all standing empty, and have become derelict and an eyesore.

I investigated one nearby property, in particular, because it was becoming a slum occupied by the homeless and vagrants, and I was curious as to its ownership. When I looked into the matter by going to the council’s deeds office, I discovered that it was owned by the provincial government, so I contacted them and they told me that it was not on their register of owned properties. They didn’t even know that they owned the property.

About a year later, there was a raid on the property by the local police and all the vagrants and the homeless were evicted and they put up razor wiring around the property, but that didn’t deter the homeless or vagrants. Over time, they managed to gain entry again and now occupy that property.

I looked into the ownership of the other properties as well, and found out they were owned by local and federal governments but I was not going to go through this exercise of futility again.

So why don't governments in South Africa transfer their unused lands and properties to the homeless?

Politics is such a divisive game where nobody wins.

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