Ekurhuleni identifies land to expropriate without compensation

Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina has identified at least four properties, three of them privately owned, that he wants to expropriate without compensation.

Masina said he wanted Ekurhuleni to be the first metro in Gauteng to expropriate land without compensation, with the land expected to be used to establish new townships.

He announced on Thursday that the Ekurhuleni council had resolved to initiate the process.

"The City of Ekurhuleni has identified four occupied properties, whose owners have essentially relinquished their property ownership rights and responsibilities. The City plans to immediately develop and establish townships on these pieces of land," Masina said in a statement.

The decision was taken "in order to serve public interest and that the City has to act immediately to deal with its housing challenges", he said.

"It is important to note that expropriation can never be a means to an end, but it has to inherently serve a particular purpose of interest. To ensure strict compliance to Section 25 of the Constitution, the first step was to exclude any hint of arbitrariness and or unreasonableness in our action, including assessment of the possibility of an alternative property or availability of less invasive means," Masina said.

READ: Ramaphosa assures diplomatic community that land reform will be done in an 'orderly manner'

According to the statement, three of the identified properties are privately owned while the fourth is owned by government.

The largest of the privately owned properties is in Elandsfontein and is 101.2 hectares. Another in Driefontein is 33.6 hectares and the smallest is in Rietfontein with a size of 4.4 hectares.

The fourth property, which is 205 hectares, is owned by the government and is in Benoni.

"We want the City of Ekurhuleni to be at the forefront of land reform in Gauteng. We were the first to launch the Rapid Land Release Programme, and now we want to be the first Metro in Gauteng to expropriate land without compensation for the purposes of human settlement. Our resolve on this matter is guided by our commitment to serving the people of Ekurhuleni," Masina said.

READ: Not all land will be expropriated without compensation – ANC

Parliament is currently reviewing Section 25 of the Constitution, and is expected to decide if this needs to be amended to allow for expropriation without compensation.

On Thursday, the joint review committee asked for more time to prepare the final report, indicating it would be ready to report back to Parliament in November.

READ: Expropriation without compensation: MPs only expected to report back in November

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