Joburg city council members at loggerheads over donated land

2018-06-28 21:40
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WATCH: Malema and Lekota in heated argument at land hearing

2018-06-28 16:05

EFF and Cope leaders Julius Malema and Mosiuoa Lekota got into a heated argument on Wednesday at a public hearing on land expropriation in Limpopo. Watch.WATCH

Opposition parties in the Johannesburg city council have butted heads regarding the use of donated land in Klipfontein.

Member of the mayoral committee for economic development Leah Knott of the DA claims that the ANC objected to the donation of the land at the most recent sitting of council.

"This perplexing decision will obstruct progress that would benefit residents at a time where land can be used to transform the community," Knott said.

"Land ownership for development is a strategic objective for the City, the intended donation of ERF 538 by the owner serves as a golden opportunity to improve the lives of marginalised communities who don't have the means to access land ownership."

Knott explained that because the land is affected by wetland hillslope seepage, it would be inappropriate for housing development as suggested by ANC members.

The DA proposed that the land be developed into a multi-purpose recreational facility that would fall under the care of City Parks.

Land should be used for education, says ANC

"The facility is intended to cater to multi-disciplinary sporting codes, a park, food garden and clinic among other things," Knott clarified.

"This project is classified as a community-based project in response to the community's request during the IDP (integrated development planning) session held on the 5th of April 2017 as well as the identification by the region of a lack of such facilities."

She added that the ANC had placed "politics above finding solutions for the community".

ANC regional spokesperson Jolidee Matongo denied that the party objected to the donation of the land.

According to Matongo, the land donated by chemical group AECI was zoned for education and should not be used for anything else.

"We have no problem with the donation, but the land should be used for an early childhood development facility or housing development," he said.

"Land expropriation is at the top of the ANC's agenda."

Matongo said the claim that the land was in fact a wetland was not included in the report presented to the council.

"If that was made clear in the report, there would be no problem. We did not reject the proposal in its entirety, but if there is going to be any development on that land it must be for educational purposes or housing," he said.

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