Mabuza: 'Those to be given land, can't just lie on it'

2018-05-29 17:54
Deputy President David Mabuza. (GCIS)

Deputy President David Mabuza. (GCIS)

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Deputy President David Mabuza says those South Africans who would be given land by the State through the proposed expropriation without compensation will be expected, and assisted, to work it.

Mabuza was answering questions in the National Assembly on Tuesday for the last time before Parliament goes on a two-month recess from June 15.

During a round of questions on land tenure and security, Mabuza stressed that it won't only be land held in private hands, but also state-owned land that will be expropriated.

READ: 4 myths about land expropriation that must be bust

"We've got land that is under the ownership of the State. Different departments are holding land, as are municipalities," he told the House.

"That land is going to be expropriated and given to the people, not just to lie on the land; these people must work the land.

"Government is going to assist those people to work the land. That is going to happen."

Expropriation just one of 'many options'

Mabuza repeated his party's stance that expropriation without compensation was only one of "many options" the ruling party will be utilising to address land reform in general.

"Our people should have confidence and trust in the ANC. The expropriation of land without compensation is one option that seeks to restore land to those who were deprived of it, or it was taken from it.

"It's going to happen, it's one option.

"There are many options we are going to follow in terms of redress, ensuring that those people who work the land, are given the land."

He also again repeated the ANC's stance that food production and food security must not be affected by the process.

"We must emphasise and stick to the words by the president [Cyril Ramaphosa], in all these efforts, we are going to try very hard not to disrupt the production.

"Instead, these efforts of taking land back to the people [who] were wrongly deprived of the land, should not really disrupt the productive capacity of our country."

Traditional leaders only 'custodians' of people's land

With regards to communities who want land rights and former apartheid-era "PTOs" (Permission to Occupy) turned into title deeds, Mabuza said the Expropriation Bill, which is coming back to Parliament, will address some of the issues.

He challenged Parliamentarians to use the High Level Panel report commissioned by Parliament, to make the necessary adjustments to the bill to help traditional communities.

"This issue of security of tenure flows from a sometimes mistaken view that land under traditional leadership is owned by traditional leaders, which is a false view. In terms of custom, it is the people who own the land."

Traditional leaders therefore were only custodians of the people’s land, he said.

"Through this Bill, we must see it as a process that is part of our intervention as a country in conclusively dealing with the land question in a manner that leads to the development of all the people, and not for exploitation of the customary rights of people to their land for unscrupulous ends."

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Read more on:    david mabuza  |  cape town  |  land  |  land expropriation

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