CAPE TOWN – Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said that her department would want first dibs on expropriated land once the legislation comes into effect.
Sisulu has welcomed a draft legislation on the expropriation of land already having been published and said they hope the process could be fast-tracked.
She added her department would want to be first to benefit from it to build housing.
“I cannot see that there is any greater public interest than that that we represent in Human Settlements. It should be therefore possible for us to be the first to benefit from this legislation.”
She addressed MPs on Tuesday while tabling her department’s budget vote.
Sisulu said they would also be working to prevent land invasions.
“We’re taking advantage of the fourth industrial revolution. We will, for instance, be sure to embrace satellite technology to ensure that we have real-time information on the ground. This will be designed for purpose which will use to measure the quality of work of the projects we are dealing with. It will also help us to be able to see where land is invaded and act decisively and on time.”
She says the city of Cape Town is at the top of her list for expropriation.
Government has delivered millions of low cost houses since the dawn of democracy. Despite this, many more remain on the waiting list.
Lack of land has been blamed for this. But Sisulu says there is a plan – the envisaged expropriation process will alleviate this.
“When the legislation is put out for comment, we are able to include comments. And the inclusion we are putting is that Human Settlements would like to be first takers. And when that is done, our target is Cape Town.”
The Minister says more and more foreigners are buying low-cost housing intended for the poor.
“The language that you find now in Cosmo City is largely foreign. If we were to do a census of ownership of houses in Cosmo City, you will find that 67% of those that we gave away free, now belong to foreign nationals. The free houses that we give to our people are as a result of what we have gone through as a country. However, we do have rental stock, and we would like foreign nationals in our country to stick to that. Our houses are for our people.”
Sisulu also said 30% of new social housing projects will be earmarked for student accommodation.
This report does not necessarily reflects the opinion of Die Kaap.