President tells ministers to set up task team on use of public land for housing

The State Land Disposal Act allows the President to fast track the use of public land

| By

Housing activists marched to the President’s Cape Town residence in August last year to demand that the State Land Disposal Act of 1961 be used to make public land available for human settlement. Archive photo: Vincent Lali

President Cyril Ramaphosa has instructed the ministers of Human Settlements and Public Works to investigate demands by housing activists for land to be redistributed to communities, says Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya.

In August 2023, GroundUp reported that activists from Ndifuna Ukwazi and other organisations marched to the President’s Cape Town residence to demand that the State Land Disposal Act of 1961 be used to make public land available for housing.

The Act grants the President the power to donate, sell, lease or exchange any piece of public land in the country. The activists had identified 32 parcels of land in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Western Cape, which could be used for people to live on.

Frustrated by the lack of response from Ramaphosa and the Presidency office, the activists wrote an open letter last month.

In response to emailed questions by GroundUp, Magwenya said the presidency had only received the emails on 30 April 2024. “These emails appear not to have reached the appropriate office in the Presidency and did not receive the necessary attention.”

He said, “President Cyril Ramaphosa has directed the Minister of Human Settlements and Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure to establish a joint team to attend to the issues raised by Ndifuna Ukwazi.”

Apart from Ndifuna Ukwazi, organisations involved in the campaign include Indibano Yabahlali, Intlungu YaseMatyotyombeni, Reclaim the City, Housing Assembly, Surplus People’s Project, Abahlali baseMjondolo (KZN) and Inner City Federation (JHB).

Acting director of Ndifuna Ukwazi Mpho Raboeane said they are planning to make more submissions to the Presidency soon. “Securing tenure is a game changer for South Africans in general. With security, one can start investing in their home and using that as a way to gain entry into the formal economy,” she said.

TOPICS:  Housing

Next:  Gauteng’s shelter system is “broken” because of state incompetence

Previous:  “No electricity, no vote”, shout angry Limpopo villagers

© 2024 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and GroundUp, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

We put an invisible pixel in the article so that we can count traffic to republishers. All analytics tools are solely on our servers. We do not give our logs to any third party. Logs are deleted after two weeks. We do not use any IP address identifying information except to count regional traffic. We are solely interested in counting hits, not tracking users. If you republish, please do not delete the invisible pixel.