Land redress key to rectifying spatial, socio-economic imbalances

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister, Patricia de Lille, says land redress is one of the key drivers to address spatial and socio-economic imbalances, and ensure that public land is used for public good.

“The need for land in our country is great and greater urgency needs to be put in by all spheres of government for this work of releasing land to achieve land reform and ensure that more public land is used for public good,” De Lille said.

In a statement, the Minister said to date the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) has released 2 556 hectares of land (44 parcels) to the Housing Development Agency (HDA) for human settlement development purposes.

“Power of Attorney for these parcels of land has been given to the HDA for development planning purposes,” De Lille said.

Over and above the release of the 44 land parcels, the DPWI has also released an additional 17 land parcels, measuring 533 hectares, for human settlement purposes.

In support of infrastructure development, 15 hectares (11 land parcels) were approved for registration of servitude for roads, water, electricity and gas pipeline servitudes in this past financial year.

De Lille said her department has released 214 land parcels, measuring 30 277 hectares, for restitution. Last year’s target for restitution was 10 000 hectares “and this was substantively exceeded”.

“The DPWI has released 25 549 hectares of agricultural land (125 parcels) for the redistribution programme,” the Minister said.

According to De Lille, for this financial year, the projected targets for release include 7 100 hectares in various provinces for human settlement development purposes; 180 hectares for socio-economic purposes that will support Eskom and SANRAL programmes, and 154 745 hectares under land reform for restitution to support land ownership.

“This amounts to over 162 000 hectares targeted for release by the DPWI nationally for the new financial year,” De Lille said.

So far, for the 2022/23 financial year, of the 162 000 hectares of land targeted for release, the department has approved the release of the following: four parcels of land for human settlements in KwaZulu-Natal province for residents affected by the flooding earlier this year, and 1539.3 hectares for land reform.

De Lille said her department will continue to work hard to release national State-owned land for land reform purposes.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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