Minister Linidiwe Sisulu fails to clarify redirection of national owned land
Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers says the national government has still not committed to revealing whether the five pieces of well-located land in Cape Town, have been redirected for human settlement development.
In July this year, at the National Council of Provinces’ (NCOP) Policy debate on Budget Vote for the Human Settlements, Appropriation Bill, Minister Simmers said: “I’d like to suggest to Minister Sisulu to encourage her colleague, the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, to also release the five tracts of well-located land, Ysterplaat, Denel, Culemborg, Youngsfield and Wingfield, along with the budget for human settlement development.”
In her response, the Minister of Human Settlements Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu said: “We will deal with the matter of the land that belongs to Denel and etcetera. This land has been redirected and is being used.” [sic]
As Minister Sisulu did not clearly state that Denel, Ysterplaat, Culemborg, Youngsfield and Wingfield have been redirected for human settlement development, parliamentary questions were put to her for a clear response.
Her written reply states: “None of the mentioned land parcels have been redistributed. However, 84.3496 hectares of privately owned land has been acquired for redistribution in terms of the human settlements programme, and a further 2037 hectares of nationally held public land, including state owned enterprises land, has been identified for release for human settlements development purposes.
Release of nationally held public land is currently coordinated by the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Land Reform and the release of prioritised state owned land parcels is at advanced stages. At an opportune time the IMC will report on the work it has undertaken.”
Said Simmers: “I’m disappointed in Minister Sisulu’s vague response. She had the opportunity to clarify her statement, but failed to do so. It seems as if there is a reluctance to utilise the land for human settlement development. She could’ve taken the people of the Western Cape into her confidence by announcing that these five pieces of well-located land have been redirected for human settlement development.
I’m however looking forward to engaging Minister Sisulu about the utilisation of this nationally owned land, as it’s been estimated that it could yield up to 93 000 housing opportunities. It is also ideally located close to the CBD, transport- and economic opportunities.
We are willing to work hand-in-hand with the Minister around these five pieces of land, as intergovernmental cooperation, across the three spheres, would clearly assist in addressing the housing backlog in the province.
As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, utilising technology, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient and sustainable human settlements in an open society.”