The Western Cape Government has not received 14 000 hectares of land for human settlement development from the National Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille.
In a Cape Argus article, on 21 July 2020, she is economical with the truth, particularly since she highlights her own contradictions. She confirms that the National Cabinet, in October 2019, approved the transfer of 14 000 hectares of land, but then goes on to state that the “Western Cape received land in District Six and in the city centre over and above that. I’ve given them six houses for the fight against Gender Based Violence.”
The six houses referred to, went to the Western Cape Department of Social Development. District Six forms part of the failed land reform project, which is driven by the National Department of Rural Development, and currently under a litigation process.
Where is the 14 000 hectares that is being referred to?
She goes on to call me a “blue liar” for pointing out her failures and deceitfulness. Minister De Lille should clearly inform us when the land was transferred and when the Power of Attorney (POA) was given. It is critical to note that in the absence of a POA, a third party is unable to commence with statutory processes such as Water Use License Assessments (WULA), Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and town planning on the owner’s land, while the transfer has not been concluded.
In April, this year, the Housing Development Agency (HDA) wrote to Minister De Lille requesting for the conclusion of the POA for the Ithemba land, as it will be used as part of the re-blocking efforts in the Rapid Informal Settlement Support and Upgrade Programme (RISSUP), which is geared to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, there has not been a single response from Minister De Lille’s office.
We have a housing backlog of close to 600 000 in this Province and Minister De Lille’s continued failure to transfer the land and to issue the POA to the HDA as per the Cabinet resolution, causes further delays in addressing the housing needs of our residents. The people of this province should enquire from Minister De Lille why she’s conducting herself in this manner, particularly since she’s denying law-abiding citizens the opportunity to improve their lives.
Being deceitful, manipulative and petty does not help anyone, and I’d like to propose to Minister De Lille to embrace an intergovernmental co-operative spirit in her dealings with other spheres of government, so that the needs of our people can be addressed.
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, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open society.”