- The City of Ekurhuleni council has approved plans to expropriate 4 plots of land without compensation
- The council overwhelmingly approved the plan which will see the plots of land repurposed for human settlement
- Three of the properties are privately owned, while the fourth is owned by the state
The City of Ekurhuleni council has approved plans to expropriate four plots of land without compensation. Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina said the council wanted to test the limits of section 25 of the Constitution and become a pioneer in the land reform efforts in the country.
The council passed the plan with 109 councillors voting for the plan and 77 against the plan. The land will be repurposed for human settlements. Three of the four properties are privately owned while the fourth is owned by the state.
Masina said it was important to only use land expropriation without compensation for specific goals and not to take advantage of the current provisions in section 25 of the Constitution.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Masina hailed the courage of the council in passing the plan which would enable the City to effectively deal with the housing crisis in the metro.
Maroelamedia.co.za reported that the Democratic Alliance (DA) leader in Ekhurhuleni, Phillip de Lange, accused Masina of being irresponsible. De Lange said the mayor and the council should have waited for Parliament to conclude its land expropriation hearings.
De Lange pointed out that Parliament was scheduled to make recommendations about if and how land expropriation should be handled by November.
Section 25 currently allows for Mayor’s to expropriate land without compensation under certain circumstances.
De Lange revealed that the council’s property registry was in a state of disarray which meant the council had only recently realised that the fourth plot of land was owned by the state.
The DA leader said another concern he had was that the mayor had not contacted the current owner of the property which meant he could, in theory, decide to expropriate other plots of land without ever contacting the rightful owners.
Masina said the owners of the properties had relinquished their property rights and responsibilities and the city would now put the land to use to serve the greater public interest.
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