Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille says government has identified 20 land parcels in the Western Cape to be released for Human Settlements purposes.

“The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has identified 20 land parcels in the Western Cape province to be released for human settlements purposes.

“The department has received requests from the Western Cape provincial department of Human Settlements, also from various municipalities and the housing development agency and they have supplied us with all the relevant supporting documents aligned to the integrated development plan of the municipalities,” she said.

De Lille said once this has taken place, the requests are subjected to the relevant administrative purposes and once these processes support the release of the properties for human settlement purposes, they will get Ministerial approval and thereafter, it will get National Treasury endorsement before being transferred to the relevant municipalities and government entities that requests the land.

“Currently, we are working on 22 land parcels and once these properties have gone through all the processes, we will release them as soon as possible,” she said.

One hundred pieces of land released for restitution

The Minister said, meanwhile, that over the past two months, the department has released more than 100 pieces of land for land restitution and that the land has all been handed over to the National Land Claims Commission.

“…I am putting pressure on them to make sure that they hand over that land to the beneficiaries. Some of our people are dying while waiting for land restitution claims. So we are working very hard to complete all of those outstanding land restitution claims.”

Update on land released since 1999

De Lille said, meanwhile, that the department has released 181 properties for land restitution purposes since 1999, which amounts to just over 11 696 hectares of land

“We must first understand that state land must be distributed by all three spheres of government and state-owned land is being transferred by the Department of Public Works to support the land reform programme because we are holding the land just in custodianship on behalf of the public.

She said the department has also availed 22 properties for human settlements purposes, amounting to over 2 770 hectares of land that we have availed to the Department of Human Settlements.

“And then we have also released 60 properties with an extent to 21 739 hectares to agricultural land reform under rural development from 2000 till to date for land redistribution purposes.”