‘We Condemn the Illegal Occupation of Land’ – President Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said during his Presidency budget vote debate in Parliament that the government condemns the illegal occupation of land.

“Land reform is an essential part of our economic growth strategy,” Ramaphosa told the House on Wednesday.
“The Freedom Charter says that the land shall be shared among those who work it.

“We are encouraging all South Africans to engage in the national debate around the proposal for the expropriation of land without compensation.”

Municipalities and state-owned entities need to release unused land and serviced sites for housing “so that our people do not resort to self-help measures”, he continued.

“We condemn the illegal occupation of land.”

His comments came after recent protests in Parkwood and Vrygrond in Cape Town. Residents belonging to various backyard dweller organisations have demanded that the City of Cape Town provide land for them where they can build houses. They say they have been on the waiting list for decades.

Ramaphosa commended Parliament for its decision to look at the issue of land expropriation without compensation.

“We commend this House once again for its groundbreaking resolution on the matter, as well as the thousands of South Africans who have already made submissions, reinforcing the value of consultation and collaboration,” he said.
“Through effective land redistribution and tenure reform, we will be able to unlock the value of one of the country’s most important resources.

“We are working to ensure that the urban poor can own and occupy land close to places of work, social services and education.

“We are responding to the need of our people for land for housing.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli asked the Economic Freedom Fighters to leave the House, following comments by leader Julius Malema.

Malema once again called for the occupation of land by the South African public, among other things, during his speech, which raised the ire of Tsenoli.

After Malema took his seat, Tsenoli rebuked him.

But an angry Malema responded: “We don’t care. Who are you to tell us what to do? South Africans occupy land. That’s who we are.”
After five minutes of argument that descended into a shouting match, the EFF contingent called for Tsenoli to “go”, showing the “substitution” sign, and even calling for National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to return.
They also chanted: “Occupy land!”

“Since Zuma left, you have been proper,” EFF MP Godrich Gardee said to Mbete – who was sitting with the ANC caucus – from his seat.

“You must go,” Gardee said to Tsenoli.

Tsenoli eventually ordered the EFF to leave with the assistance of the sergeant-at-arms.
After another five minutes, the entire EFF caucus left voluntarily, led by Malema.

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Source: News24Wire

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