Sedibeng Residents Voice Opinions on Expropriation Bill
The Portfolio on Infrastructure Development & Property Management Committee of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature recently organised a public hearing on the Expropriation Bill at the Civic Hall in Vereeniging. As part of its efforts to gather public input on the Expropriation Bill, the committee is conducting a series of public hearings across the five regions in Gauteng. Bones Modise, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Infrastructure Development & Property Management, chaired the meeting in Vereeniging.
The session commenced with a presentation by Joe Lekala from the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, providing an overview of the existing Expropriation Bill from 1975 and the proposed Expropriation Bill [B23-B-2020], which, if passed, will become law.
Lekala highlighted the flaws in the 1975 Expropriation Bill, enacted before 1994. He explained, “Naturally, when the Constitution came into operation, a lot of problems were identified. However, in the interim, while the current bill has not been passed into law, courts have used the 1975 Expropriation Bill in harmony with the expropriation provisions of section 25 of the Constitution as the supreme law of the land.”
Following the presentation, residents were given an opportunity to express their views and raise questions about the Expropriation Bill.
Councillor Smith from Ward 25 in Emfuleni Local Municipality questioned whether the bill was just another means for the government to acquire more land. He pointed out that many farmers had not been granted title deeds for the land they received from the government. Moreover, he emphasised that most black farmers in Ward 25 had not received the necessary support and resources to effectively run their farms, resulting in ongoing struggles.
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Matshidiso Lephoto, a resident of Westside Park, expressed disappointment over the government’s broken promises of land allocation. She stated, “We still live in shacks even today, despite having been promised that we will be given land. How long must we live in shacks before we are given land?”
DA Councillor Dady Mollo called on the government to address the land it already owns before proceeding with the expropriation bill. He questioned, “The government owns thousands of hectares of land. My question is, why don’t we first use that land?”
Modise clarified that the event’s purpose was for the public to share their opinions on the proposed bill. He expressed gratitude to all participants for voicing their frustrations.
He emphasised the committee’s commitment to understanding the sentiments of all people in Gauteng. Although the committee comprises members from various political parties, it is one representative body of the Gauteng Legislature. In response to the issues raised against the Emfuleni Local Municipality, Modise assured that the committee would find a way to address them.
Residents of the Sedibeng District can still submit their written submissions for consideration.
Source: Sedibeng residents speak out on Expropriation Bill
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