Jack Bloom MPL
DA Leader, Gauteng Legislature
Confusion reigns as Government gives contradictory answers about state-owned land in Gauteng.
According to a parliamentary reply this week by Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti, 17% of land in Gauteng is state-owned, 65% is privately owned, and 18% is “unaccounted” land, which is explained as “the difference between the province extent and the sum of private land and state land. In some provinces the unaccounted extent is as a result of the existence of unsurveyed and unregistered state land.”
In a previous reply, however, on 18 March 2011, Minister Nkwinti said that 55% of land in Gauteng is owned by the state or its agencies.
This shows that Government does not really know how much land it owns or where it all is in Gauteng.
The unaccounted land in Gauteng is 332 145 hectares, which is quite a bit larger than Singapore, which is 268 000 hectares.
According to official replies to DA questions in the Gauteng Legislature, the Provincial Government will only complete a full land audit in the 2014/2015 financial year.
The DA believes that effective use of state-owned land can be a huge economic boost.
This is why the DA is running a “Land to the People” campaign in Gauteng, calling for title deeds to be given to emerging farmers on state-owned land.
It is essential that state-owned land in Gauteng is accurately identified as soon as possible, and that it is used productively to create jobs and provide redress for the 1913 Land Act that denied land to black people.
Land reform under a DA Government in Gauteng would have a high priority, driven from the Premier’s Office to ensure that the benefits of property ownership are spread as widely as possible.