Four pieces of land in the City of Ekurhuleni had been earmarked for expropriation without compensation by the metro at its monthly council meeting in Germiston on Thursday.
Three pieces of land are privately owned, while the other is owned by government.
Executive mayor Clr Mzwandile Masina announced plans to initiate expropriation without compensation in order to test Section 25 of the Constitution.
“It is important to note that expropriation can never be a means to an end, but it has to inherently serve a particular purpose of interest. To ensure strict compliance to Section 25 of the constitution, the first step was to exclude any hint of arbitrariness and/or unreasonableness in our action, including assessment of the possibility of an alternative property or availability of less invasive means,” Masina said during his address.
Masina further emphasised that the decision had been taken in order to serve public interest and that the City had to act immediately to deal with its housing challenges.
“The Housing Act, read in the context and in line with the Bill of Rights, has detailed responsibilities of municipalities in respect of making housing opportunities accessible. These rights place certain responsibilities on the city in respect of which land and access to housing are central.
“The Constitution enjoins the state to ensure progressive realisation of these rights. The City has, since its inception, been putting in an effort to increase access to housing by, inter alia, purchasing available land for housing purposes.” Masina reiterated.
The City of Ekurhuleni has identified four occupied properties, whose owners have essentially relinquished their property ownership rights and responsibilities. The City plans to immediately develop and establish townships on these pieces of land.
“We want the City of Ekurhuleni to be at the forefront of land reform in Gauteng. We were the first to launch the Rapid Land Release Programme, and now we want to be the first metro in Gauteng to expropriate land without compensation for the purposes of human settlement. Our resolve on this matter is guided by our commitment to serving the people of Ekurhuleni,” Masina said.
The four properties are:
• PTN 40 of Farm Rietfontein 63-IR‚ which is 4.4. hectares;
• REM 2 Elandsfontein 90-IR‚ which is 101.2 hectares;
• The remainder of Extent Benoni 77-IR‚ which is 205 hectares and government-owned; and
• PTN 406 Farm Driefontein 85-IR‚ which is 33.6 hectares.