The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) has released thousands of hectares of land for land restitution, human settlements and other socio-economic reasons over the past year.
Minister Patricia de Lille said this when she tabled the department’s budget vote on Tuesday.
At the weekend, De Lille joined President Cyril Ramaphosa and Ministers from the Land Reform Inter-Ministerial Committee IMC to hand over 31 title deeds to black farmers outside Groblersdal in Limpopo.
“In the past year, 2 574 hectares were released for the Restitution Programme to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) to finalise land transfers to claimants.
“Fifty-two parcels of land, totalling more than 3 000 hectares, were released for human settlements,” said De Lille.
In addition, 125 parcels of agricultural land for land redistribution, measuring 25 500 hectares and covering all nine provinces, were released.
In support of infrastructure development, 15 hectares or 11 land parcels were approved for registration of roads, water, electricity and gas pipeline servitudes.
In the 2021/22 financial year, the department plans to release 21 132 hectares for land restitution; 10 951 hectares for human settlements, and 180 hectares for other socio-economic purposes.
“The department also has an extensive property portfolio comprising 29 041 land parcels and 81 573 buildings – a total of 9 736 are vacant parcels of land ready to support the spatial transformation of our cities and towns,” said De Lille.
Properties identified for housing GBV victims
Through its Real Estate Management, the department has identified 83 properties in the past year to be allocated for use as shelters for victims of gender-based violence.
“Together with the Department of Social Development, we inspected 83 properties, and 30 properties were selected to be used by the Department of Social Development as shelters or support centres for people affected by GBVF.
“During the previous financial year, 12 properties were allocated to Social Development: six were in the Western Cape and six in the Gauteng Province,” said the Minister.
De Lille said in the year ahead, the department will prepare and release more properties across the country for Social Development to utilise in the fight against gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF).
“As DPWI, we have requested provinces and municipalities who also own buildings to also release some of their own buildings for gender-based violence purposes and not only wait for DPWI to do so.
“The department’s facilities management branch will be doing repair and maintenance (preventative and reactive) on state-owned buildings… to maintain the entity’s portfolio of properties.”
De Lille said the department has enhanced its strategy in reducing reactive maintenance by putting in place preventative contracts through total facilities management and term contracts.