Zille thwarts ANC’s illegal land grab

Western Cape premier Helen Zille has thwarted attempts by the former ANC ­provincial administration to illegally transfer 1400ha of provincial land to the national government.

Worth R500-million, the prime land was quietly transferred to the new Housing Development Agency the day before elections last year. Zille accused the ANC of asset-stripping and took legal advice to recover the land.

Zille told the Mail & Guardian this week that she had found a clause in an original land availability agreement allowing her to cancel the transfer with a month’s notice.

“We have all 1400ha back after the illegal and unconstitutional attempt by the previous administration to transfer the land to the national ­government in the days before the 2009 election,” she said.

Included in the transfer was land promised to land claimants in Constantia, who have waited more than 15 years to return to the area from which they were evicted under apartheid. It was also feared that housing delivery would be slowed by a legal row.

It is understood that the Democratic Alliance-run provincial and Cape Town governments did not want to provoke Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale by crowing about the recovery of the land.

Some land recovered by the province is earmarked for an expansion of the N2 Gateway housing project, launched amid fanfare by former housing minister Lindiwe Sisulu. The Western Cape government, the Cape Town council and the national government are discussing working together to rescue the project.

Residents have complained of structural defects and independent forensic auditors found that the national housing department robbed the project of agreed funding.

The DA-led city administration claimed that Sisulu, who is now defence minister, locked it out of the Gateway project.

Sisulu and Sexwale crossed swords last November after he told Parliament that the housing department under Sisulu spent R22-million on theatre productions.

As housing minister, Sisulu and Western Cape MEC for public works Marius Fransman signed an agreement transferring the Western Cape land to the Housing Development Agency. The land was then signed over by former public works minister Kholeka Mqulwana to Taffy Adler, the agency’s chief executive.

The development agency was set up to replace the now technically insolvent government housing agent, Thubelisha Homes.

Zille had given Sexwale the province’s legal opinion that the transfer was illegal and he pledged to take the matter to Cabinet. “I never heard from him again, so I presume it got stuck in the national Cabinet.”

Zille then found the loophole and acted on it. “The properties had not been transferred in terms of the transfer agreement and the land reverted to us,” she said.

Cape Town mayor Dan Plato confirmed that Sexwale had called him to ask the city to work with the province and the national government on the Gateway project.

Spokesperson Chris Vick said Sexwale would not comment.

Advertisting

Senior SANDF colonel involved in an alleged business scam

A senior soldier who is part of South Africa’s peacekeeping missions is accused by her colleagues of swindling them out of of hundreds of thousands of rands in a nonexistent business deal

AU pushes the frontiers of transitional justice

Now these important policy developments must be implemented

Mass store and job cuts at Massmart

Changed market conditions and an appalling economy has hit low end cash-and-carry outlets

Courts to guide land expropriation

Two bits of law need to be approved before a court can decide if land owners will be compensated
Advertising

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.