Saturday, December 15

ANC encourages estate agents to talk about SA’s thorny land issues

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ANC NEC member Ronald Lamola called on estate agencies for real engagement about land redistribution and expropriation issues.

The ANC has called on estate agencies to come to the table to talk about the country’s land issues.

Speaking to estate agents at a Greeff Christies International Real Estate sales session on Friday, ANC NEC member Ronald Lamola said Project South Africa meant everyone’s voice needed to be heard.

He told estate agents not to shy away from discussion of land redistribution and expropriation issues but to come forward and contribute.

“We want to build this country together. Come and tell us what you want to commit to, how you can contribute.

Video: Vivian Warby

“Begin also by telling your clients about the land issues…”

Lamola said that in a recent audit it was found that 72% of the country’s land was owned by the private sector, including private individuals and trusts, and most of these landowners were older white males.

The government-owned only about 15% of the land, but it accepted that this 15% could contribute significantly to land transformation.

Video: Vivian Warby

Lamola said land should not only be shared among those who worked it but also among those who needed it. “We can’t have the majority of our people landless and the minority landowners.”

No one could turn a blind eye to the land issues.

Real change could come only when most of the landowners – the 72% – were part of the conversation and the transformation

He told estate agents: “Even go so far as to tell your clients they can give us land to redistribute.”

ANC NEC member Ronald Lamola, Mike Greeff, Simon Raab and Cameron Dugmore. Tracey Adams/African News Agency/ANA

Lamola went on to ask for real engagement: “If you have something you don’t agree with – let’s talk. Do not be bystanders of this change. Get involved. Come to workshops. Invite us to things like this.”

Earlier he slammed Afriforum who had gone to America to consult right-wing organisations on land issues. “Why don’t they discuss issues here and come to the party here so that we find our own solutions to land issues?

“There is no need to catch a flight and go and discuss this issue in Washington – let’s discuss it here. We can catch a flight from Johannesburg and discuss it here (in Cape Town) because, we believe, all of us must contribute to build a South Africa that we want.

“This is a project for all South Africans. All of us must participate.”

Referring to apartheid spatial planning issues, he said the vast contrast between European countries and South Africa, and even the United States, was that workers lived close to the CBDs where the work was. In South Africa, because of apartheid spatial planning, the situation was the opposite.

“The CBDs are where the rich people are, and as you go further out you find the poor people, who can ill-afford the heavy costs of transport to get to work.”

Lamola said 60% of the population was urbanised and this needed to be addressed in land discussions.

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