Media statement from DA leader in Ekurhuleni Clr Phillip de Lange:
“Following Thursday’s heated council meeting, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Ekurhuleni fought to uphold the rule of law and protect property rights for all.
The ANC-led coalition, headed by the executive mayor, Clr Mzwandile Masina, resolved to initiate the process of land expropriation without compensation.
This, despite the DA opposing this item, stating it is against our Constitution.
As the DA, we requested a roll-call on the item, which saw the Speaker of Council, alderman Patricia Kumalo, call each councillor present in the Chamber to individually vote on the item, instead of voting as political parties.
The ANC used its majority to push the item through, but the roll-call did see some of the ANC-coalition partners leave the chambers to not participate in the vote.
This clearly showcases how controversial this item was, and exposed cracks within the shaky coalition.
The DA explicitly rejects the idea of expropriation without compensation, as we are firm believers in redress and will continue to fight for property rights for all.
This is a non-negotiable element in South Africa.
Sadly, the slow pace of reform in Ekurhuleni and throughout South Africa has been the cause of many social ills.
People are growing tired of empty promises and the lacklustre approach to remedy these actions is hampering inclusive growth.
We need a government who wants to serve the people and not just their political party. Ekurhuleni has over 119 informal settlements, with people crying out for homes and title deeds.
But the ANC-led coalition has been unable to fulfil its constitutional mandate of delivering adequate housing, despite having funding available.
We believe starting the process of expropriation without compensation will not help deliver more housing, as the ANC simply do not have the political will to serve the people. Since the dawn of democracy in 1994, the housing backlog has grown exponentially, because of the ANC’s lack of housing delivery and rampant corruption.
What will change now, as the metro is already notoriously slow to handout title deeds to residents?
As the DA, we believe in ownership.
Ownership brings not only the security of tenure, but it also empowers people to use this asset to gain surety of capital, and it creates generational wealth.
Masina has also requested Council to give him the power to expropriate land without compensation, clearly showing his true nature of being power hungry.
This because as the executive mayor highlighted in an interview he knows the owners of the land, but is not willing to engage with them, because all he wants is the land.
Parliament has been given a November deadline regarding the expropriation without compensation, but Masina couldn’t and jumped the gun as a cheap political ploy to appease ANC voters, who are rapidly losing confidence in the ANC-administration’s ability to deliver on housing.
People deserve to own their homes and should not fear having these been taken away.
We cannot deprive someone of their property.
The right to property is a fundamental human right, and this “test case” being undertaken by the ANC in Ekurhuleni is the first step towards trampling on people’s human rights.”