STATEMENT TO THE WESTERN CAPE PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT BY BRETT HERRON, GOOD MEMBER AND SECRETARY-GENERAL
10 SEPTEMBER 2020
Public land is in the custody of various governments as an accident of history.
All three spheres of government have a constitutional obligation to use the public land, they hold in their custody, to advance their constitutional duty to provide adequate housing.
This DA government has openly demonstrated that they do not accept this or do not understand this.
Premier Winde has said, repeatedly, that he will only release public land for housing if the national government does so first.
The Premier’s policy is unlawful and it is immoral.
The Premier and the DA are hostile to providing decent housing.
Why will they not allocate land for housing when it is so desperately needed, unless the national government does so first, yet they can provide R1.3billion for policing in the City of Cape Town when policing is not a provincial mandate – and with no condition that national government match this.
We will never be a safe city if we are not a just and housed one.
This government has been caught out by the Western Cape High Court which recorded, in its Tafelberg School judgment, the former Head of the Provincial Department of Human Settlements saying:
“For the record…it needs to be stated that until now, no property that resorted under the custodianship of the (Provincial Department of Transport and Public Works) has been released and used for human settlement development. In contrast therewith, [the PDHS] has already transferred the custodianship of literary hundreds of hectares of serviced sites to DTPW for educational and other purposes.”
The court said that it is apparent that the former HOD of Housing “had a good understanding of the imperatives of land reform and housing as contemplated in ss25 and 26 of the Constitution.”
It is shocking to learn that the Provincial government had never released land, in the custody of its Public Works department, for housing purposes.
If the DA has a problem with the slow release of land in the custody of national government then lead by example. Look to the land in your own custody and release it for housing.