ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke at a town hall-style meeting at the Cape Town City Hall last night, where he was peppered with questions for more than an hour. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – Local government should use land expropriation without compensation to ensure that working-class families were situated closer to economic opportunities, President Cyril Ramaphosa said last night.

“In this case, we would be able to reduce the cost of living for many people. We’ve actually been saying, cities need to release land and utilise (the) expropriation of land without compensation.

“Quite often, pieces of land that one could focus on (for expropriation without compensation) are owned by the City, and quite often a piece of land that you find in a number of places is abandoned by owners that we don’t even know.

"We are now going to be focusing on that because our interest is to bring our people closer to the economic opportunities in the city where they should be,” said Ramaphosa.

He was speaking at a town hall-style meeting at the Cape Town City Hall last night, where he was peppered with questions for more than an hour, as part of the ANC’s election campaign in the Western Cape.

Ramaphosa fielded questions, from an often rowdy crowd about youth unemployment, drug abuse on the Cape Flats, the absence of sports in schools and housing.

In the wake of the controversial “resurrection” at the weekend which made world headlines, Ramaphosa said the trend of pastors employing controversial methods to prove the faith of their congregants had raised concern in the highest echelons of government.

“Pastors, religious people with questionable practices have just surged to the fore doing things, which in a number of ways are taking advantage of our people.

“Our people also need to be alive to all this, but many of the people who have fallen into the practices of these religious leaders are ordinary people and they’re not fully aware of the bad intentions of some of these people,” said Ramaphosa.

He said such pastors could not be arrested because the argument would be made that they were being denied their constitutional right to freedom of religion.

Earlier, Ramaphosa received a warm welcome when he visited Khayelitsha, where he campaigned for the ANC, which is hoping to wrestle the Western Cape away from the DA which has been governing the province for 10 years.

Cape Times