Public Works releases 2 million hectares of land for housing, says Zikalala

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Sihle Zikalala. Picture: Armand Hough / Independent Newspapers

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Sihle Zikalala. Picture: Armand Hough / Independent Newspapers

Published May 7, 2024


The Public Works and Infrastructure Department has released about 70 land parcels totalling more than two million hectares for purposes of addressing housing backlogs in the past three years.

This was revealed by Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Sihle Zikalala when he was responding to parliamentary questions from EFF MP Mathapelo Siwisa.

Siwisa asked Zikalala whether his department has made land available to any municipality, provincial government and/or social housing company to address housing backlogs in the past three financial years.

In his responses, Zikalala said his department was supporting the housing sector, the Department of Human Settlements, Housing Development Agency and municipalities by releasing state-owned properties identified as suitable and available for human settlement development.

“The cabinet memorandum No. 03 of 2019 approved the release of such properties to the Housing Development Agency to enable the agency to work with municipalities and relevant stakeholders to provide, among others, project management and development assistance for human settlements as well as ensure that the land is utilised for purposes released for,” he said.

“It is also worth mentioning that the powers of attorneys, to initiate development planning processes, have been issued to the Housing Development Agency.”

Zikalala said 27 land parcels totalling 217 408 hectares were released to 17 municipalities in eight provinces in the 2020-21 financial years.

These were released to municipalities that included Stellenbosch, City of Cape Town, Drakenstein, eThekwini Metro, Ekurhuleni, Mahikeng and Tshwane among others.

In 2021-22, 28 land parcels amounting to 1 851 120 hectares were released to seven municipalities that included Kopanong, Stellenbosch, Theewaterskloof, Kgatelopele, Emalahleni, Polokwane and Buffalo City.

Theewaterskloof received the most hectares of land totalling 79 020 during the same period.

In 2022-23, 13 land parcels totalling 4336 hectares were released to Saldanha Bay, eThekwini Metro, Msunduzi Metro and Endumeni in Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Cape Times