President Cyril Ramaphosa File photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency/ANA
Parliament - Municipalities and state-owned companies must expropriate and release unused land for housing the country's urban, landless poor, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday.

"Municipalities and state-owned enterprises need to release unused land and service sites for housing so that our people must have houses, so that they also do not resort to self-help measures through the illegal occupation of land," Ramaphosa said during the presidency budget speech in the National Assembly.

"We condemn illegal land occupation and rather redirect our people to go to land that would be made available to them as our municipalities take land through either expropriation or other means of land that is unused, so that it can be put to good use in the hands of our people."

Parliament this year adopted a resolution that the country must forge ahead with land expropriation without compensation as the willing-buyer, willing-seller model of redistributing land, which blacks were forcibly removed from during apartheid, had not yielded any major results.

Twenty four years after democracy, the majority of land remains in white hands despite whites making up less than 10 percent of the South African population.

African News Agency/ANA