Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. File photo: Chantall Presence / ANA.
PARLIAMENT - The department of human settlements will be the first expropriators of land once legislation comes into effect, Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Tuesday.

Addressing the media ahead of tabling the department of human settlements, water and sanitation budget vote in Parliament, Sisulu said legislation governing the expropriation of unoccupied land in the public interest would be pivotal to ensuring more housing opportunities are created for the poor closer to cities.

"With the new draft legislation for expropriation in the pipeline we will make sure that we are the first takers in the queue for expropriated land," the minister said.

"In fact, we intend to include in the bill a clause that all state-owned land and public land in the cities is to be used for housing purposes."

The Expropriation Bill was withdrawn from Parliament last year to allow MPs to grapple with the question on whether section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to explicitly allow for the expropriation of land without compensation. MPs voted in favour of the amendment late last year. 

The Constitutional Review Committee tasked the Sixth Parliament with effecting the necessary amendment to the Constitution before a new expropriation bill is tabled in the national legislature.

African News Agency (ANA)