Khaya Magaxa speaks as the ANC in the Western Cape hosts a provincial land summit to engage Western Cape communities and stakeholders on land reform and redistribution at the town hall in Stellenbosch. Pictures: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)
CAPE TOWN - A Land Claims Court acting judge has called on the ANC government to take land from struggling golf courses that are situated on city land.

Addressing the land summit hosted by the ANC and alliance partners in Stellenbosch on Friday, Wallace Mgoqi cited Parow and Kuils River golf clubs as examples.

The ANC in the Western Cape has said the two-day land summit will be used to form the basis of its oral submissions before the Constitutional Review Committee in August. Mgoqi stressed that audits should be conducted so golf course clubs didn’t see this as a tactic to target them.

“My emphasis is that commonages (municipal land) have always been state land. Municipalities have always had the role of administering (commonages) for town residents, hence every town in SA has commonage land.

“Now most municipalities have golf courses on municipal land,” Mgoqi, a former City of Cape Town manager, said.

Mgoqi added: “In today’s living, the golf courses are recreational facilities and when we put them on a scale (against the need for human settlement), golf courses are for recreation, while the other is for human needs, such as human settlements and food security and other survival needs.”

“(The state) doesn’t even have to expropriate the golf courses.

“They already belong to the government. They should say: ‘We’re giving you a notice - we’re terminating the use of this land’.” Earlier in the summit, he referred to the Durbanville golf course, which had struck a deal with the city in which houses were built years ago.

“There is a precedent, certainly for the ANC to take some of the golf courses that are struggling, like the Parow and Kuils River golf courses. Afterwards there must be an audit so that there are no questions like ‘why are we being targeted?’” said Mgoqi, who is also the incumbent commissioner for gender inequality. An audit would ascertain the financial health of those golf courses, he said. “It’s not even expropriation.”

Yesterday’s panel, moderated by Fatima Shabodien, comprised ANC NEC member Ronald Lamola, the ANC Women’s League Youth Desk’s Asanda Luwaca, farm worker activist Nosey Pieterse and acting ANC provincial chair Khaya Magaxa. ANC head of economic policy Enoch Godongwana is scheduled to address the summit today.

Keynote speaker Lamola took to the dais and said it was important to ask: “What land are we talking about (that is) to be expropriated without compensation?”

He added: “Redistribution is the most appropriate way to address the land question.”

Lamola said: “The expropriation group would spell out who will have expropriation powers, but you cannot take away expropriation powers from local government.”

He said provincial Public Works, Human Settlements and Basic Education departments and state agencies such as Sanral and Eskom have expropriation powers.

Weekend Argus