THE Democratic Alliance (DA) supports a comprehensive land reform programme, and this must be done in a responsible and orderly manner, the DA said this weekend in response to land invasions in the Buffalo City Metro.
“The desire for land is understandable, but illegal invasions in various areas of the Buffalo City Metro (BCM) appear to be fuelled by populist rhetoric from certain irresponsible political parties and individuals,” MP Kevin Mileham, constituency leader of Buffalo City Coastal, said.
“The Constitution and legislation make provision for the restitution of land, as well as providing a process for ensuring that this is equitable to all concerned,” he said.
“We do not support the illegal occupation of land, whether it be public or private property.”
Mileham said land invasions are often the outcome of the slow provision of housing in a transparent manner and the failure of government to fully engage with communities on its land reform and housing programmes.
“It therefore falls on the Buffalo City Metro (BCM) Municipality and Eastern Cape Provincial Government to engage with communities and find a solution. Where the DA governs the provision of housing is done in a transparent manner,” he said.
He said the DA calls on police and law enforcement officials to enact the law in a peaceful manner, so that the rights of all are upheld.
“It is worth noting the fact that the BCM have obtained an interdict against the invaders, but no action is being taken to enforce it. The rule of law cannot be undermined in the pursuit of justice.”
He called on the BCM to urgently speed up its spatial planning and human settlements programmes, to ensure that the need for residential accommodation is urgently addressed. The DA will be seeking meetings with the relevant local and provincial departments to determine how the needs of the community can be resolved. In addition, the DA will be corresponding with the provincial commissioner of the SAPS to request firm action against land invaders who do not comply with the law.
“The DA supports land reform that is just, equitable and provides access to land and housing for all South Africans. We will not stand by while Buffalo City descends into anarchy,” Mileham said.