Diverse views on land during hearings in East London

26 July 2018 - 14:39 By Bhongo Jacob
Hundreds of people attended the land hearings in East London at the Orient Theatre on July 26, 2018.
Hundreds of people attended the land hearings in East London at the Orient Theatre on July 26, 2018.

The public hearings on land expropriation without compensation are underway at the Orient Theatre in East London in the Eastern Cape on Thursday.

Farmers‚ community members and politicians have attended the 24th meeting about whether section 25 of the Constitution‚ which deals with property rights‚ should be amended to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

A total of 30 people are given three minutes each to air their views on the land debate that has gripped South Africa.

The EFF's deputy president Floyd Shivambu was in attendance at the East London land hearings at the Orient Theatre.

Sipho Ncamashe of the Rharhabe kingdom said the expropriation of land without compensation would restore human dignity and heal the colonial past as the issue cut across the nation and all indigenous people.

Raleni Potelwa said government must be the custodian of land. "If land is given to the government then there will be progress in SA."

Thobile Hlengwa said young people were deprived of growth without land. "We support this agreement‚ the status quo in our country is not sustainable‚ we cannot run away from the fact that land is tied to the economy. We cannot open a spaza shop or have manufacturers if we do not own land."

He said the economy was still controlled by a minority of white males. "If we are given land‚ the government won't have the burden of building RDP houses because people will own houses on their own land. Blacks are squashed like sardines in squatter camps. I'm a working class citizen yet I cannot get a bond‚ we are squashed living in our mothers’ backyards while we want to grow and have our own houses."

The DA’s Terri Stander said the land should be given to the people. "Apartheid was evil‚ and dispossessed the majority of people in our country from their land and I admit I am a beneficiary of white privilege in the apartheid era‚ but if we are to achieve equality‚ and unity‚ we have to have justice through land ownership and land reform is one of those ways that we can create equality and unity."

- DispatchLIVE