Tue, 15 Jun 2021

  • Matlhodi Maseko accused Patricia de Lille of deliberately stalling inner-city housing opportunities.
  • Maseko said De Lille's department holds the key to unlock tracts of land, which stretch from Simons Town to Camps Bay.
  • De Lille accused Maseko of lying and called her a "scripted experiment".

The acrimonious relationship between Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille and the DA in the Western Cape has taken another turn after provincial legislature member, Matlhodi Maseko, accused the minister of deliberately stalling inner-city housing opportunities in the province.

Maseko released a statement while Premier Alan Winde was answering questions in a house sitting.

Maseko claimed the greatest obstacle to unlocking transformative inner-city housing opportunities is the national Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.

"Even though the provincial Department of Human Settlements has identified land parcels in and around the City of Cape Town for an estimated 10 000 housing opportunities, the Department of Public Works has refused to hand over the land for housing," she said.

READ | 'Stop being lazy', De Lille tells DA who wants her sacked over Beitbridge border fiasco

Maseko said De Lille's department holds the key to unlock tracts of land, which stretch from Simon's Town to Camps Bay. Instead, it is dormant and at risk of land invasion.

"Worst of all, these land parcels are now sitting ducks for land invasions. While strategic land parcels are under the custodianship of the national department, these key housing opportunities remain simply a pipe dream."

Since October 2019, four land parcels were signed off by the minister for release in the City of Cape Town, Drakenstein and Stellenbosch municipalities in the Western Cape.

Matlhodi Maseko, Member of the Provincial legislature. Picture: Malherbe Nienaber

The DA requested clarity from De Lille on the release of six large tracts of land under her custodianship for housing.

These land parcels, including Ysterplaat, Denel, Culemborg, Youngsfield, Wingfield and Upper Darling Street, could yield over 93 000 affordable housing opportunities.

De Lille announced in 2019 that the government had identified 20 land parcels in the Western Cape to be released for human settlement.

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De Lille told News24 that the "DA must stop playing politics with land" and that Maseko's claims were "blatant lies".

"She [Maseko] is a scripted experiment, and she must first go and learn how government works.

"They have a mandate to provide human settlement and they should look at their own parcels of land, and explain to the people of the Western Cape what their plans are for the land that they own, and how they will use their land for the benefit of the many people who need housing."

Since she became minister, De Lille has been working on the inter-ministerial committee on land reform to fast-track any requests to the Department of Public Works for land for human settlement purposes across the country.

"I have approved the release of five parcels of land for human settlement purposes in the Western Cape, which is currently being processed," she said.

Source: News24

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