Improved housing key element of land reform

President Cyril Ramaphosa says one of the targets of the land reform programme is to identify well-located areas for social housing in urban areas.

Speaking at the Franklin Housing Project title deed handover ceremony in Kokstad, KwaZulu-Natal, President Ramaphosa said millions of African, Coloured and Indian South Africans were forcibly removed from their land, stripped of their assets and consigned to a life of poverty.

“Since 1994, we have been working to correct this historical injustice by providing houses to the poor, undertaking land restitution and providing basic services like water and electricity,” President Ramaphosa said on Wednesday.

The President explained that part of the land reform programme is to give people the opportunity to own their own homes.

“It improves the prospects not only for those who are given title deeds, but also the generations who will follow. Home ownership can contribute to improved educational outcomes and reduce household poverty. Families are more secure and communities are more stable.

“We are issuing title deeds as part of the broader effort to put our people at the centre of service delivery. We are delivering on our commitment to transform South Africa to the benefit of all, particularly the poor.”

Prior to handing over title deeds, President Ramaphosa officially opened the new Home Affairs offices in Kokstad.

This, according to President Ramaphosa, shows that government is committed to building a government that is accountable and prioritises its citizens.

“We remain resolute in our commitment to working with communities to find sustainable ways to meet their needs. The people must themselves be agents of change and make democracy thrive by being actively involved in development in their communities.

“We need people at grassroots to take ownership of projects and monitor the implementation of programmes.”

President Ramaphosa said government should not wait for service delivery protests to respond to the problems people face.

“When people are involved in the provision of basic services, they in turn take full ownership and care of public resources. It is not enough for government to work for the people; it needs to work with the people.

“Communities need to work with the police to tackle crime and lawlessness. They need to work with education authorities to improve conditions in schools and with the health authorities to improve clinics and hospitals.”

President Ramaphosa said communities must work with their councillors to improve service delivery and promote local economic development.

“When we work together, we can better manage resources and channel them to where they are needed most. In so doing, we will be ensuring that the ideals of a better and prosperous South Africa are realised for our people and for the generations to come.”

Earlier this month, the Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba opened new Home Affairs offices in Hluhluwe, KwaZulu-Natal – a move that will see services   expanded to marginalised communities. – SAnews.gov.za