Sexwale hits back at Malema

HUMAN Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale yesterday hit back at ANC Youth League president Julius Malema over his repeated calls for land redistribution, saying his department was playing a large role in giving land back to the people.

Malema has made repeated calls for land to be redistributed - by force and without compensation if necessary.

In his address at the Vision 2030 youth summit in Durban yesterday, Sexwale said since 1994, about three million houses had been built by the government, particularly for the poorest of the poor, which was the "best strategy of land redistribution through human settlement and at the same time accelerating housing opportunities".

"As a result the amount of land parcelled away together with the housing units is to the tune of more than 76000 hectares or equivalent to 800 square kilometres. That is land distribution and our department is actively involved because the construction of these houses do not happen in a vacuum, you can't build a house in air but on land," Sexwale said.

"When we build a house we bring along bulk infrastructure as well and we give people plots because when you own a house, you own a plot and that is land redistribution."

He said land distribution did not mean a "scenario in which a man would stand tall and point to vacant land and say this is my land from here to there".

"It makes sense for Malema to say we need to distribute land, but I hope this loud-mouth young man is not talking about a situation where land is lying unused and someone is just happy to boast about it."

ANCYL general secretary Sindiso Magaqa said the youth league would only comment on what Sexwale said "once it was in possession of the full details".

"We will have to conduct an investigation before commenting," said Magaqa.

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