State must help existing owners to make land productive‚ says Mahikeng resident

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A majority of the Mahikeng community have come out in support of amending the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

By 1pm on Wednesday‚ Parliament's constitutional review committee had heard comments from about 40 community members - only about a dozen of whom were opposed to amending Section 25 of the constitution.

Community member Letlamoteng Mosiane said the state should give current owners the tools to make their land productive.

"Do you have the budget to help the people who currently have land? I've got land... But your government cannot assist me. You are not ready. Help those first so you can tell us that 90 percent of land belonging to blacks are productive... Help them‚ then you can take other land and add to it‚" he said.

Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota‚ who was present on stage‚ received a tongue-lashing from some community members who addressed him directly.

They described his position that land must be expropriated with compensation as "disgraceful".

Katleko Motlaka‚ who introduced himself as a Fees Must Fall student activist‚ said there was a link between education and land.

"Our struggle as students is that of residence. Students are renting in back rooms of shacks. Our struggle as students is directly linked with the struggle for land‚" he said.

The public hearing will continue until 4pm and will resume in Rustenburg on Thursday.

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