Land taken during apartheid will be returned to rightful owners‚ Ramaphosa vows

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed that the government will return the land taken during apartheid to its rightful owners so that people can have land and work it.

Ramaphosa was speaking during the handover of 400 title deeds to the beneficiaries of low-cost government houses at Franklin township‚ about 30km from Kokstad‚ on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast on Wednesday.

The 450 houses worth R37-million were built by the Greater Kokstad Municipality in conjunction with the KwaZulu-Natal department of human settlements. It was intended to benefit people who live on farms.

Ramaphosa told hundreds of residents who braved chilly weather that handing over titles deeds to the Franklin residents was the fulfilment of one of the promises that had been made by the ANC government.

“Today we’re handing over title deeds which show that people own the houses. More houses are still going to be built because we have not finished our job. As we give out these title deeds‚ we’re saying there is still a lot of development work to be done‚” he said.

Ramaphosa added that “as we move forward we’ll also make sure that the land that was taken away will be returned so you cannot continue to stay on farms”.

“The land that was taken from our forefathers‚ we are going to make sure that it’s returned back to your hands. We want you to have your own farms and your own land. Our forebears were deprived of opportunities. Land was taken away from them and all their assets were taken away from them. Now our government is going to make sure that the land that was taken away from our people is restored to the people of our country. That our people must have the land and work the land‚” said Ramaphosa.

Human Settlements Minister Nomaindia Mfeketho said they wanted to celebrate with the Franklin community because there had been a problem with issuing people with title deeds since the dawn of democracy in 1994.

“We know there has been a problem with title deeds since 1994 because municipalities did not give title deeds and people were renting. But now we’re going to give title deeds‚” she said.

Ramaphosa‚ who earlier in the day had officially opened a new Home Affairs office in Kokstad‚ was accompanied by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development‚ Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala.

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