27/03/2018 06:18 BST | Updated 27/03/2018 06:18 BST

EFF: Speed Up Expropration Without Compensation To Stop Illegal Land Invasions

The EFF says the only way to stem the tide of illegal land occupation is to ensure that land is expropriated without compensation.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters

The EFF in Gauteng says the only way to stop the illegal occupation of land is to speed up the expropriation of land without compensation, TimesLive reported. EFF Gauteng chair Mandisa Mashego reportedly said that the EFF will "continue to stand on the side of the people to ensure that South Africa remains a home for Africans", as long as Gauteng as over a million hectares of unaccounted-for land.

"The sooner land expropriation without compensation can be effected so ... land may be redistributed equally‚ the better.

"The EFF adopted this land occupation programme at its first 2014 National Assembly held in Bloemfontein, and it remains a permanent programme," Mashego was quoted saying.

There have been several cases of illegal land occupations in the country since Parliament passed a motion advocating land expropriation without compensation in February.

According to Eyewitness News (EWN), police arrested several people attempting to occupy a piece of land illegally in Midrand on Saturday afternoon. The group appeared to be affiliated to the EFF. Another group of people from Alexandra were reportedly stopped from occupying land in Marlboro.

Nine people were also arrested in Hermanus in Western Cape for public violence during an attempted land occupation, at which tyres were burned, computers looted from the local municipality, and a private bus reportedly set alight.

DA member of the mayoral committee for public safety in Johannesburg Michael Sun told Business Day that there was an upsurge in illegal land occupation since the motion in Parliament. He said this was happening in all metros run by the DA.

Residents close to Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg, reportedly took over a vacant piece of land and began erecting structures last week, saying the land had been vacant for ten years and they could no longer wait for Parliament to pass legislation on land expropriation.

The Centre of Excellence on Land at AgriSA's Annelize Crosby told TimesLive that most land invasions were taking place on urban, not farm land.

"It should concern all South Africans and government. While the frustrations are understandable‚ we cannot tolerate a situation in this country where it is a free-for-all. That will end up in chaos for everybody concerned. Government needs to act quite quickly to prevent this spreading even further," she said.