Mayor will give metro-owned land to the people

Mzwandile Masina, the executive mayor of Ekurhuleni said the metro is not involved in this event. Photo: File Image

Ekurhuleni’s executive mayor Councillor Mzwandile Masina said the national treasury has found Ekurhuleni to have the best management of cash resources.

Giving the closing remarks during the presentation of the budget for 2018/19 at Eden Park Sports Ground, last Thursday, Masina said Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo Cities were the only other cities that had sufficient cash to pay creditors.

“Johannesburg and Tshwane will have to collect first before they can pay.

“We can pay immediately and on the spot,” Masina said.

The national treasury found that all metros had a surplus in their budget.

Ekurhuleni, however, had the highest surplus with R5.2-billion in cash.

This means that the metro is able to collect funds properly and manage the spending and payment of finances in a responsible manner.

Masina said the metro would be responding to Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s call for the rapid land release programme.

“The metro will release 120 farms to our farmers.

“We will release 40 pieces of strategic land parcels for development to those who qualify through proper and legal means and we will release 341 council-owned shops that must be given to our people for them to upgrade and trade,” Masina said.

 

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The metro will also release 89 sites to “credible churches” so that they can have land to conduct religious activities and is also availing land to the human settlements department to build, within the current term of government, 100 000 houses and provide 59 000 serviced stands.

“We have taken a firm decision as the Ekurhuleni council that all council-owned land in the metro must be habitable, must have all social amenities and should be given to our people free of charge,” Masina said.

The mayor said land reform must take place in an orderly and non-violent manner.

Hence a bill will be tabled in parliament to enable a constitutional and legal process of land expropriation without compensation.

Earlier finance MMC Doctor Xhakaza tabled a R44.4-b budget, the second highest budget of a metro in Gauteng which further cemented the pro-poor focus of the metro.

The operating budget is R37.5-b and the capital and infrastructure budget is R6.9-b.

Xhakaza said the mayor in his State of the City address had outlined concrete plans for the metro.

“We revealed a clear framework of sustenance and service delivery improvement, transformation of society and the metro and our ambition to be the preferred destination for investment and growth where the poor and the rich can co-exist in a mutually beneficial environment where they are empowered to realise their dreams and aspirations.

“We have tabled a very progressive budget that can only make our metro a better place to live, play and invest.

“Our people have heard how we are going to spend their money on turning their lives around.

“After all, the budget, as always, is informed by their views which we acquire through the IDP and budget consultation processes,” Xhakaza said.

 

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