The Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, has continued the ANC’s practice of empty promises by failing to honour the agreement to provide over 1500 people in Gwatyu, Eastern Cape, with the report into the Land Rights enquiry commissioned by her department. This Land Rights enquiry is the first step in ensuring that over 1500 South Africans rightly receive rights to the land they have lived on and worked for the better part of a century.

I have received confirmation from the Chairperson of the Gwatyu Communal Property Association (CPA), Thembakazi Matsheke, that the community has yet to receive the final report that was due last week, Sunday 28 October. I have therefore today written to Minister Nkoana-Mashabane, requesting that the report into the Land Rights enquiry be handed to the people of Gwatyu within 10 days – failing which the DA will take legal action to compel the Minister to act.

The people of Gwatyu have been imprisoned by expropriation without compensation for generations. It only happens to black South Africans and as long as black South Africans do not own title to land, property rights will not be secure, wealth will not transfer and the economy will not grow.

The people of Gwatyu have been in a protracted battle with the ANC government for over two years seeking the transfer of ownership of the approximately 42 000 hectares – constituting 88 Gwatyu farms – from the government to the Gwatyu CPA. It appears the ANC government is hellbent on keeping these South Africans dependent on the state, rather than giving them ownership of the land they live on.

Amending the Constitution has never been the issue. Capacitating the courts and judiciary to be able to adjudicate on what is ‘just and equitable’ is the issue.

The Gwatyu CPA live by the creed of ‘nothing for us, about us, without us’ but as long as the ANC hold their keys to opportunity, the people of Gwatyu will remain excluded as economic outsiders by government insiders. Nowhere is the campaign for change that builds One South Africa For All more imperative than with the Gwatyu 1 500.

Gwatyu is one of many black communities across the country whose battle for land ownership continue to be championed by the DA. In Limpopo our lawyers are doing everything that they can to ensure that state owned land is sold to Mr David Rakgase, who like the people of Gwatyu in the Eastern Cape, has lived and worked this land for decades.

We will continue to fight to ensure South Africans become land owners in their own right, and are not dependent on a failing ANC government.

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