Government has identified more than 270 pieces of state land for redistribution. This has been revealed by Deputy President David Mabuza who has been answering questions in the National Council of Provinces in Parliament.

Mabuza says President Cyril Ramaphosa will make an announcement.

“We have identified for the first phase, 278 portions of land that are in the hands of the state that ultimately must be redistributed back to the people. What we are doing, we are measuring the extent of these properties. We are looking at the land use of these properties. We don’t want to say we are redistributing land that is barren, that can’t be used. So we want to redistribute land that is going to be utilised and we are going to tell you that in this land you can do one-two-three, because we have done our homework as government,” expressed Mabuza.

Mabuza says 40 pieces of state land which has been reclaimed has already been given back to the claimants. “ All those people that have put claims on land that is owned by government, we have taken a decision that we are going to give them free of charge. We are processing those pieces of land. They are almost 260 of them. Forty of them we have already given them back. A ceremony is going to be made where we are going to hand over. They have claimed it and we have given them free of charge.”

Mabuza says government is also working to deal with state departments that fail to pay suppliers on time. Recently, the Small Business Development Minister reported that state departments owe small businesses more than R600 million.  Service providers are supposed to be paid within the 30 day period.

The Deputy President says he will personally confront those disregarding this policy. “I will ensure that all government departments pay their debts… I will write to ministers and instruct them to pay.”

Mabuza acknowledged that the non-payment has serious repercussions for small and medium businesses. “In government I will remind them to pay…we are destroying jobs, we are destroying businesses by not paying.”