SACP lead community march in Ermelo over land

Mr Mzwandile Zulu (South African Communist Party) and Mr Touch Ndlovu (South African Communist Party) look on as Mr Vusi Shongwe (MEC: Agriculture and Rural Development and Land Administration) signs the memorandum containing a list of demands that the Communist Party wants with regards to the land issue in Gert Sibande District Municipality.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Gert Sibande District Municipality (GSDM) led a community march on last Thursday over land issues, including distribution and lack of service delivery on private-owned farms.

The march on 24 May was set to shut down the whole of Ermelo, but conflicting stories saw less than 100 people marching to hand over a memorandum of demands to an office of the Premier representative at Msukaligwa Municipality.

However, the march ended near the Department of Social Development offices near Wesselton, where Ermelo native, MEC of Agriculture and Rural Development and Land Administration in Mpumalanga, Mr Vusi Shongwe, represented the Premier’s office and accepted the memorandum.

Members of the South African Communist Party chant slogans during a march organised by the party over the issue of land which has been a sore point in Msukaligwa with community members invading municipal land.

In the memorandum the Communist Party listed their demands which included:

  • The allocation and distribution of sites and land to the poor and working class in all seven local municipalities of GSDM.
  • Private-owned farms which include Nyibe and KwaMabuza to be attended to and to provide service delivery.
  • Land for farming to be allocated to stock owners in townships
  • The eviction process in Steve Biko informal settlement in Wesselton to be stopped until the issuing of sites and land is finalised.

The issue of land is a burning issue in GSDM with Msukaligwa experiencing numerous land invasions in recent months.

The community of Wesselton invaded Ext 7, which led to the municipality taking legal action on anybody erecting poles to mark out land.

Mr Vusi Shongwe (MEC: Agriculture and Rural Development and Land Administration) listens attentively as Mr Touch Ndlovu (South African Communist Party: Gert Sibande Dstrict Secretary) lists the demands that his party wants concerning the land issue in the district.

Steve Biko informal settlement is the most recent land dispute with owners of the land on which community members have constructed dwellings, are also taking legal action and demanding residents to vacate the land.

“There is enough land to house the poor in and around GSDM, the people should be given the land,” Mr Mzwandile Zulu, SACP leader, said.

He was alluding to the fact that thousands of people can get land after a recent provincial land audit revealed more than 70 000 stands are available for human occupation.

Mr Shongwe signed the memorandum and vowed to hand it over to the relevant people.

“The fact that I am here shows the Premier’s office is aware of this march and we will do our utmost best to solves these issues,” Mr Shongwe, concluded.

Also read: EFF leads community of Enyibe in march over lack of service delivery

  AUTHOR
Amanda Mthembu
Journalist

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