Former Cape Town mayor, who on Wednesday was appointed the new minister of public works and infrastructure, Patricia de Lille said one of her priorities was to fast-track the release of land owned by the state to make it available for housing, Business Day reports.
It was reported that the state owns more than 93,000 buildings, with more than 1.9 million hectares of land under the custodianship of the department De Lille now heads – public works.
Ahead of her swearing-in on Thursday as a minister, De Lille said her party, Good, had campaigned for the release of state-owned land, a matter which President Cyril Ramaphosa was aware of, she added.
The minister further said that infrastructure development would be crucial in the push to revive the country’s economic growth, adding that she was committed to dealing with the infrastructure backlog.
Former Western Cape premier Helen Zille took to Twitter to express her optimism in De Lille’s appointment to the portfolio.
Zille tweeted that De Lille’s appointment opened real opportunities, especially for Cape Town. She lamented that she and De Lille for years had tried in vain to secure the release of department of public works land in “well-located areas to build affordable housing to overcome the spatial legacy of apartheid. Here is a real chance!”
(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu. Additional reporting, Sipho Mabena)