The Department of Public Works is in the process of categorising R7.5bn worth of unused properties for letting and permanent disposal. The state has a property portfolio of more than 93,000 buildings under the custodianship of public works. Critics of the drive to amend section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation often argue that the state should focus on redistributing land under its ownership, some of which is unaccounted for or underused. "Properties that are surplus to the needs of government shall be used to generate revenue and such will be advertised on an open tender basis," said Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi in a written reply to a question from the DA. Nxesi said land and properties continued to be identified for land reform and social housing, including student accommodation. "We have supplied higher education… with a list of buildings and established a joint task team to expedite the matter. [A total] 3,500ha are to be released to ...

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