The department of public works says it has identified thousands of properties that could be used for land reform and human-settlement programmes. This follows requests for land from the departments of human settlements and rural development & land reform. The government has a massive property portfolio of more than 93,000 buildings and about 29,000 land parcels under the custodianship of the department of public works. Critics of the drive to amend section 25 of the constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation often say the government should focus on redistributing land it owns, some of which is unaccounted for or underutilised. In a written reply to a question by Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald, public works minister Thulas Nxesi said 3,659 properties had been identified that could be used for farming. The properties will be subjected to a viability study by the department of agriculture, forestry & fisheries and the department of rural developme...

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