'Govt working on releasing state’s unoccupied urban land'

President Cyril Ramaphosa says government is working towards the rapid release of state-owned and unoccupied land in urban areas so that people can move on to serviced sites in towns and cities.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa says it's unacceptable that poor and working people live so far away from their places of work.

He is in the National Assembly for a question and answer session on Wednesday afternoon. This is his second Q&A session since he became the president of the country.

He says the government is working towards the rapid release of state-owned and unoccupied land in urban areas so that people can move on to serviced sites in towns and cities.

“The Lekgotla of our government decided that we should embark on a rapid release of land. As we’re examining this whole process, we want to start off with land that is owned by our various entities. Local government owns large hectares of land in urban areas and we want that land to be released.”

He says long commutes hit the poor the hardest.

“It is unacceptable that the working class and the poor and who are [mostly] black are located far from opportunities of work and amenities in our country. Among other things, this places enormous pressure on their family lives, working parents leave home early in the morning and return late after their children have gone to sleep.”

He started his session off by extending warm wishes to the Muslim community who are celebrating Eid al-Adha.

"More than 2,500 South Africans have travelled to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to join more than two million pilgrims from around the world for the Hajj pilgrimage."

WATCH LIVE: Ramaphosa answers questions in Parliament