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The HDA has been very busy in the Free State, identifying privately-owned land for human settlement development.

In conjunction with the Free State Human Settlements Department, we organised a land assembly workshop to outline the provincial land needs for sustainable human settlements, and to develop the land pipeline for the current financial year and MTEF period.

The workshop was held over a two-day period on 22 and 23 November 2012. All 20 Free State municipalities were invited to this workshop, to provide their housing backlog information and land needs.

The workshop provided a pilot for a good working methodology and model for us on land matters in support of the provinces.

The process of acquiring land,identified during the workshop,has begun. This involves the development of pre-acquisition feasibility studies, engagement with the landowners if the land is feasible, valuations, basic environmental assessments and geotechnical investigations – and parallel to this process, negotiations on price with the private landowners has been initiated.

More than 2000 hectares of land was initially indicated, and out of this we are actively pursuing 1500 hectares of the land that has been assessed as feasible. How much of the 1500 hectares is acquired is dependent on the negotiations with the private landowners. There may also be situations where the properties identified have since been sold.