Mogale City Local Municipality Executive Mayor Councillor Naga Patrick Lipudi and Municipal Manager Maanda Raedani held a briefing session with the church leaders on how the City intend to dispose of Municipal owned land.

The briefing session held at the Council Chamber attracted more than 300 church leaders from across the length and breadth of Mogale City, including our rural areas. The idea of acquisition and disposing of land is guided by two separate resolutions taken during Council meetings held last year.

Addressing men and women of the cloth, Executive Lipudi and Municipal Manager Raedani spoke at length on how the City intends to make the vacant spaces available to churches. The Municipal Manager went as far as indicating that the city will create a seamless approach wherein land zoned for the specific purpose like church use will only be sold or auctioned to churches’.

“We come a long way with churches as a municipality and saw it fit to bring in all the church leaders across our city to be part of this important discussion, where we are going to in detail address the processes and procedures of disposing of vacant municipal land. Local government has an essential responsibility to acquire and make available land and buildings; in the first instance, for the purpose of developing and maintaining municipal infrastructure as well as promoting service delivery. In this regard we decided to spare churches several spaces and we hope this will bode well with you,” Mayor Lipudi added.

Currently there are about 86 identified open and vacant stands zoned for religious purposes across the city. Municipal Manager Raedani said the purchased land should be used in line with the applicable town planning rules. When the auctioning or selling process begins, the occupants of the sold land will be given 90 days to settle their respective purchases.

“Part of these resolutions taken at Council stressed that the purchased properties should be used in compliance with an applicable town planning policy, national building legislation and related guidelines. The Mayor indicated that there are about  86 sites that have been identified and earmarked for churches purposes.

“We have decided as a municipality to allow for the occupants of those vacant stands to be able to pay for the stands within the stipulated 90 days. We have also further undertaken to increase the payment period from 30 to 90 days, because we understand the plight of our people – in doing so we hope that we are in compliance as required by legislation,” he added.

While the church leaders were confident that their requests are now being addressed, there were questions on when and how the municipality was going to start the process of selling land. However, the heads at the helm of our Political and Administrative leadership managed to explain the processes that the city has adopted, including a by-law for the disposal of this vacant land.