The government of Jubek State has threatened to take back playgrounds that it says have been grabbed in Juba.
The State Ministry of Information, Sports and Culture said some of those who have illegally occupied sports grounds are church owners.
According to the first Director General at the Ministry, such spaces were illegally awarded to tenants by local chiefs within residential areas.
Lo-Ugo Orelios told Eye Radio “some of these land grabbers get land from residential chiefs –assuming that it is their place, and allowing this people to start building,” adding that these unlawful possession of land is common in Kator and Nyakuron areas of Juba.
“Those areas will be returned so that children or sports in general will benefit from it.”
According to the 2009 Land Act, all land is owned by the people of South Sudan, but the government is responsible for regulating the use of public, community or private land.
But Lo-Ugo said most of the “upcoming churches” do not follow existing laws of acquiring land.
“Empty spaces have already been developed into churches, but they were meant for sport activities,” he said.
Playgrounds are considered as land owned collectively by all people of South Sudan, compulsorily acquired for special protection, and for the benefit or use of the community, and is held in trust by the appropriate level of government.