ANC to test Con­sti­tu­tion to the lim­its on land ex­pro­pri­a­tion

African Times - - Politics - PIET RAMPEDI

THE ANC in­tends to push the lim­its of the. Con­sti­tu­tion as it presses ahead with the ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion.

The an­nounce­ment was made on Mon­day fol­low­ing a week­end sum­mit that looked at the best ways to go with re­turn­ing land to blacks.

Na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC) mem­ber Ron­ald Lamola said de­spite plans al­ready hav­ing been set in mo­tion to amend sec­tion 25 of the Con­sti­tu­tion, they would test the cur­rent clause as it is to see how far it can al­low for ex­pro­pri­a­tion.

“Our view is that sec­tion 25 as it cur­rently stands al­lows us to ex­pro­pri­ate with­out com­pen­sa­tion. But the de­bate has been that it has not been tested. So we are say­ing is that let’s put sec­tion 25 to the test,” he said.

Lamola fur­ther added the party would con­tinue to push ahead with its De­cem­ber res­o­lu­tion of the Re­dis­tri­bu­tion Bill to be in­tro­duced to as­sist the process. He said they would test the bill within the courts to see if it could stand.

“Af­ter that Bill put in place we will look into the pos­si­bil­ity of the Pres­i­dent tak­ing the Bill to the Con­sti­tu­tional court to test its con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity. That will then cut out the red tape and give clar­ity. So the po­si­tion of the ANC is that there is noth­ing that must stop us from achiev­ing the po­si­tion of na­tional con­fer­ence,” Lamola said.

The sum­mit looked at the is­sue of land holis­ti­cally, in­clud­ing the is­sue of farm dwellers. Lamola said it was dis­cussed that the farm­lands need to be ex­pro­pri­ated and dis­trib­uted to farm dwellers in the form of ti­tle deeds. Many farm dwellers work on farms for many years and end up bury­ing their lived ones on the land they don’t own. They end up be­ing kicked off the land when their ser­vices are no longer re­quired, leav­ing be­hind their loved ones.

“The plight of farm­work­ers and labour ten­ants was also a par­tic­u­lar is­sue of con­cern, as mil­lions of them con­tinue to face in­se­cu­rity in the land of their birth. The NEC will be asked to take de­ci­sions that will en­sure that par­tic­u­lar mea­sures are taken to pro­tect farm work­ers and dwellers, and that their con­tin­ued pre­car­i­ous po­si­tion in our so­ci­ety is ad­dressed. The ANC’s 54th Con­fer­ence res­o­lu­tion on Land Re­dis­tri­bu­tion is a call to ac­tion, to de­ci­sively break with the his­tor­i­cal in­jus­tice of colo­nial, apartheid and pa­tri­ar­chal pat­terns of land own­er­ship, and to build a South Africa that be­longs to all,” he said.

Chair of the eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion sub-com­mit­tee Enoch Godong­wana made it known that the or­ga­ni­za­tion not afraid of go­ing toe-to-toe with but wanted to de­moc­ra­tize com­mu­nal land and en­sure se­cu­rity for those it be­longs to.

He said the party ad­mit­ted to mak­ing mis­takes, in­clud­ing in­cor­rectly fol­low­ing the guide­lines of the 1975 Land Act which ad­vo­cated for ex­pro­pri­a­tion based on mar­ket value.

“It would be disin­gen­u­ous of us not to ad­mit that a lot of mis­takes over the past 20 years have been made. If you take the will­ing buyer will­ing seller, you look at ev­ery doc­u­ment of the ANC you will never find it. But our gov­ern­ment mis­tak­enly fol­lowed that,” he said.

Those who had gath­ered at the con­fer­ence also touched on the thorny is­sue of tra­di­tional land own­er­ship. For­mer Pres­i­dent Kgalema Mot­lanthe called for some­thing to be done about tra­di­tional lead­ers who have held the gov­ern­ment to ran­som by claim­ing land that does not be­long to them.

Spokesper­son Pule Mabe said the sum­mit also re­ceived in­put from and noted the re­port of the Mot­lanthe High Level Panel on As­sess­ment of Key Leg­is­la­tion & Ac­cel­er­a­tion of Fun­da­men­tal Change, and rec­om­mended that the ANC fur­ther en­gage with the spe­cific is­sues raised and the rec­om­men­da­tions out­lined in the re­port, in­clud­ing engagements with tra­di­tional lead­ers and com­mu­ni­ties liv­ing on com­mu­nal land.

“The work­shop out­comes doc­u­ment to the NEC will con­tain rec­om­men­da­tions on ac­cel­er­at­ing ur­ban land re­dis­tri­bu­tion, so that we de­ci­sively change the apartheid geog­ra­phy of our ci­ties and towns and un­lock eco­nomic value in town­ships, vil­lages and small dor­pies,” Mabe said.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion also iden­ti­fied the need for a South African agrarian revo­lu­tion as a key com­po­nent of land re­dis­tri­bu­tion, pro­mot­ing small holder farm­ers, and work­ing to­gether with emerg­ing and ex­ist­ing farm­ers.

Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa said the sum­mit looked at the grow­ing need for hous­ing in ur­ban ar­eas and how land ex­pro­pri­a­tion can help al­le­vi­ate that grow­ing need. He said they were mov­ing for­ward to the NEC meet­ing and would dis­cuss the out­comes of the land sum­mit and af­ter, would then be able to out­line a more clear po­si­tion.

“We also had an op­por­tu­nity to deal with ur­ban land and what should be done about it. Es­pe­cially where there is a hunger for land and houses,” he said.

Photo Vis­ual Buzz SA

ANC Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ace Ma­gashule

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