Land summit a step in the right direction
THE ANC must be commended for taking the first step towards addressing the issue of land ownership. The recently held land summit in Gauteng is the first step in the right direction but it should not end there.
Discussions are important but what follows those is what matters. The party has a history of being a talk shop with very little action following. Them actually taking forward conference resolutions is a good sign, it shows the party is moving in a different direction.
Blacks are tired of being marginalised and being passengers when it comes to land ownership. It was good to hear the party admitting that it has failed to adequately deal with the land issue. Another perplexing issue was hearing the organisation saying the Constitution as is allows for expropriation without compensation.
If that is the case, what has the government been doing all along? Why has it taken so long for concrete action to be taken? The ANC now has an opportunity to rectify those mistakes and regain the public’s confidence. If properly managed, the process can lead to the organisation making inroads and regain its lost electorate.
But dilly dealing can sink the organisation into an even deeper abyss that would be extremely difficult to get out of. The time for talking is over. We the blacks have been patient long enough and we are slowly starting to lose our cool. Going forward elections will be decided by the ability of an organisation to ensure black people own land and play an active role in the economy.
That is why organisations such as Black First Land First and the Economic Freedom Fighters resonate with the youth and particularly blacks because they speak the language of returning one’s dignity and that can only be achieved through the ownership of land. The ANC needs to be leading this conversation and not be a spectator or passenger on that particular train.
The Constitution needs to be tested before the 2019 elections to show South Africans that the organisation is serious about this and not just doing lip service. Now is the time to grab the bull by the horns and show that you are the leader of society, an organisation that listens to the people and actually delivers.
We have passed the stages of just using rhetoric to gain votes and then relaxing for five years until the next elections. South Africans are no longer gullible and want to see words turning into action. Give us the land and we will continue to vote for you. That is the sentiments of blacks and it will not change until we are owners of where we live.