Land sum­mit a step in the right di­rec­tion

African Times - - News -

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.

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