‘Land not for state’s use’
MTHEMBU: ANC POLICY – EXPROPRIATION DOESN’T MEAN NATIONALISATION
‘Policy should be used to benefit those who had been historically dispossessed.’
ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu has said the governing party didn’t want to expropriate land without compensation for it to be nationalised. The EFF – the party that tabled the parliamentary motion on the policy earlier this year – holds that all land should be nationalised and placed under the custodianship of the state.
Briefing the media yesterday on the work of the ANC parliamentary caucus for 2018, Mthembu said: “The ANC has never, never pushed for the nationalisation of land so that the state becomes a custodian. It has never.
“We are saying, yes, let’s amend the constitution so that there is clarity that, yes, expropriation without compensation is a possibility; is an option. That is basically what we are saying – it’s an option among many options.”
He said the ad hoc committee, which would be established following a motion passed by parliament on Thursday, would be tasked with drafting the amendment to section 25 of the constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation.
Earlier, Mthembu announced that the ANC’s names for the ad hoc committee are Thoko Didiza, Vincent Smith, Phumzile Mnguni, Rosina Semenya, Lindiwe Maseko, Nono Moloi, and Phumzile Ngwenya-Mabila.
“In fact, we will move, in the ad hoc committee, in its first meeting, that Didiza chairs the ad hoc committee,” said ANC chief whip.
“She is a capable lady who also has vast experience in this area, having done some work in this area in the past.”
Mthembu reiterated that once the constitution had been amended, land expropriation without compensation would be an option, among several, to land reform, saying: “We are not the EFF, therefore, we don’t agree with the EFF that the state must have ownership of the land.” He said the policy should be used to benefit those who had been historically dispossessed, who need the land the most and the emerging farmers, among others.
“So, you need a mechanism to give the land back to those that the land was taken from,” he said.
“You [the state] first have it, cause once you first have the land, you locate it in your register as the state, [or otherwise] you might as well commit the very same mistakes that were committed by other countries.
“You might give the land to your cronies. You might give the land to the well-connected. And therefore, that is not the intention of the ANC.”
The party’s intention, added Mthembu, “is to address the original sin”, which was the historical dispossession of the land “and making of our people landless”.
“That’s where we are. I think it’s a fight we will have with the EFF when we deliberate on this matter.
“But we can assure you that the ANC will not blink.”
It was reported on Tuesday after parliament adopted a joint Constitutional Review Committee report recommending that section 25 be amended to explicitly provide for land expropriation without compensation, that the EFF would not be willing to compromise on its first cardinal pillar, which is nationalisation of all land.
On Wednesday, the National Council of Provinces also adopted the committee’s report, which means a Bill may now be introduced. –
We are saying, yes, let us amend the constitution