South African parliament adopts motion for land expropriation without compensation

03 March, 2018, 06:13 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • Time for reconciliation over’ South Africa votes to confiscate white-owned land

On behalf of the ANC, the newly-appointed minister for water and sanitation Gugile Nkwinti (who before the Monday night cabinet reshuffle, was the land reform minister) said that the governing party would support the motion, brought in the name of the EFF leader Julius Malema.

He said in the previous year the matter had been about expropriating without compensation land belonging to the government, and had the party's conference taken a resolution on the matter by that time it would have voted with the EFF. "All our people ever wanted was their land to which their dignity is rooted", said Malema.

It was not clear when any change to Section 25 of the constitution to allow expropriation of land without compensation would take place.

Cyril Ramaphosa, who was elected party leader in December and the nation's president February 15, affirmed the ANC's decision to seize land without compensation to speed up land reform, but said it would only be done in a responsible manner that didn't harm the economy, agricultural production or food security.

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The committee, which comprises MPs from both Houses of Parliament, will have to report back to the National Assembly by August 30. "Visitors must behave. They must know that the land belongs to people of South Africa ... indigenous people of South Africa".

The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) rejected the motion and rejected the entire notion that black people had been unfairly dispossessed at all in the past. "No white person is a rightful owner of the land here in SA and the whole of the African continent".

The country's land reform policies "won't be another Zimbabwe", she told reporters in Johannesburg, referring to land policies of former President Robert Mugabe in South Africa's northern neighbor.

He said that under the EFF's proposal, no one, black or white, will own land.

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A 2017 government audit found white people own 72 percent of farmland - something Mr Malema has long-promised to reform.

"Landowners should consider the term of President Cyril Ramaphosa as a window period for the hedging of their assets, even if any expropriation without compensation is unlikely to be implemented immediately", says AfriBusiness CEO Piet le Roux.

But land remains predominantly in white hands more than two decades after the end of apartheid, sparking growing discontent among South African blacks.

"Foreign investments in South Africa will also not be safe, should plans for property expropriation without compensation be followed through", the group, which advocates for minority rights, said in a statement on Wednesday.

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