23 May, 2018
ANC out to clear legal hurdles on land issue
ruling party wants expropriation without compensation to be included in the
22 MAY 2018 - 05:34 GENEVIEVE QUINTAL
bill that might pave the way for the government to seize land without
compensation - which has been back and forth between the Presidency and
Parliament for the past decade - has to be updated to bolster the principle,
says an ANC transformation committee.
could set the stage for a replay of clashes in the ANC that could undermine
President Cyril Ramaphosa and affect market sentiment.
ANC's economic transformation subcommittee, briefing the media on Monday on the
party's land summit, said that it was recommending the inclusion of
expropriation without compensation in the Expropriation Bill, as it believed
that the Constitution allowed the government to do so.
ANC is pushing ahead to address the land question, uncertainty over which has
already caused investor and market jitters. The ANC partnering with the EFF in
Parliament to vote through a motion supporting land expropriation without
compensation in February caused the rand to weaken and intensified investor
fear, centred on damage to property rights and the financial sector, as well as
the effect it could have on agriculture, land values and food production.
outcome of the two-day meeting will be discussed by the party's highest
decision-making body, the national executive committee (NEC), on Friday.
recommendations may raise the hackles of those in the NEC who during the
national conference in December pursued a populist and factional stance on
changing the Constitution to include expropriation without compensation.
stance at the coming NEC meeting will be a test of whether the remnants of the
Zuma faction are still on the attack or whether they have fallen in line.
senior ANC leaders argued that the Constitution already made provision for
expropriation without compensation, the Zuma group accused Ramaphosa and his
supporters of backtracking on the party's Nasrec resolution.
NEC member Ronald Lamola said on Monday the party's view, after the two-day
land summit, was that section 25 as it stood allowed the government to
expropriate without compensation, but the debate was that it had not been
must] put forward an expropriation bill, which will clearly stipulate
expropriation without compensation and under what circumstances," Lamola
discussion in the workshop was that after that bill has been put in place we
must look into the possibility of the president taking the bill to the ConCourt
[Constitutional Court] ... to test the constitutionality of the Expropriation
Bill to expropriate without compensation."
the apex court came up with a different view or a different interpretation then
the party would look at amending or clarifying the legislation.
said the ANC needed to ensure that the constitutional-review process was used
to avoid ambiguity and bring greater clarity to section 25, if it was found
that existing legislation impeded or slowed down effective land redistribution.
stood, seven national departments, provincial governments and local
municipalities had expropriation powers. "We must simply proceed to
expropriate, and to do so without compensation in certain circumstances, and if
they are challenged they must not be scared to go to court and clarify the
principle," Lamola said.
head of the ANC's subcommittee on economic transformation, Enoch Godongwana,
said the next step for the ANC would be two pronged. It would first develop its
submission for the constitutional-review committee out of the recommendations
made at the summit and would then outline a programme of action.
said "quick wins" would be delivering land which was in government
hands. The government would also need to look at its institutions and see
whether they were able to deliver on this.
said the summit had also called for a redistribution bill, which would be a
principal focus for the ANC.
said restitution processes dealt only with people who had been dispossessed.
There were many people who were not dispossessed but who needed land.
Restitution was a lengthy process, with claims potentially taking up to 40
years to resolve, he said.
Source: Forestry South Africa