ANC admits land reform failure, recommends security of tenure

ANC admits land reform failure, recommends security of tenure

ANC national executive committee member Ronald Lamola, left, and chairperson of the ANC sub-committee on economic transformation Enoch Godongwana briefs media at Luthuli House in Johannesburg, 21 May 2018, on the outcomes of the inaugural land summit. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The party’s land summit concluded that section 25 of the constitution must be used immediately for the expropriation of land where possible.

Security of tenure was high on the list of recommendations to be sent to the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) following the party’s land summit at the weekend in Boksburg, it announced yesterday at its Chief Albert Luthuli House headquarters in Johannesburg.

It’s a stance which is likely to draw ire from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) as it moves to protect the traditional ownership of three million hectares of land under the Ingonyama Trust for Zulus, and the EFF over its idea that all land must be owned by the state.

The ANC could also find an unlikely ally in the DA which has repeatedly called for security of tenure for property owners.

It also admitted yesterday to failing on land reform.

“The [Motlanthe] high-level panel [on assessment of key legislation and acceleration of fundamental change] said the reasons for our failures particularly on land reform are misguided policies, insufficient budget, failure to align the laws with the constitution, corruption, inefficient government systems, failure to fully exploit constitutional space especially in the area of expropriation without compensation, incorrect interpretation of the constitution,” said NEC member Ronald Lamola at Luthuli House.

“We must immediately use section 25 of the constitution to press ahead with the expropriation of land where it can be done in order to test the argument [that the constitution doesn’t need changing].”

Other recommendations included immediately passing the expropriations Bill, introducing redistribution legislation in parliament and calling for an immediate cessation of evictions of farm workers.

It was the idea of the expropriation Bill being pushed through parliament which immediately irritated the DA.

“The DA believes the Bill, which was sent back to parliament by former president Jacob Zuma due to a lack of public consultation, is fundamentally flawed and will not allow the ANC to pass it without due process and consultation,” said DA shadow minister of rural development and land reform Thandeka Mbabama.

“Parliament is an independent, multi-party institution and it does not take instructions from Luthuli House.

“We will not let the ANC reduce parliament to a rubber-stamping institution that absolves government from its policy failures.”

Lamola said the summit would recommend to the NEC fallow agrarian land should be targeted first. The former youth league leader and practising attorney also said the community-held land should be “democratised” so people in rural areas could have security of tenure.

– Amanda Watson

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