South Africans Panic as '#LandExpropriation' Without Compensation Looms

03 March, 2018, 00:20 | Author: Jason Torres
  • President Ramaphosa and his ANC party deputy President Mabuza wave to supporters ahead of the ANC

The country's constitution is now likely to be amended to allow for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation, following a motion brought by radical Marxist opposition leader Julius Malema.

The motion received overwhelming support from ANC and EFF MPs and was passed with 241 votes in favour versus 83 votes against.

Those opposing the motion to seize land include the Democratic Alliance‚ the Congress of the People‚ the African Christian Democratic Party and the Freedom Front Plus. Addressing reporters at the EFF's public health care campaign launch at Chris Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto on Wednesday evening, Malema elaborated on how the EFF views land expropriation without compensation.

The ANC has long promised land reforms aimed at evening the distribution of land among racial groups, still a highly contentious subject more than two decades after the end of apartheid.

"We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land", he said.

For almost a quarter-century, the South African government has resisted calls for radical land reform, mindful of sending negative messages to foreign investors, upon whom the country's weak economic growth still depends. She said that the government needed to right that wrong, but then said: "Expropriation of land without compensation can not be a part of the solution".

The DA governs Nelson Mandela Bay, Johannesburg and Tshwane through coalition votes from the EFF, the UDM and other opposition parties.

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Early on in the debate, it became apparent that the EFF and ANC were in agreement on the motion.

"A lot of black people have acquired agricultural land on their own over the last number of years".

Crosby emphasised that financial institutions are substantially invested in the agricultural sector and that expropriation without compensation will also impact negatively on the banking sector.

He said the party reaffirms the policy must be executed in an orderly manner and that illegal occupiers of land should face the law.

Political analyst Professor Somadoda Fikeni said the ANC was likely to "substantially" support the EFF's idea.

Following subdued gains after the announcement of Cyril Ramaphosa's cabinet reshuffle on Monday evening, the rand fell from R11.55/dollar at 17h00 on Tuesday to as low as R11.75/dollar by 17h35, after a motion was passed by the EFF and ANC to review land redistribution without compensation under the Constitution. "If you don't want it, you must go back to government and say I am leaving this place and you can take that which belongs to you and the government will reallocate it to someone else", he said.

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