'Let the people own the land' - Maimane

DA leader Mmusi Maimane. /ANTONIO MUCHAVE
DA leader Mmusi Maimane. /ANTONIO MUCHAVE

The DA hopes to give citizens land ownership should it unseat the ANC from power in next year's general elections.

The plan was outlined by party leader Mmusi Maimane during its provincial council in Pretoria on Friday.

"We must not be cowing to the populists who are saying let the government own the land. Let the people own the land," Maimane said.

This comes as the land debate was ratcheted up, with King Goodwill Zwelithini threatening war should his land be expropriated.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that the government has no intention of tampering with land administered by chiefs on behalf of the people.

The DA is calling for a proper audit to determine how many white and black people own the land. "We need a proper audit of the land which should be conducted by a group of researchers respresenting different people. We will also engage with farmers," DA shadow minister of rural development and land reform Thandeka Mbabama said yesterday.

Mbabama said the DA intended giving people title deeds if it came into power.

"Government is buying farms for people but it is keeping title deeds. People want the land to come to them."

Maimane said the DA would target corruption and jobs as the cornerstone of its strategy to win over voters.

"The election is about jobs. If you don't have a job your sense of dignity is robbed. Our plan for jobs is to grow the economy. The first priority is to ensure that we can give people a living grant," Maimane said.

Other DA plans include passing a law in Parliament that would make it possible for small businesses to thrive, and selling the troubled South African Airways.

The DA has identified Gauteng as a must-win province. Maimane said the party wanted 2-million votes in Gauteng.

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