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ANC to change Constitution to expropriate land without compensation

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: GCIS

The ANC has decided to change the Constitution to expropriate land without compensation.

This was decided at a two-day lekgotla held in Irene, outside Pretoria, which concluded on Tuesday.

The decision has far-reaching consequences for both the South African economy as well as its political space. It comes following yet another quarter in which the South African economy has shed jobs, with Statistics SA announcing an increase in the unemployment rate on Tuesday. The move is set to further dent investor sentiment and confidence by local business in the economy.

Ramaphosa’s own investment envoy, former finance minister Trevor Manuel, said in June that explaining SA’s ongoing land debate to investors had been tougher than expected.

The move is seen to reflect the majority perspective expressed at the ongoing hearings on land, taking place across the country, headed by parliament’s constitutional review committee.

The ANC could not be reached for comment, but Business Day has confirmed the decision with three senior sources within the party. The party is set to make the concomitant submissions to the land hearings.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has just released a recorded message on some of the challenges facing the country, Particularly the issue of Land expropriation. For more news, visit: sabcnews.com

It can, however, be viewed as a decidedly political move to neutralise the EFF whose members have been dominating parliamentary hearings on whether or not the Constitution should be amended.

Insiders say the party’s decision will allow it to manage the amendment appropriately. There has been intense debate within the ANC about whether section 25 of the Constitution should be amended.

The ANC took the decision on expropriation without compensation at its national elective conference at Nasrec in December, and partnered with the EFF in parliament in February to vote for a motion to this effect. The EFF wants all South African land to belong to the state, but the ANC’s stance on this remains unclear.

There have been dissenting views in the ANC and its alliance partners over whether the constitutional change is even necessary.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to make an announcement to this effect late on Tuesday. - Business Day

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