Land expropriation ‘at the heart of economic development in our country’ - Duarte

ANC Deputy Secretary General Jesse Duarte.
ANC Deputy Secretary General Jesse Duarte.
Image: Masi Losi

Parliament has received about 1.1-million public submissions‚ both written and oral‚ on the amendment of Section 25 of the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation.

This is according to ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte‚ who said the amount of submissions “bears testimony to the importance of land to our people‚ black and white”.

Duarte was speaking during a media briefing at Luthuli House on Tuesday‚ which focused on the outcomes of the party’s national working committee meeting.

“We call upon parliamentarians to studiously apply their minds when considering all these inputs‚” she said.

“The ANC’s position is that although the constitution does not preclude expropriation of land without compensation‚ the constitution should be amended to make this matter explicit… It will be done in a manner that is in line with‚ and is in respect of‚ our rule of law.

“We prefer to amend the constitution to give effect to land expropriation without compensation. That was informed by our discussions in the lekgotla of the ANC‚ including listening very carefully around the country to the inputs being made‚ by and large‚ by black South Africans. One does need to give effect to Section 25 with appropriate law‚” said Duarte.

“It is not an elections matter; it is a matter that is at the heart of economic development in our country‚” she added.

Duarte denied the perception that the ANC rushed to make a decision on land reform because the EFF had dominated the public discourse around it.

“We have a resolution in 1994 that says the land must be given back to the people‚ and in our January 2008 statement we then say the ANC must put forward without delay the idea of expropriation of land without compensation and we also criticise the willing-buyer-willing-seller principle put in place‚” she said.

“The ANC wishes to me more thorough than to be populist. In the meantime‚ the EFF is borne on a populist platform… It has taken us a while to analyse this.

“We can no longer simply have our resolution on paper; we need to give effect to it.”

Duarte also criticised AfriForum’s views on the matter. “We are not naïve about the reaction of AfriForum. To imply that people’s land will be taken over‚ this is absolutely not true.”

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