National Assembly adopts motion on land expropriation without compensation
Cape Town – The National Assembly on Tuesday set in motion a process to amend the Constitution so as to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.
The motion, brought by the EFF leader Julius Malema, was adopted with a vote of 241 in support, and 83 against.
The only parties who did not support the motion were the DA, Freedom Front Plus, Cope and the ACDP.
The matter will now be referred to the Constitutional Review Committee which must report back to Parliament by August 30.
The EFF's motion originally called for the establishment of an ad hoc committee, which had to report back to the National Assembly by the end of May, but the ANC suggested an amendment, which was supported by the EFF.
There will be a public participation process in the Constitutional Review Committee's work.
Opening the debate on his motion, Malema said: "The time for reconciliation is over. Now is the time for justice."
He said they did not seek revenge on white people, but a restoration of black people's dignity, which was deeply rooted in the land.
Gugile Nkwinti, who was minister of rural affairs and land reform until Monday evening (now minister of water affairs), said: "The ANC unequivocally supports the principle of land expropriation without compensation."
"There is no doubt about it, land shall be expropriated without compensation."
DA MP Thandeka Mbabama said there was an indisputable need to right the wrongs of the past, but expropriation without compensation "cannot be part of the solution".
She said it was used to divert attention away from the ANC's failures with land reform, and was a "lie peddled by the ANC, who fears being outflanked on the left by the EFF".
'We want to redress an historic injustice'
Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald asked what would happen to the land once it was expropriated.
"If you continue on this course, I can assure you there is going to be unforeseen consequences that is not in the interest of South Africa," he warned.
Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said there "is a danger that those who think equality in our lifetime equates that we must dominate whites".
"This is the PAC of '59, it's no longer the African National Congress," he said as he left the podium.
Rural Affairs and Land Reform Deputy Minister Mcebisi Skwatsha said the ANC was committed to building an equal society.
"You should not make the mistake that we want to oppress whites," he said. "We want to redress an historic injustice.
"We want to take everybody along in achieving an equitable society."
Agang MP Andries Tlouamma said: "Those who have taken our land by force, Jesus Christ must reject them."
He urged the ANC to "develop a backbone of steel and stop speaking with a forked tongue". - News24
The original motion:
Draft resolution (Mr JS Malema): That the House —
notes that South Africa has a unique history of brutal dispossession of land from black people by the settler colonial white minority;
further notes that land dispossession left an indelible mark on the social, political and economic landscape of the country, and has helped design a society based on exploitation of black people and sustenance of white domination;
acknowledges that the African majority was only confined to 13% of the land in South Africa while whites owned 87% at the end of the apartheid regime in 1994;
further acknowledges that the current land reform programme has been fraught with difficulties since its inception in 1994, and that the pace of land reform has been slow with only 8% of the land transferred back to black people since 1994, and that the recent land audit claims that black people own less than 2% of rural land, and less than 7% of urban land;
recognises that at the centre of the present crisis regarding the resolution of the land question is section 25 of the Constitution, the "property clause", which protects private property rights, and requires of the State to pay compensation when expropriating land in the public interest and for a public purpose further recognises that this property clause makes it practically impossible for those dispossessed of their land to get justice for injustices perpetrated against them;
acknowledges that in his State of the Nation Address, President Ramaphosa made a commitment that government will embark on a radical land reform programme that entails expropriation of land without compensation;
further acknowledges that any amendment to the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation must go through a parliamentary process as parliament is the only institution that can amend the constitution.
establishes an ad hoc committee, in terms of Rule 253 (l)(a), the committee to:
- Review and amend section 25 of the Constitution to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation;
- Conduct public hearings to get the views of ordinary South Africans, policy makers, civil society organisations and academics, about the necessity of, and mechanisms for expropriating land without compensation;
- Propose the necessary constitutional amendments with regards to the kind of future land tenure regime needed, and to the necessity of the State being a custodian of all South African land,
- consist of 11 members, as follows: ANC 6, DA 2, EFF 1, and other parties 2;
- exercise those powers in Rule 167 that may assist it in carrying out its task; and
- Report back to the National Assembly by no later than 11 May 2018.
The amendment moved by ANC and agreed to by the EFF:
Amendments to be moved by the ANC to the motion by Mr J S Malema
1. That paragraph 6 of the motion be amended as follows:
"Recognises that the current policy instruments, including the willing buyer willing seller policy, and other provisions of section 25 of the Constitution may be hindering effective land reform."
2. Delete paragraph 7 of the motion as printed on the Order Paper.
3. Substitute paragraph 8 of the motion with the following:
"notes that in his State of the Nation Address , President Cyril Ramaphosa, in recognizing the original sin of land dispossession, made a commitment that Government would continue the land reform programme that entails expropriation of land without compensation, making use of all mechanisms at the disposal of the State, implemented in a manner that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensures that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid and undertake a process of consultation to determine the modalities of the governing party resolution."
4. Amend paragraph 10 as follows:
"with the concurrence of the NCOP instructs the Constitutional Review Committee to
a. review section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses where necessary
b. after the word "amendments" to insert "where applicable" and delete all the words after "needed".
c. delete sub-paragraphs (c) and (d)
d. amend the date for reporting to the Assembly to "30 August 2018"."