ANC electioneering fuelling state-sanctioned land grabs – Thandeka Mbabama

DA MP says govt has failed to redress unjust and brutal dispossession of black people of their land

ANC electioneering fuelling state-sanctioned land grabs

21 August 2018

On Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa will answer questions in Parliament and he must use this opportunity to come clean on the government’s stance on land expropriation without compensation.

Reports today indicate that land grabs could potentially bankrupt the Land Bank. If land expropriation without compensation proceeds, it could expose the Land Bank to bankruptcy, as it will have to pay back its creditors up to R41 billion in loans.

The ANC’s clear as mud approach to land expropriation, is not only compromising investor confidence in our economy, but has also led to an exponential increase in land invasions.

Three weeks ago, the ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on the SABC that the ANC supports land expropriation without compensation and has resolved to change Section 25 of Constitution. This announcement came towards the end of Parliament’s countrywide public hearings on land. Essentially, wasting millions of the people’s money and ignoring the thousands of South Africans who made their voices heard during these hearings.

The ANC’s sudden policy shift in support of land expropriation without compensation is nothing more than an electioneering ploy, sponsored by their populist policy bedfellows, the EFF.

The reality is that the ANC is merely using land expropriation without compensation as a smokescreen to hide the fact that in 24 years of governing, it has failed to redress the unjust and brutal dispossession of black people of their land.

Instead of providing clarity and guidance during this time of confusion, the ANC has made matters worse.

As at July 2018, there have been 87 incidents of land invasions outside the Cape Town metro in the Western Cape, alone.

Private land has particularly been the target of illegal land occupation, which has placed local governments under severe pressure.

The blame for the anarchy that is slowly brewing, falls squarely at the feet of the ANC. In fact, it is now the ANC who have become the land grabbers.

Through the ANC’s model of land expropriation without compensation, the land will not be returned to its rightful owners, it will be under the custodianship of the state. While the failing ANC now wants to expropriate 139 farms without compensation, it conveniently fails to mention that the government is withholding ownership of 4 300 farm from beneficiaries.

As far back as 2006, the ruling party made broken promises when they committed to release massive tracks of state-owned land, in among others, Wingfield and Ysterplaat, which could provide 100 000 housing opportunities.

The DA has continuously pushed for the government to release state property located near the Cape Town CBD to develop housing opportunities which will bring South Africans, in particular those affected by the 1913 Land Act, closer to economic opportunities.

The DA-led Western Cape government has a 62% land reform success rate compared to the ANC’s more than 90% failure rate. Land reform will never succeed under the ANC because of the government’s lack of post-settlement support and the general maladministration and corruption within its land reform programme.

The DA is the only party that can deliver effective land reform without touching the Constitution.  Under a DA government:

You will own your land, not rent it;

Your property rights will be protected;

You will own your RDP house;

Your land claim will be settled; and

You will receive the support to farm successfully

It is time that the ANC and President Ramaphosa come clean about land expropriation without compensation. Unlike the DA, the ANC does not wish to place the land back into the hands of the people.

Issued by Thandeka MbabamaDA Shadow Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, 21 August 2018