South Africa parliament votes to confiscate land owned by white farmers

03 March, 2018, 06:13 | Author: Sherri Guerrero
  • President Ramaphosa and his ANC party deputy President Mabuza wave to supporters ahead of the ANC

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says commercial farming will be allowed to continue unabated, although land that is idle will be redistributed by the state, News24 reported on Wednesday night.

He added, however, that people's dignity had to be restored by expropriation without compensating the criminals who had stolen the land.

South African lawmakers agreed to the principle of land expropriation without compensation, and will review the Constitution to cater for this.

President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address said his government would go ahead with the land expropriation without compensation as mandated by the 54th national conference of the ruling ANC.

The DA's Thandeka Mbabama told the parliament that expropriation without compensation was a way to divert attention from the failure by successive ANC-led (African National Congress) governments. The national assembly, in concurrence with its upper house, instructed its constitutional review committee to review the constitution in line with the successful motion and report back to it by 30 August 2018.

The EFF commander-in-chief said South Africans should not pay rent on the land they are working.

The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) rejected the motion and rejected the entire notion that black people had been unfairly dispossessed at all in the past.

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The process continued throughout the following centuries with increasing brutality and a succession of laws, notably the 1913 Natives Lands Act, which legalised the theft of land by prohibiting Africans from owning, buying or hiring land in 93% of South Africa.

Statistics show that only eight million hectares of arable land have been transferred to black people, which is only 9.8% of the 82 million hectares of arable land in South Africa.

Section 25 (2) of the Constitution now states that property may be expropriated only in terms of law of general application for a public goal or in the public interest, and subject to compensation.

The ANC has long promised land reforms aimed at evening the distribution of land among racial groups, still a highly contentious subject more than two decades after the end of apartheid.

The official opposition Democratic Alliance party (DA) opposed the motion, arguing that changes to Section 25 will undermine property rights and scare off potential investors. "This will be implemented in a way that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensures that land is returned to those from whom it was taken by colonialism and apartheid".

"The fact is that financial institutions are substantially invested in the sector and that expropriation without compensation will also impact negatively on the banking sector".

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