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State must ensure people have land - Zuma

 In terms of the Constitution, the state has to ensure that citizens are able to obtain land rights, President Jacob Zuma said at the ANC's policy conference on Tuesday.

“Our position is that the current willing buyer, willing seller model must be reviewed,” Zuma, who is also the ANC's president, told delegates at Gallagher Estate in Midrand.

President Jacob Zuma stands behind the ANC's centenary flame at the opening of the party's national policy conference in Midrand. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA. Credit: SAPA

“It tends to distort the land market through inflating the prices of land earmarked for restitution.”

Zuma said the model made land reform expensive and delayed land restitution to the poor. A wide range of proposals had been submitted to the conference.

“(This will) enable faster movement on this matter, within the confines of the Constitution and the law,” Zuma said.

The ANC Youth League wants expropriation without compensation, and said it would push for a policy change at the conference. This has caused tensions between the ANCYL and opposition parties. The Youth League also wants the nationalisation of mines.

On Tuesday, Zuma said ANC delegates had to deliberate on how the state could obtain an equitable share from mineral resources.

“The state exercises sovereignty over the entire mineral and petroleum resources within the republic,” he said.

“In the same vein, Article (2)(1) of the United Nations Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States, grants states full permanent sovereignty, including possession and disposal over all their natural resources.”

Zuma said the country needed to go “back to the basics” and take difficult decisions that it could not take in 1994. The structure of the apartheid economy had remained largely intact, and had not allowed for higher or inclusive growth.

“We must create a thriving mixed economy, where the state, private capital, co-operative and other forms of social ownership complement each other in an integrated way to eliminate poverty and foster shared economic growth,” he said.

“To achieve inclusive and labour absorbing growth, the state must play an active role in the economy, driving development especially in neglected areas.” - Sapa

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