South Africa's ruling party President Jacob Zuma, addresses party delegates to close their policy conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, July 5, 2017. South Africa's divided ruling party is holding a major policy conference amid disputes over President Jacob Zuma, whose scandal-ridden tenure has prompted calls for his resignation from some of his former supporters. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday said delegates at the African National Congress’ 5th national policy conference in Johannesburg had robust discussions on the imperative to accelerate land redistribution in South Africa. 

“We agree on the imperative to accelerate land redistribution and land reform. Again we had robust discussions on the modalities to achieve this. We agree that using the fiscus for land redistribution must be accompanied by other measures if we are to achieve the goal at the required pace,” said Zuma in his closing remarks at the six-day conference held in Johannesburg. 

“Where it is necessary and unavoidable this may include expropriation without compensation. The Constitution provides for legislative changes to be effected in the democratic process.” 

Regarding education, Zuma said the conference had affirmed the ANC’s stance on provision of free education. 

“We wish to reiterate the policy of the ANC in regard to free education for the poor. 

"As I indicated in the opening address, we await the report of the Heher Commission on modalities for the implementation of free higher education,” said Zuma. 

“As the ANC, we are resolute that no child from working class and poor backgrounds will be denied access to education in general and higher education in particular.” 

Zuma commended the delegates from the ANC branches which were at conference for high discipline during the lengthy event. 

“Your presence reaffirms the fact that the ANC is still a people’s movement, a broad church and a true parliament of the people. I am proud to report that this conference discussed all important issues facing the ANC and the country in a disciplined manner befitting the stature of our movement as the leader of society,” he said. 

“Everyone agrees that this policy conference has been a watershed in the arena of the festival of ideas. Different ideas were articulated and debated. Various formulations were presented and tested so that the movement can come out of this conference with a common perspective on all issues that were being deliberated upon.”