Durban - The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has assured South Africans that land expropriation without compensation would be done responsibly, saying they were following in the footsteps of other “revolutionary” countries that still have flourishing economies.
Convener of the ANC task team in the province, Mike Mabuyakhulu said that taking land without compensation was one of the methods of land acquisition that was used in the revolutionary land reforms of France, Russia, Eastern Europe, China and Cuba.
“If not managed appropriately, there could be many undesirable consequences and, because we are forewarned, we will go in with our eyes wide open and manage it responsibly,” he said.
He was speaking at the ANC’s land summit in Durban on Monday.
Mabuyakhulu warned that no-one should threaten the government that there will be any backlash or danger of reducing investor confidence due to the land reform taking place.
“There are many international examples where they did this and their economies are flourishing,” he said.
He called for the land reform process to be “pro-poor” and offer a “multi-pronged approach”.
Mabuyakhulu said informal settlements, springing up in urban areas, showed the dire need for land reform.
“We are forthright with our approach. In some instances, it may land us in the courts but if the constitution is amended, we can move faster and remove the unnecessary impediments towards land reform,” he said.
The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal also supported President Cyril Ramaphosa’s approach to calm the Zulu nation, saying that the 13% of land under the Ingonyama Trust would be exempt from land expropriation without compensation.
The provincial co-ordinator of the ANC task team, Sihle Zikalala told delegates the provincial ANC, provincial government, the KwaZulu-Natal legislature and the provincial house of traditional leaders were not consulted in the panel’s public engagement programme.
Chairperson of the Ingon-yama Trust, Judge Jerome Ngwenya told Independent Media last night that they appreciated Ramaphosa and the provincial ANC’s approach, however, there were still concerns that are expected to be discussed at another meeting between King Zwelithini and Ramaphosa.
The ANC held the land summit to consolidate a proposal ahead of the Parliamentary hearings on land reform to be held in KZN next week but Mabuyakhulu, told delegates that the summit would only address how to implement the governing party’s resolutions on expropriation of land without compensation and not with issues of land tenure and the future of land, which falls under institutions like the Ingonyama Trust.
He said the land under consideration was privately owned land. “That is the land we are looking for. That 87% which is in the hands of commercial owners,” he said.