DA leader Mmusi Maimane File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency/ANA

Johannesburg - Any abrogation of private property rights will fundamentally undermine South Africa's economy and lead to much greater poverty and unemployment, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on Saturday.

Briefing journalists in Johannesburg following the two-day meeting of the DA’s federal executive, Maimane urged government to distribute the more than 4300 state-owned farms and more than 1.9 million hectares of unused state-owned land to emerging black farmers immediately.

The DA firmly supported land redistribution and land restitution, and had a proud record of delivering on this constitutional imperative where it was in government. No other government in South Africa had done more to drive urban title reform than DA-led governments. 

"We have turned more than 75 000 recipients of state-subsidised housing into real home owners, for the first time," Maimane said.

Read: #DAfedex: 'Unacceptable that public must pay Jacob Zuma's legal fees'

#LandExpropriation: DA will not support any seizure of private property

The DA's position was clear - the speed of land reform and land redistribution had to be speeded up to address the wrongs of the past, and this had to be done within the current constitutional framework. The DA federal executive reiterated its complete and unwavering opposition to the proposal to amend the Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation, as well as any proposal to nationalise all land.

"We do not support the ANC’s model of permanent tenancy and reliance on the state. We are the party of individual property ownership. We want people to have a real stake in the economy, and to be able to build assets. We seek absolute and legally enforceable security of tenure for residents of communal land, and where this land is not owned in trust, secure title.

"These reckless proposals have been made by the ANC and the EFF working together, and have been adopted as official policy of the ANC - supported in a parliamentary motion to that effect. They have done so without any further detail or plan, resulting in justified anxiety about the future.

"This abrogation of private property rights would fundamentally undermine our economy and lead to much greater poverty and unemployment, as has been the case in every other context across the world where this mad policy has been attempted," Maimane said.

The DA had a duty to inform South Africans as to what was really at stake, and to mobilise them to defeat this motion and its reckless proposers. The DA would not shy away from that duty, no matter the objections of "those well-meaning persons who seem willing to perpetually trust the ANC, despite the weight of evidence to the contrary".

"All property owners - and all those who aspire to one day be property owners - should support the DA. We reiterate our call for the more than 4300 state owned farms, and more than 1.9 million hectares of unused state-owned land, to be distributed to emerging black farmers immediately," Maimane said.

African News Agency/ANA