File picture: Zhou Liangjun/Xinhua
Cape Town - The decision of the ANC to deal with the amendment of the Constitution for the expropriation of land without compensation after the elections could face the potential risk of not getting the required support it needs in Parliament.

This could be the case if the ANC comes back with a reduced majority or fails to garner the required two-thirds majority needed for the constitutional amendment.

But the ANC’s Vincent Smith said, irrespective of the votes the party gains in the polls next year, they are on course with the process of the expropriation of land without compensation.

Professor Dirk Kotze of Unisa said the number of votes the ANC achieved wasn’t an issue because its approach to the issue was different to that of the EFF.

He said if the ANC scored 50% or 55% in the next polls it would still claim victory on the land issue as it would also use it in the campaign.

The electoral support for the ANC has declined in the recent past, and in the local government polls in 2016 it was sitting at 54%. The other parties wrestled the key metros of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay away at the time.

A recent Ipsos survey found that support for the ANC was still high, and President Cyril Ramaphosa was still rated on a scale of 7 out of 10.

Kotze said, irrespective of the outcome of the elections, the ANC would still pursue the expropriation of land without compensation. “The ANC believes they don’t have to change the Constitution. If they don’t get the two-thirds (66.7%) majority, it’s not the end of the world for the ANC. It (the expropriation of land without compensation) can be accommodated in the existing Constitution,” said Kotze.

Peter Attard Montalto of Intellidex said it would be impossible for the ANC to amend the Constitution before the elections because of the logistical issues. He noted that the ANC has also changed its position on this after initially saying the next phase on putting the draft bill would happen before the elections.

Smith said the issue of land reform was not about the ANC, but South Africans who need land. “The pressure of land will exist irrespective who is in power.” He said the next Parliament would deal with all the issues raised in the report on the expropriation of land without compensation.

Politics Bureau