Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

CAPE TOWN - The ANC's "fake concern" with land reform intensifies greatly with every election cycle, and the party is using expropriation as an electioneering tool, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

The DA noted that cabinet had approved the new Land Expropriation Bill, which now stood to be gazetted this week and to be followed by a 60-day comment period, DA spokeswoman Thandeka Mbabama said.

"The ANC's fake concern with land reform intensifies greatly with every election cycle. Rushing these kinds of amendments will only offer a disservice to South Africans, as such a bill has far-ranging consequences and all decisions related to it need to be made with care and consideration.

"The DA is furthermore concerned that the failing ANC is using expropriation as an electioneering tool. This being based on the evidence provided by the ANC itself in previous elections, which did the very same with the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act that was pushed through before the 2014 elections. The urgency attached to this bill is entirely arbitrary," Mbabama said.

The process of changing section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation was still ongoing and there was no objective reason why the process should be rushed or why parliament could not consider the proposed constitutional amendments before this bill was passed. 

"This is pure political expedience," she said.

The DA wanted South Africans to own their land and property in a South Africa which suffered from a history of black people being denied land ownership.

"We do not need to change the Constitution to address this, we need government action. What we most certainly do not need is the EFF’s plan to make government the owner of all property and land, forcing citizens to rent their homes and land from government for life."

The DA believed people should own their land because they were the ones who best knew how to use their land. 

"Let’s bring land reform that makes the people land owners, not life-long tenants. Lets ensure that this process is done so correctly and not rushed as an electioneering tool to garner votes. Our success in the Western Cape has shown that we are serious about land reform and it can be done within the current constitutional framework," Mbabama said.

African News Agency (ANA)