Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance has denied that its opposition to land expropriation without compensation is equivalent to opposing land reform.
The party says it supports efforts to undo the apartheid legacy of forced dispossession which still reverberates in South Africa today and which "prevented black families from building inter-generational wealth by bequeathing property, which is the biggest asset most people will ever own". However, this must be done within the framework of the Constitution.
Speaking at Constitutional Hill, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the ANC has abandoned the Constitutional construct with its push for land expropriation without compensation.
The model pursued by the EFF would strip ALL property owners of their property - white and black South Africans alike would lose everything, he said.
According to the DA, the ANC and EFF's proposed model "deliberately seeks to stoke racial tension, and by definition relies on force. It is the sound-bite, simplistic solution of the violent demagogue, and should be rejected by all South Africans of every background".
"We regard the attempt to amend the Constitution as nothing but a populist effort to scapegoat the Constitution for the failure of the ANC, over twenty years, to reform land ownership. Every expert agrees with this view. Indeed, even President Kgalema Motlanthe’s High Level Panel report underscores the point: The Constitution is not an impediment to land reform, neither is the requirement for compensation."
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Maimane said according to the national Department of Land Reform’s own information, land reform projects in areas where the DA govern are six times more successful that at national level.
"Where we are in government, we focus obsessively on title deed reform - which makes real home owners of those recipients of state subsidised housing who have until now not had actual ownership of the homes they live in," Maimane said.
The DA's approach seeks to make people "real homeowners, and protects their right to build assets and wealth over time and hand these over to their children," he said.