EFF threatens not to vote with ANC on land expropriation
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Cape Town - The EFF has threatened to not vote with the ANC when the motion and the bill that will allow for the amendment of the Constitution to make provision for land expropriation without compensation was brought to the National Assembly.
This after the Section 25 Ad-Hoc committee relied solely on the ANC majority in the committee to pass the draft text of the constitutional amendment bill to be published for three weeks for public comment.
During the meeting’s proceedings, the ANC did not support any of the EFF proposals, including the scrapping of the 1913 restitution cut-off date and a provision for land expropriation without any compensation.
The bill provides for a national legislation to specify where a court may determine nil compensation.
It also proposes insertion of a subsection which provides for land as common heritage of all citizens that the state should safeguard for future generations, and that there should be a state custodian of certain land in order for citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis.
EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu said they rejected the ANC’s amendments as they were a betrayal of the landless people who were disposed of through colonialism.
“We reject it with contempt and we are to vote against the motion and amendments as proposed by the ANC because they outright will never take land back and give to the people on equitable basis,” Shivambu said.
The threat by the EFF may scupper any hopes of the ANC to muster two thirds majority when the constitutional amendment bill is voted in the National Assembly.
Both the DA and Freedom Front Plus welcomed the turn of events.
DA MP Annelie Lotriet said the ANC’s ill-advised plan to introduce the amendment bill has failed round one after political parties represented in the Section 25 Ad Hoc Committee refused to support its proposed amendments.
“If the voting that took place in the committee today on the draft bill is a reflection of how parties will vote in the National Assembly, the ANC will not have the two-thirds majority needed to pass the bill.
“This is an important outcome for our Constitution, the bill of rights and the fight to protect the property rights of all South Africans,” she said.
Freedom Front Plus chief whip chief whip Corne Mulder said the vote on the draft bill was insightful as the bill was adopted by the ANC only and EFF could not find anyone to second its proposals.
“The obvious lack of cooperation between the ANC and the EFF, or any of the other parties for that matter, makes the possibility for a two-thirds majority seem unlikely when the draft bill will be debated and voted on in Parliament,” he said.
Committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga said the bill would be published for public comment for three weeks and to make the people arbiters.
“When we went out for public hearings, I don’t remember us explaining state custodianship. We do not have the same understanding with the public,” he said.
“If we publish the new text we will ensure our people engage with that concept and find what it is,” Motshekga said.
He also said there should be no fears as the process would deliver the desired outcome.
Motshekga said the rising infections and fatalities in the Covid-19 pandemic were such that they can no longer wait another year or five years to deal with the question of land.
“We need social and economic recovery. That can’t take place without restoration, redistribution and restitution of land to our people,” he said.
“This matter is about the survival of South Africa and all of us must approach it with the view that it is an intervention that can save the nation,” he said.