Durban – The African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal is accelerating mass mobilisation campaigns to promote calls for a referendum on land expropriation without compensation and a constitutional review to achieve the same.
According to a document, which the African News Agency (ANA) has seen, and which was presented at the province’s three-day July lekgotla, both of the campaigns should be implemented “ASAP” and all regions are to drive them.
The lekgotla ended on Monday.
Under the heading “Rural Development and Land Reforms”, the document calls for “Mass mobilisation and [a] programme of action to popularise the demand to hold a referendum on expropriation without compensation.”
It also calls for the development of “a programme of action and mass mobilisation for the review of the constitution to allow for expropriation of land without [compensation]”.
The document revealed that while the latest Expropriation Bill was sitting with parliament, a legal opinion should be sought for “deploying the Expropriation Act of 1975 in order to give effect to section 25 of the constitution”.
The Act could “possibly” be used in this regard, it said.
But there had been “no progress” made on developing a comprehensive strategy to ensure government’s unused land was “used productively”, according to the document, or that land owners were capped to 12 000 hectares (about 120km²) and not more than two farms.
There had also been no progress on “encouraging and enforcing” 50/50 ownership between farmers and workers, or foreigners being restricted to 30-year leases, as the party was awaiting regulations from the ministry of rural development and land reforms.
The document called for a colloquium by mid September, an agricultural summit by November, and the establishment of an agricultural and rural development council by February 2018 and the finalisation of an agricultural master plan by May 2018.
The agricultural master plan was in the process of development and would ensure that land was “appropriately developed” in the province.
According to the document, the KwaZulu-Natal Land Claims Commission enlisted – without success - the JL Dube Institute at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in a bid to “fast track and strengthen its capacity to research outstanding claims”.
“Unfortunately the Institute’s performance has not pleased,” said the document.
The JL Dube Institute is a research organisation within the university that lists its submissions to parliament on land policy change and land audit research as notable projects.
At its provincial general council meeting at the University of Zululand in June, ANC provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said that expropriation without compensation was “the overwhelming mood” amongst delegates.
A week later, at the party’s national policy conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg, provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala said that the party would be pushing ahead with seeking expropriation without compensation as the compensation approach had failed. Zikalala said the party was willing to work with majority black parties to push for constitutional amendments to “return the land”.
Ntuli had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publication.