President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the State of the Nation Address at parliament in Cape Town. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa seems more determined than ever to rush through land expropriation without compensation for political gain in the upcoming elections, the Democratic Alliance said on Saturday.

In his state of the nation address (Sona) on Thursday, Ramaphosa announced that Deputy President David Mabuza would lead the inter-ministerial committee on land reform that would work alongside the constitutional review process, DA spokesperson Thandeka Mbabama said in a statement.

"We also note the establishment of the advisory panel of experts that will advise government on its land reform programme. It is due to report back by the end of March 2019.

"We have been unambiguously clear about our commitment to redressing the violent history of land dispossession in this country and have always viewed land reform as a social justice imperative which all South African must rally around. Conversely, the DA holds the view that the constitutional review committee’s report that recommends the amendment of section 25 of the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation is flawed," Mbabama said.

It was, for this reason, the DA would challenge the legality of the constitutional review process should this procedurally flawed report be passed. The DA maintained the Constitution was not a barrier to land reform. The barriers were rather corruption, constrained budgets, and a lack of political will by the African National Congress.

The ANC had 24 years to address this injustice and they failed. Changing the Constitution was simply an attempt by the ANC to buy itself time so that it could continue "its looting while citizens of this country languish in abject poverty'.

"We do not oppose land reform. We oppose the ANC’s attempts to use expropriation as [a] ‘get out of jail free’ card. Their failure to take land reform seriously must not be awarded another term in office," Mbabama said.

African News Agency (ANA)