Photo: ANA/Siphelele Dludla.

DURBAN - The Inkatha Freedom Party supports land expropriation, but wants the land reform programme to be carried out "in a responsible way" to avoid the mistakes made in Zimbabwe, the IFP said on Sunday.

The IFP did not want land reform policy to cause havoc in the country, IFP provincial secretary and KwaZulu-Natal premier candidate Velenkosini Hlabisa said on the sidelines of the party's final get-out-to-vote campaign "Sizonqoba" rally in KwaMashu, Durban.

"We do not believe in [an] irresponsible land distribution policy. A practical example, go to Zimbabwe. Right now Zimbabwe's president is compensating white farmers because [Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius] Malema is criticising them. This is because Zimbabwe's president has come to terms with reality that if you do not compensate, you kill the economy of the country," Hlabisa said.

"What the IFP is saying is that when we come into power, we will take the land that is in government hands and distribute it to our people with no one to be compensated. We will also take the land that is sitting idle under the ownership of foreign investors and international businesses and distribute it to our people at no compensation. 

"Then we will do a land audit to find out who works the land and then open colleges of agriculture so that the youth at colleges can be equipped with practical experience in the farms. Over a period of five years we should be able to do a transfer of land because if we give people land without equipping them with skills to work it, then they will sell it back because they are hungry," Hlabisa said.

The IFP also unveiled its election bus at the rally, at which party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi was expected to speak later.

African News Agency (ANA)