ANC leader says SA’s Constitution 'an obstacle to socio-economic transformation'

Mathole Motshekga is the chairperson of the ad Hoc committee on land expropriation. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu/African News Agency (ANA)

Mathole Motshekga is the chairperson of the ad Hoc committee on land expropriation. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Nov 3, 2022


Johannesburg - ANC national executive committee member Dr Mathole Motshekga has become the latest governing party leader to publicly criticise the country’s Constitution, describing it as an impediment to the desired social and economic transformation.

In addition, Motshekga, co-chairperson of Parliament’s joint constitutional review committee, wants delegates to the governing party's national conference in December to consider a referendum on the land question.

He warned that the ANC had failed to deliver on land reform and would struggle should the failure continue and criticised his fellow MPs for failing to grasp that the Constitution was the biggest obstacle in achieving transformation.

"Since the majority of MPs do not seem to know that section 25 of the Constitution is the biggest stumbling block to social and economic transformation, it is suggested that the ANC national conference in December should call for a national referendum to resolve and lay this matter to rest," Motshekga said.

According to Motshekga, for the survival of South Africa and its democratic order, the land question should be placed at the centre of the political contestation. He said ANC policy documents did not confront the land question head-on.

"Instead of addressing this question, everybody in the ANC wants to be in the top six. But none of their candidates can show us in and outside the ANC what they can offer the country. Because they have no vision and mission, many of them are buying branches to vote for them.

“The ordinary members of the ANC who agree to sell their souls for several hundreds of rand seem not to know that they are selling their birthright and digging the deepest grave for the ANC,” Motshekga said.

Motshekga called on the ANC to organise a public debate for aspirant leaders to enable the public to assess for themselves if they (aspirant leaders) had anything new to offer to the country and its people.

He cautioned that if ANC members were not reawakened to their revolutionary duty, the upcoming national conference would be the party’s burial ground.

"My fear is that the ANC national conference will be a battleground for the soul of the ANC rather than a platform for the consideration of national issues,” Motshekga said.

To avoid dying, he urged the ANC to boldly resolve to speed up the restitution of land and restore mineral rights to Africans. Motshekga was also critical of opposition parties who blamed the ANC' for the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

"The root cause of this challenge is not the ANC but the violent dispossession of African land and its natural resources which took place during the 18th and 19th centuries,” he said.

At its policy conference in July, the ANC undertook to continue to explore the constitutional amendment to allow for expropriation without compensation in certain circumstances which has previously failed due to insufficient parliamentary support and the implementation of the new Expropriation Bill, which was passed by the National Assembly last month, to accelerate land redistribution.