Ramaphosa says no to the blanket nationalisation of land

‘The mandate of the Ad Hoc Committee is limited to making explicit what is already implicit in the current Constitution.’
President Cyril Ramaphosa.Image: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa has drawn a line in the sand against blanket state custodianship of land in South Africa.

Over the last week, the ANC and the EFF’s members of the parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee to amend Section 25 (the property clause) of the Constitution have become locked in negotiations on an EFF proposal to allow state custodianship of all land, with citizens granted land-use rights for limited periods.

This has caused much unease in many circles in South Africa – not least among property owners – but on Thursday, during a press conference in Cape Town, Ramaphosa came out firmly against the proposal.

He said that the negotiations between the ANC and the EFF were not exclusive and that the ANC remained open to negotiating with other parties.

According to Ramaphosa, state custodianship equals nationalisation, and that is not what the dispossessed want.

“Because of the dispossession of the past, there is a hunger for land. It is a need to have a title deed, to own land, not just to be granted use of the land by the state. Farmers want to be able to use the land as collateral to borrow money from banks, and they want access to water rights,” he said.

The president referred to discussions he has had with farmers in the remote rural area of Tafelkop in Limpopo Province, who recently obtained title deed to the state-owned land they have farmed upon for a decade and their explanations of how state custodianship had throttled their ability to succeed financially.

Ramaphosa also reiterated that the mandate of the Ad Hoc Committee is limited to making explicit what is already implicit in the current Constitution.

Upon being asked directly whether state custodianship of land was currently implicit to the Constitution, Ramaphosa did not give a “yes” or “no” answer. He reiterated his view that custodianship equals nationalisation.

He said such nationalisation would dampen or even kill off people’s entrepreneurial abilities, as is clear from the experiences from people on the ground.

Ramaphosa also rallied against the option of granting tenure to communities rather than individuals, saying that no one took responsibility for decisions in such a case. He said South Africa required a hybrid system of property rights to allow, for example, communal property rights in areas under traditional leadership such as the Ingonyama Trust.

Reiterating the importance of title deed and ownership, he said the politicians had to listen to the preference of the people, not the other way around.

Regarding efforts to remove the courts as an arbiter on property rights (and locating those powers in the executive) Ramaphosa said South Africa is a constitutional democracy, and no one can gainsay the role of the courts.

In reaction, the EFF issued a statement late on Thursday night saying it “strongly condemns Cyril Ramaphosa’s deliberate and malicious misrepresentation of the EFF position on land and state custodianship”.

The EFF said he “maliciously indicated that the EFF position on land custodianship is equal to the nationalisation of land. This is part of a coordinated and desperate attempt to mislead people and downplay the significance of the process in its final stages in Parliament to amend Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation of all land without compensation into the custodianship of the state.”

According to the EFF “[it] has firmly articulated its position to the Ad Hoc Committee tasked with amending Section 25 of the Constitution and the members of the ANC delegation during bilateral meetings. We are not going to compromise and vote for a sellout amendment that still speaks of compensation. Ramaphosa thinks he can implement a successful land redistribution programme that will address historical injustices through land donated by beneficiaries of land obtained through theft and genocide. This is a sign of how little Ramaphosa thinks of land hunger amongst black people and the need for restorative justice.”

Ramaphosa’s position and the EFF’s reaction to it make for interesting days ahead, given the situation within the Ad Hoc Committee, where the six largest political parties hold vastly different positions on the issue. Whereas the EFF has been consistent in its preference for state custodianship, the other three large opposition parties (DA, IFP, Freedom Front Plus and ACDP) have been consistent in their views that no change to the Constitution is required.

The ANC holds 57.5% of the seats, the DA 21%, the EFF 11%, the IFP 3.5%, the Freedom Front Plus 2.5% and the ACDP 1%. Eight smaller parties jointly have 3.5% of the vote.

Therefore, it seems that a stalemate is developing if Ramaphosa’s view holds true in the ANC, if the EFF is consistent in its unwillingness to compromise and if the DA persists in its refusal to negotiate with the ANC. In such a case, it will be practically impossible for the ruling party to get to the two-thirds of votes in the National Assembly required to change the Constitution.

But it is early days yet. The Ad Hoc Committee has until August 30 to finalise its proposal on the constitutional change, and all eyes will be on the negotiations to determine what is placed before Parliament.

Read: Expropriation Bill could fail many more than just land-owners – BLSA CEO

Read: What you might like to know about the Expropriation Bill

Read: South Africa takes a step closer to land expropriation


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The Art of the Steal: “The Big Ask”. Ramaphosa says no to a blanket nationalisation, so that when they do targeted expropriation it will seem mild/moderate by comparison. “It could have been worse, we could have taken all the land at once.” Death by a thousand cuts; Slowly boiling the frogs. etc. etc.

Any seriously worthy frogs must have been boiled long ago.
5 JUNE 2021 @ 3:04 PM
The constipated Constitution prevents citizens from having a say in who their MP will and will not be. They are so disregarded that some nameless, unqualified and disinterested cadre is chosen for them by some nameless cadre(s) that need not even be in any public office. The Constitutional support and protection of proportional representation and tribalism (aka exclusively indigenous, legislated, state-supported ‘culturism’) are both patently anti-democratic and pro-gangsterism. The ethical and human rights and even basic fairness questions are lost in translation due to no counterpart concept.

Comment on story: Ramaphosa says no to the blanket nationalisation of land

Could someone from the ANC or EFF please explain what use is “land” if you are one of the unemployed youth, conservatively estimated of 65%?

What comes first, a job or a piece of “land”?

To be fair – the government owns plenty of unproductive land. They could start with that first – allow unemployed/unskilled people to develop/farm it. Before they set their eyes on productive private land.

They already did start with that years ago – do u see the cluster F that was…..

…yes, the key word is UNproductive (land).

Ideology. The death knell of any (sane) society.

Malema said that if you have land you do not need a job.

This has always been a vote catching ploy, for both the EFF and the ANC. If it doesn’t go through, or is watered down significantly, how are they going to spin it?

Agree, after the election it goes on the back burner to be used again at the next election.

What these clowns have not realised yet is the fact that they have wrecked the platteland. Ask me I live there, no doctors, no banks, no schools, no hospital, no railway all gone.

Blanket state custodianship of land is what the EFF want so does this mean that the EFF members will be queuing up to hand over their land to the state and be happy to occupy the land at the pleasure of government ( whoever that might be in the future ). As sign of good faith to show that they that are happy to live by this principal why do they not hand over their land now and see how that works out for them?

This whole issue will be the spark that ignite a civil war. They just do not realize the implications of what they are about to embark on !!!!

They are going to fight an age group that were part of a very well trained SADF.

We fought that “war” for them and we can take this fight to them too.

We hunt every winter so a moving target in the wind at 300 yards is easy meat.

Cyril denies that his party intends to take “custodianship” of all land, sending his praise singers into ecstacy.

Perhaps Cyril has not read his party’s proposed expropriation amendments, which cater for exactly that.

Apart from being non-existent as a leader, Cyril is also a dreadful manager.

His “super presidency” is an admission that he has no faith in his ministers, preferring (or trying) to keep all control under himself.

Yet with all that control, power and centralisation he will retain each and every cabinet minister and deputy.

These boys are playing with fire.

What about the existing bonds on land??? It is TRILLIONS??? Oh so you Nationalize and at the same time collapse the banking sector?? Even if you don’t nationalize property will loose a large portion of its value. So the collateral banks hold might not cover the outstanding debt??

Botswana a year or two back changed transfer fees from 5% to 30% for foreigners. Its great!!! Many sections of the property market lost HALF its value HALF!!!

Quite frankly I don’t really give a hoot. It has been my view all along that something will happen at some stage and it will be the wrong thing like everything else this lot touch. Not much they can take from me.

Hunger for land is rubbish!!! Its greed. Just want something for nothing they can sell. I don’t know a single person and never have that got land for free!!! Its a myth this lot is feeding the masses and they need to be carful not to put petrol on the fire they are playing with.

I predict it will be a disaster bigger than Zimbabwe and this lot has nowhere to go?? Europe is a bit far and going North?? Hahahaaa.

The damage about to be done to this country and its economy will be something to behold. Get ready!!!

Subsistence farmers cannot feed themselves, they go hungry.

Just wonder what happens if a white farmer’s land is nationalised and given to a black person. After a while the new owner decides to sell the farm and a white farmers buys the land. Will this land then be up for nationalisation again?

This is the forward-thinking that you will never get from the parties involved. It is also the same thoughtless way in which the ANC is running the country…into the ground.

“he said the politicians had to listen to the preference of the people, not the other way around”

So what do the Ingonyama Trust’s tenants have to say ? I suppose ‘traditional leaders’ represent ‘the people’ ?

The constipated Constitution prevents citizens from having a say in who their MP will and will not be. They are so disregarded that some nameless, unqualified and disinterested cadre is chosen for them by some nameless cadre(s) that need not even be in any public office. The Constitutional support and protection of proportional representation and tribalism (aka exclusively indigenous, legislated, state-supported ‘culturism’) are both patently anti-democratic and pro-gangsterism. The ethical and human rights and even basic fairness questions are lost in translation due to no counterpart concept.

Once the ANC/EFF destroys Property Rights … well it will be downhill permanently

So far they haven’t, and this is at very least a little peace of mind that the constitution and legal framework are still performing their role. I’d be more concerned about the EFF who are far more of a threat to this nation considering their extremism.

The farmer, like all other property owners, own the title deed, yes. The title deed, however, is a thin piece of paper, almost as thin as the piece of topsoil, the only part of the farm that has not been expropriated yet. Everything underground has been expropriated when they nationalized the mineral rights and the water rights. The farmworker’s houses above ground have been nationalized with the security of tenure laws. The capital value of the topsoil is syphoned off by means of redistributive municipal taxes and electricity costs. Then, Capital Gains Tax and Estate Duties nationalise another large chunk of the capital value of the title deed.

The ANC and the EFF are beyond stupid if they want to burn this title deed that is the carrot that keeps property owners running on the treadmill of expropriation through taxation. The owner of a title deed is a free man in a capitalist nation, but an abused slave in a socialist country

I am perplexed by this land theft narrative how did 1million blacks in 1800 had all the land while in 1400 all belong to the san people no blacks beyond fish river 1800 go and study you history malema

This is all just public showmanship.

The EFF are the ANC’s gimpish children. They will always vote along the same lines on big issues like this.

They are simply playing to the public now, but the ultimate goal of stealing property from all asset classes is the same.

In centuries to come, textbooks will be written about how the ANC/EFF collapsed the South African economy due to greed and their criminal gang of thieves.

The EFF are the ANC’s stirrers. They go and do what the ANC dare not be seen doing or saying.

Sanctioned terrorist arm, fully protected.

No blanket nationalization, just incremental patchwork to get to the blanket.

EFF wants land? That is what they will receive – land. it takes a farmer one weekend to destroy the buildings, boreholes, dams, roads, crops, cattle, electrical infrastructure, irrigation system, etc. Same for a factory.

The worry is destroying your own property, how ludicrous it may sound, will trigger one of the listed CGT ‘disposal’ events under Par. 11(1) of the 8th Schedule:

(..have high-lighted some in Caps):

Sale, donation, expropriation, conversion, grant, cession, exchange or any other ALIENATION or transfer of ownership
FORFEITURE, termination, redemption, cancellation, SURRENDER, discharge, RELINQUISHMENT, release, waiver, renunciation, expiry or ABANDONMENT
Scrapping, loss, or DESTRUCTION

Well it was worth zero compensation so the State had already triggered a massive capital loss before destruction. All the farmer did was destroy worthless things standing on worthless land…

And despite all of these comments the Rand gets stronger by the hour !!
I confess to being befuddled !

Nothing to do with SA.

Dollar Weakness. All that printing in the US.

except it isn’t just against the USD.

If Julius takes our land he pays the bond ……That will be interesting .

..very interesting, especially with the present (and ongoing) value-destruction to properties, caused by increasing muni rates / but reducing service and water disruptions.

That’s why Zimbabwe is completely filled with property estates on every square meter space left, wall to wall, from the southern Limpop-river border, right up to the Zambezi up north. Property estates, taken over and well run, by Zanu-PF supporters, everywhere you look. Prosperity indeed.

I see the frog boilers lips have moved ….

This year managed to sell my rental properties. Next to go will be translocating my businesses. Everything to be moved off shore. Then they can have what is left and explain to the odd 43 people that depended on an inckme from this why they can have the land but no job and no food on the table

The govt bites at the taxpayers contributing to their coffers.

The govt bites at the segment of the SA population who creates wealth, by risking their capital.

Have we seen this movie before?

Not a word of the 24/7 hard labor, by brain and hand, to be done to become a Farmer. The oldest job on this planet. All other, good or bad, are related. Having slaves/servants, starting/fighting wars, can all be blamed on man having a affair with this planet.

The article heading is misleading: please remove the (often repeated) word “land” and replace it with “assets”.

The ANC’s tactic (since its earlier revolutionary days) is to cook the frog slowly / the wolf biting small pieces of the sheep, without sheep taking notice and trying to escape. Always a (deliberate) slow, gradual encroachment….like a cat crawling towards a flock of pigeons.

The word “land” is on everyone’s lips…and the image of agricultural land (misleadingly) springs to mind. This makes 0,07% of the SA population uneasy, being commercial farmers. So that the other 99,93% don’t worry too much…..but that is what the ANC as a party with strong Communist links, REALLY WANTS: your residential property, vehicles, your business (…BEE is one method), your bank & investment assets.

And why would the ANC want ‘land’ only? You can’t eat land. They’re unable to farm profitably (…heck, they can’t even run SOE’s profitably!)

Agree Micheal, land conjures up farms. Land is also the end of a Sandton property where the pool, tennis court and stables are. Much closer to work from there.

They thought they were safe, the farmers will laugh when the fancy houses get taken.

Can the EFF lead by example? Can all EFF members forfeit all properties they own for the benefit of the poor? Give all EFF land away to the ‘disenfranchised’ now.

The EFF buggered it up: their aim was to give to the poor, and then through the VBS Bank heist…they took from the poor.

We’ll just take the nice bits.

I’m imagining people here were making comments while their AR’s were on their tables, just after being spit-polished! Lets hope it doesn’t come to Civil War, but don’t make it seem easy just because tons of guns by your bedside.

If he was alive, do you think Piet Retief would’ve trusted RamaPromises? Also, GST started at something like 2%, was renamed to VAT and today it is 15%. Still think you can trust a politician, especially the current lot?

Very good point KK. Meneer Retief would’ve been wiser 😉

As you say, there is a CENTRAL THEME from the ANC (with taxes in mind): first they get their foot in the door, with low unnoticeable rate of tax. Then through the years, it slowly morphs into a major tax pain.

End of comments.



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