Vote in parliament moves land reform closer

Ramaphosa has made expropriation a key pillar of his rule.
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Supplied

South Africa took a step on Tuesday to hasten the transfer of land from white to black owners when parliament backed a motion seeking to change the constitution to allow land expropriation without compensation.

The ruling African National Congress has long promised reforms to redress racial disparities in land ownership and the subject remains highly emotive more than two decades after the end of apartheid. Whites still own most of South Africa‘s land following centuries of brutal colonial dispossession.

Tuesday’s motion was brought by the radical left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party but was supported by the ANC, which controls almost two-thirds of the parliament compared with EFF’s 6%.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said after his inauguration two weeks ago that he would speed up the transfer of land to black people although he stressed that food production and security must be preserved.

Launching a debate on the motion in parliament, EFF leader Julius Malema said “it was time for justice” on the land issue.

“We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land,” he said.

The motion was passed by 241 votes in favour versus 83 votes against. Parliament then instructed a committee to review the constitution and report back to it by Aug. 30.

It was not clear when any change to Section 25 of the constitution to allow expropriation of land without compensation would take place. Together, the ANC, EFF and other small opposition parties could muster the two-thirds majority needed for a constitutional change.

The ANC supported the motion with some amendments. Its deputy chief whip, Dorries Dlakude, said the party “recognises that the current policy instruments, including the willing-buyer willing-seller policy and other provisions of section 25 of the constitution may be hindering effective land reform.”

Expropriation

The official opposition Democratic Alliance party (DA) opposed the motion, arguing that changes to Section 25 will undermine property rights and scare off potential investors.

The DA’s Thandeka Mbabama told parliament that expropriation without compensation was a way to divert attention from the failure by successive ANC-led governments to get to grips with the issue. Corruption and lack of farmer training and capacity remain obstacles to land redistribution.

“It is shocking that at the current rate it will take 35 years to finalise (land) restitution claims lodged before 1998,” said Mbabama, who is deputy shadow minister for rural development and land reform.

In his first state of the nation address two weeks ago, Ramaphosa made a direct appeal to poorer black voters — the core of the ANC’s electoral support base — saying he would aim to speed up the transfer of land to black people as a general election looms in 2019.

Ramaphosa said earlier on Tuesday he would pursue expropriation of land without compensation, but reiterated that this should be done in a way that increases agricultural production and improves food security.

Among the main criticisms levelled at government’s land reform policy over the years has been that many farms transferred to emerging black farmers lay fallow and unproductive.

Land expropriations would trigger legal challenges, said Ralph Mathekga, an independent political analyst.

“This thing is going to court, make no mistake. The motion today means land has been elevated even higher as a political issue to code red from code amber,” he said.

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Well if you were planning on leaving, now is time to do so!
You don’t want to be around when SA has the “pleasure” of experience both drought and famine.

Taking it even further than in Zimbabwe….

The trouble is it’ll be like PIE (Prevention of Illegal Eviction Act) which was brought in to prevent farmers evicting occupants of their land but which has since been interpreted by the courts to apply to all residential premises.

Just a few notes to any moron that may be under the impression that this may work:
Expropriating land will not increase food production/security but rather have exactly the opposite effect. The new clothes are not stunning, the king is actually naked. Face it.
Most banks in SA will need to close very shortly after land is no longer seen as equity/asset.
If the law says ‘property’ it means any property. Your house/business/factory/office block/shopping centre are all ‘property’. The law ill be interpreted that way, there are no options.
SA will require the ratings agencies to develop a whole new extra-nether level of junk. The current junk levels are far too elevated for where SA will end up.

This reminds me of Holodomor in Ukraine: “The Ukrainian genocide that began in 1929 with the massive waves of deadly deportations of Ukraine’s most successful farmers (kurkuls, or kulaks, in Russian), culminating in the devastating forced famine that killed millions more innocent individuals.

Hmmm…so by deporting the country or region’s commercial farmers, it cleverly kills the population (through famine).

Now I ask myself, what is it with African governments/leaders that want to see their voters die out. Mugabe almost did it to his own people…but the Zim population was clever….many relocated to SA for work/food.

So, if the “new, hopeful” ANC under CR tries that path….easy then…all the peoples can relocate to the country to the south of us in the next decade.

I trust that it will be done in a manner that does not compromise the welfare of the country so far as food is concerned as the ANC indicated.

The onus is on parliament to make the expropriation of land without compensation and transfer work properly and civil society will be there as well involved to see to it.

As opposed to being traditionally pessimistic South Africa has shown it is a different country not a traditional African country, like Zim or any other. So, full of optimism considering our strong constitution and justice system.

The Rand (i.e. people in the know) yesterday confirmed that this will be done properly.

Maybe you should change your name to “TrillionNightmares”.
Africa will not change and the people of Africa want back that which was taken.
The Rand (which is mostly traded by fair skinned Europeans) is still riding on the Emperors success, however, once everyone sees his “new clothes” for what they really are, the Rand will start to go back to its previous levels.

The same sentiments and views were expressed about South Africa way back since 94 and we are alright despite all that is there and we will still going to be alright.

The Rand is traded and influenced by particularly knowledgeable parties and you can’t undermine their insight into the activities of this country, government and ANC, for all we know, they may have known about who was to be reshuffled and appointed before we did.

If we were doomed, Moneyweb would have told you already.

How do you believe it will be done that it will not have an impact on the economy? Do you honestly believe people will invest where they do not have property rights? In what exactly are you investing?

Corporate SA and foreign investors have not invested in SA for most of the past decade – I am talking about fixed investment, not liquid investments – part of the reason has been the continued uncertainty regarding property rights.

If you wait for Moneyweb to tell you that it is a disaster then you will wait for a very long time. It is simply not politically correct to state the bleeding obvious.

I am not a “typically negative” South African but I do believe a lot of South Africans are ignoring some serious issues in the name of not being an Afropesimist.

Agree. Nothing wrong being an ‘pessimist’ (although it has no place in the corporate world…there you have to keep it “PC”. The corporate world only show a brave face / PR-spin)

If you walk in the Kruger Park alone, knowing there’s lions in the area….the ‘negative minded’ person will carry a rifle with him for protection…just in case. While the ‘positive minded’ person will say “it will never happen to me, as I always stay positive” and leave the rifle at home.
In that example, I’d like to be surrounded by ‘negative minded’ people 😉

Strewth now there are 45 000 001 delusional people out there.

OK, I have just chucked all my old varsity Economics books out the window!!

(….it seems SA works on a different or unique economic model compared to the rest of the world.) Now I’m ready to learn all over from the start…

Good luck in trying to convince investors to invest in our very own Zim state. Although the intentions might be good no one will believe the corrupt ANC. Who in their right mind will invest in any business in SA if it is not protected? The only losers will be the poor and middle class. SA will loose millions of jobs and there will be no more social grants. But hey what do we know….

This should be much bigger news than is the case. Everybody basking in the Ramaphosa glow. People are so narrowly fixated on agricultural land – but this will apply to all land – including residential.

We spend a fortune travelling the globe to market SA as an investment destination and we complain that not only overseas investors but also corporate SA does not invest – but then we want to undermine property rights!?

What sane person will invest money into something that he does not have ownership over? What sane bank will lend against a property that the borrower does not own?

I have always tried not to be overly negative about SA but we will look back at this as a major turning point for the worse – and it seems it will pass without a wimper

In other words SA closed it doors we don’t need jobs or food. And we foresure don’t need investment in SA. Good luck with this insane policy!!!

But, but, but. Ramaphosa is the good guy.

End of comments.

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