'We can't expropriate land to play soccer on it'

Delegates at the African National Congress Youth League’s national conference broke into commissions on Saturday to discuss policy proposals which would inform resolutions.

Not a man to mince words, ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu outlines the league’s programme of action to achieve economic freedom.
The league’s resolutions are likely to put more pressure on the ANC to push for the nationalisation of mines and land reform and other key sectors of the economy as well as including a generational mix in the party’s top leadership.

Julius Malema was elected for a second term as leader on Friday evening.

Earlier on Saturday the league’s national spokesperson Floyd Shivambu gave a synopsis of the direction the discussions would take.

Land reform ‘non-negotiable’
Delivering the league’s Programme of Action for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime document, Shivambu told delegates that the league should ensure that next year’s 53rd national congress of the ANC was “a battle site for war” for economic freedom.

He said land reform was non-negotiable.

“We must make ensure that the ANC agrees in principle that the willing-seller, willing-buyer has failed and that we must appropriate without compensation.”

Shivambu said while education was key to economic freedom, higher education in the South Africa was still largely unattainable, making it difficult for young people to realise their dreams.

“We must expand the post-secondary education sector and we must do that aggressively. We are producing matriculants all over the country, but where do they go?”

Where is the centre of power?”
He said that two provinces—the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga—did not have universities.

Shivambu also used the opportunity to call on delegates to discuss the finances of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

“The NYDA does not have money, they’re only given R300-million and it can only run offices and pay salaries with that money.
We agreed with the ANC that the NYDA needs money but government is not doing it. We don’t know why. It makes you wonder where the centre of power is”.

National executive committee member Magdalene Moonsamy described the commissions as a platform to “take decisions” instead of continuing discussions. She said delegates had already held discussions before the conference.

“When we speak about expropriation without compensation we must be clear about what we’re going to do with that land. As one comrade from Mpumalanga said, ‘we can’t expropriate land to play soccer on it’,” said Moonsamy.

Have a look at excerpts featuring ANCYL president Julius Malema in the documentary Mining for Change: A story of South African Mining as he discusses the history of mining in South Africa and the need to redress inequalities through nationalisation.
Delegates were scheduled on Saturday to elect additional members of the league’s highest decision-making structure, the national executive committee.

For the latest on the ANC Youth League conference click here:

Mmanaledi Mataboge

Mmanaledi Mataboge

Mmanaledi Mataboge is the Mail & Guardian's political editor. Raised in a rural village, she later studied journalism in a township where she fell in love with the medium of radio. This former radio presenter and producer previously worked as a senior politics reporter for the Mail & Guardian, and writes on politics, government, and anything that gives the disadvantaged, poor, and the oppressed a voice.
  • Read more from Mmanaledi Mataboge
  • ML


    Matuma Letsoalo is a senior politics reporter at the Mail & Guardian. He joined the newspaper in 2003, focussing on politics and labour, and collaborated with the M&G's centre for investigations, amaBhungane, from time to time.In 2011, Matuma won the South African Journalist of the Year Award and was also the winner in the investigative journalism category in the same year.In 2004, he won the CNN African Journalist of the Year prize – the MKO Abiola Print Journalism Award. Matuma was also a joint category winner of the Mondi Shanduka SA Story of the year Award in 2008. In 2013, he was a finalist for Wits University's Taco Kuiper Award.
  • Read more from ML
    • Client Media Releases

      All things 'creepy crawly' at award-winning UKZN stand
      Tellos founder to present at ITWeb AI 2019
      The rand: Before, during and after Elections 2019