Youth league welcomes policy of expropriation

The leadership of the ANC at the party's national policy conference in Midrand, Johannesburg. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

The leadership of the ANC at the party's national policy conference in Midrand, Johannesburg. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

Policy decisions around land reform at the ANC's policy conference were welcomed by the party's youth league on Saturday.

"We welcome the policy conference resolution… to expropriate land without compensation where land has been acquired through unlawful means," said ANC Youth League (ANCYL) spokesperson Khusela Sangoni-Khawe in a statement.

She added that the unlawful acquisition of land was a "key characteristic of our violent history of dispossession".

Leading up to the conference there had been many calls to scrap the willing buyer, willing seller approach to land redistribution.

On Friday, President Jacob Zuma, who is also ANC president, affirmed that this approach would be replaced but was vague on the details.

"Conference also affirmed the proposal to replace willing buyer willing seller with the 'just and equitable' principle in the Constitution, immediately where the state is acquiring land for land reform purposes," Zuma said.

Land commission member Tina Joemat-Petterson told the media this would not entail any change to the Constitution; adding that Section 25 of the constitution allowed the government to expropriate land with compensation.

"I don't think we should create pandemonium or insecurity… All we need to do is implement the Constitution."

Nationalisation of mines

Sangoni-Khawe also said that the league welcomed policy conference resolutions around state intervention.

"We welcome… the resolution for the nationalisation of mines and other strategic sectors of the economy."

On Friday, Zuma said the conference had agreed that state intervention in the minerals and mining sector was "urgently required", but he made no mention of a proposed super tax on mining.

"At the forefront of this intervention should be strengthening of the recently created state mining company by consolidating state mining assets into a single institution."

National executive committee member Enoch Godongwana on Friday said the ANC had decided not to pursue the nationalisation of mines.

He said it was discussed at the party's four-day policy conference but it was not part of the document on the mining sector.

Sangoni-Khawe said the league was in agreement with the ANC about creating economic growth that benefited more people.

"The ANC must take bold, transformative and decisive decisions to bring out this reality."

Recommendations made at the policy conference would be taken back to ANC branches for further discussion and input.

They would be presented at the ANC's national conference in Mangaung in December where they would be adopted as official policy.

This would then inform government legislation and policies.—Sapa.

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