​The ruling party moves for land, and the Reserve Bank

“It was tough, rowdy and it nearly collapsed the conference … there is no doubt about that,” said Enoch Godongwana, chair of the commission. (Paul Botes/M&G)

“It was tough, rowdy and it nearly collapsed the conference … there is no doubt about that,” said Enoch Godongwana, chair of the commission. (Paul Botes/M&G)

The ANC will seek to amend the constitution of the country to allow for expropriation of land without compensation and will also nationalise the South African Reserve Bank, the party announced on Wednesday night.

The contentious announcement was made just before the close of its 54th national conference on Wednesday night.

The sectoral commission on Economic Transformation reported back to delegates on Wednesday evening where the resolution around land in particular almost collapsed the conference.

“It was tough, rowdy and it nearly collapsed the conference … there is no doubt about that,” said Enoch Godongwana, chair of the commission.

Godongwana said the resolution required however that expropriation without compensation had to be sustainably and not impact on other sectors of the economy.

When asked, the chair said he was providing the view of the conference resolution and not his own. “If you are asking for my personal views, you can suspect them,” he said.

It was also resolved that the Reserve Bank become entirely state owned. Indeed very few central banks globally are held by private shareholders. The move is anticipated to have no impact on how the bank operates. The mandate of the bank would not be changed Godongwana said.

Buying out the private shareholders would be costly, and Godongwana admitted the government did not have the money currently. 

Lisa Steyn

Lisa Steyn

Lisa Steyn is a business reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She holds a master's degree in journalism and media studies from Wits University. Her areas of interest range from energy and mining to financial services and telecommunication. When she is not poring over annual reports, Lisa can usually be found pottering about the kitchen. Read more from Lisa Steyn

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