Malema: Farming must continue 'uninterrupted', but 'idle' land must be redistributed

"A lot of land remains idle, you don't need stats to know. Just go to Stellenbosch, which is owned by white people. It is just idling land." (David Harrison)

"A lot of land remains idle, you don't need stats to know. Just go to Stellenbosch, which is owned by white people. It is just idling land." (David Harrison)

As the debate over expropriation without compensation continues, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said on Wednesday that farmers should continue to work their land “uninterrupted”, but that those parts that are lying idle must be redistributed by the state”.

Malema also emphasised that there was no turning back on their call for the state to own all the land in the country.

He was answering questions by journalists outside of the party’s public health care campaign launch at Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in Soweto.

On Tuesday, the EFF was victorious when the majority of MPs in the National Assembly supported their motion for the amendment of the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation.

The motion was supported by the ANC, IFP, NFP, UDM, Agang, AIC and APC, but was rejected by the DA, Cope and FF.

READ MORE: First step to land expropriation without compensation

“If you are a farmer and you have lost ownership of the land to the state, then the portion of the farm you are using to produce whatever you are producing should continue uninterrupted, [but] idling parts of the farm …should be relocated to someone else who will use it for production,” Malema said on Wednesday.

Malema claimed that huge portions of land currently under white ownership, was standing fallow and farmers were keeping it just to “brag” about the hectares they own.

According to Malema’s explanation, black people will also not own land.

“We must all be allocated land, you can’t sell it. You can’t come tomorrow and say I have sold my piece of land.  If you don’t want it, you must go back to government and say I am leaving this place and you can take that which belongs to you and the government will reallocate it to someone else,” he said.

The EFF commander-in-chief said South Africans should not pay rent on the land they are working. However, Malema said only corporates and foreign investors should pay rent to the state.

“A lot of land remains idle, you don’t need stats to know.
Just go to Stellenbosch, which is owned by white people. It is just idling land.

“The ownership patterns are going to be affected by the fact that now government owns land, no one will be arrogant on the bases of ownership of land,” Malema said.

He said, once all land is declared to the state, those previously disadvantaged can be prioritised for redistribution.

“It is not an issue that will cause a nightmare. It will be dealt with within the confines of the Constitution,” he said.

The proposed amendment has been referred to Parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee, that will open the matter for the public to give input.

The committee, which comprises MPs from both Houses of Parliament, will have to report back to the National Assembly by August 30.—News24

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