The ANC says despite its resolution to amend the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation, it will still use the Constitution in its current form to test if expropriation is possible without compensation.
The ambiguity on the land issue comes after a land summit held by the party in Ekurhuleni this past weekend, where various stakeholders were invited to speak on existing land inequalities and ways of reform.
One of the views that emerged from the summit was the perspective that section 25 of the Constitution does not impede expropriation without compensation and therefore does not need to be amended.
In a briefing on the outcomes of the weekend’s workshop, national executive committee (NEC) member Ronald Lamola said the party would encourage government to forge ahead with expropriation using the current frameworks.
“Our view is that section 25 as it currently stands allows us to expropriate without compensation. But the debate has been that it has not been tested. So we are saying is that let’s put section 25 to the test,” Lamola said.
However Lamola also said the ANC would continue to abide with its December resolution for expropriation without compensation by pushing for the adoption of a redistribution Bill in Parliament that would outline the terms and conditions of uncompensated expropriation.
“That will then cut out the red tape and give clarity. So the position of the ANC is that there is nothing that must stop us from achieving the position of national conference.”
NEC member and chair of the economic transformation sub-committee Enoch Godongwana said the party admitted to making some mistakes in its years of leadership, including incorrectly following the guidelines of the 1975 Land Act which advocated for expropriation based on market value.
“It would be disingenuous of us not to admit that a lot of mistakes over the past 20 years have been made. No doubt about that. For instance if you take the willing buyer willing seller, you look at every document of the ANC you will never find it,” Godongwana said.
“But our government mistakenly followed that. I accept that point”