Following the African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) meeting, 139 farms have been identified as a ‘trial opportunity’ for land expropriation without compensation.
The issue of land reform has dominated the public debate forum for the past year. First, following the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) call for an amendment to section 25 of the Constitution, which addresses issues of land expropriation.
Then the ANC caught onto the populist agenda tabled by political opponents, promptly joining the call for a public discussion regarding a possible constitutional amendment.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has now confirmed that the ANC will indeed support a motion to amend section 25 of the Constitution, allowing for land expropriation without compensation.
Land expropriation without compensation ‘trial period’
While the ruling party has been tight-lipped on the practical procedures relating to land reform, they have argued against nationalisation of all land.
It would seem the ANC are keen to try out their land scheme and have already identified 139 farms, ripe for the picking. No details regarding the proposed ‘trial’ land have been revealed.
Whether these farms are operational or occupied is information only afforded to ANC insiders operating within the department of rural development and affairs.
Further amendments for land reform
But it’s not just the amendment of section 25 of the constitution which will be affecting land laws in the country. The ANC proposes to make a further three changes to current laws.
These legal variations were first reported on by Times Live, and have the propensity to further shake the private property market.
The ANC’s plans regarding land reform include:
- Drafting a land records bill aimed at documenting all landowners, both formal and informal, and ensuring the security of tenure
- Drafting a redistribution bill that would provide a framework for deciding who gets priority access to land once the reform programme rolls out
- Amending the Interim Protection of Informal Land Rights Act to recognise those who have lived on a property for three years or more as de facto owners who cannot be dispossessed without their consent
According to ANC members associated with the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights, the state was already in a position to expropriate land without compensation if it so wished.