Eric Naki
Political Editor
2 minute read
9 Apr 2018
6:04 am

DA vows to stop land grabs

Eric Naki

The opposition party has vowed to ensure owners are protected from not getting compensated for land expropriation.

Mmusi Maimane addresses supporters at the opening ceremony of the Democratic Alliance's Federal Congress held at the Thwane Events Center, 7 April 2018, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The DA has vowed to fight tooth and nail to ensure the property clause is retained in the country’s constitution.

Parliament is currently in the process of receiving public representations on its resolution to amend section 25 of the constitution to eliminate the need to compensate previous owners of expropriated land.

Speaking after the end of the party’s marathon Federal Congress this weekend, re-elected leader Mmusi Maimane reiterated that removing the requirement for compensation for expropriated land would not fast-track land restitution. Instead it would put valuable land in the hands of the state.

Among the resolutions taken at the federal congress in Pretoria at the weekend, the official opposition pledged to fight to retain the property clause. The DA’s stance on land reform was that it was attainable without changing the constitution.

Besides the unopposed re-election of Maimane as national leader of the party, James Selfe was retained as federal leader and federal executive chairperson unopposed. Other positions were contested, including the crucial position of federal chairperson.

Nelson Mandela metro mayor Athol Trollip beat his Tshwane Metro counterpart mayor Solly Msimanga and Free State provincial chairperson Annelie Lotriet, MP, to retain the position of the party’s federal chairperson.

The federal executive, the highest decision-making body when the federal council is not in session, will in future have to ap prove any coalitions that the party enters into with other political parties.

Maimane, who has a new three-year term ahead of him, said he was looking forward to working with the new leadership. The congress rejected some delegates’ proposition for the terms of leaders to be changed to five years instead of three.

An interesting development was the expansion of branch representation at congresses from 35% to 45%. Maimane said this would ensure more grass-roots activists at party congresses.

On the last day of the congress yesterday, the more than 2 000 delegates additionally passed a resolution to hold the government accountable for both the Life Esidimeni tragedy and the killing of the Marikana mineworkers.

DA Gauteng MP Jack Bloom, who initiated the campaign for the rights of the Esidimeni victims and their families, said that if Gauteng Premier David Makhura had taken full responsibility for the deaths, he must resign.

The congress resolved to fight for justice for Marikana victims and compensation for their families.

– ericn@citizen.co.za

DA resolute against land expropriation without compensation

For more news your way, follow The Citizen on Facebook and Twitter.