Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
8 Dec 2021
9:20 pm

ANC will give black people land, ‘constitutional amendment or not’

Citizen Reporter

The ANC said it would continue to work hard to ensure progress in land reform and that it achieves job creation and justice.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Neil McCartney

The African National Congress (ANC) says it remains steadfast, with or without a constitutional amendment, on its historical mission to reverse the “skewed” land ownership patterns initiated during apartheid.

The National Assembly on Tuesday failed to pass the proposed bill on land expropriation without compensation after 145 members voted against the bill, while 204 voted in support of the bill, meaning a failure to obtain a required two-thirds majority.

“The Expropriation Bill is before parliament, and public hearings have been concluded; this Bill will make it explicit that
the expropriation of property for a public purpose or in the public interest with nil compensation where necessary. Custodianship will not result in fulfilling these set tasks by our national conference,” said the ANC in a statement on Wednesday.

ALSO READ: MPs against expropriation bill voted ‘against will of the people’ – Motshekga

According to the ANC, expropriation without compensation would apply under the following circumstances:

  1. Where the land is not being used and the owner’s primary purpose is not to develop the land or use it to generate
    income, but to benefit from the appreciation of its market value;
  2. where an organ of state holds land that it is not using for its core functions and is not reasonably likely to need the
    land for its future activities in that regard, and the organ of the state acquired the land for no consideration
  3. notwithstanding registration of ownership in terms of the Deeds Registries Act, 1937 (Act No. 47 of 1937), where an
    owner has abandoned land by failing to exercise control over it;
  4. where the market value of the land is equivalent to, or less than, the present value of direct state investment or
    subsidy in the acquisition and beneficial capital improvement of the land; and
  5. When the nature or condition of the property poses a health, safety or physical risk to persons or other property.

In its approach to these issues, the ANC said it was fully cognisant of the prominent role which international law played in the struggle to abolish apartheid.

“As a result, it occupies a special place in the South African legal system since the transition to democracy and features our Constitution prominently. As such, we are not exempt from international law’s prescripts and have a legal duty to consider international law when interpreting the law,” it said.

“The distinction between lawful and unlawful expropriation is well established in international law, and the significance of such a distinction has been noticed and applied to the amount of compensation by international decision-makers.”

The ANC said it would continue to work hard to ensure progress in land reform and that it achieves job creation and justice.

“With or without a constitutional amendment we remain steadfast on our historical mission which is to reverse the
skewed land ownership patterns, initiated at the alter of colonialism.”