Avatar photo

By Eric Naki

Political Editor

‘Slow progress’: ANC Northern Cape backing Ramaphosa, but wants nationalisation of land

ANC Northern Cape says it is of the view that land nationalisation is the best solution.

The ANC in the Northern Cape, which staunchly supports President Cyril Ramaphosa, believes nationalisation of land is the best solution in light of the slow pace of land redistribution and the hurdles encountered in the government’s attempt to implement land expropriation without compensation.

Provincial secretary Deshi Ngxanga spoke to The Citizen after a session of the provincial executive committee (PEC) which was preceded by a provincial working committee meeting.

Land redistribution

Ngxanga said in their discussion it was felt that if the land redistribution mandate was to achieve its objective of redressing imbalances, nationalisation was a quick solution.

“At the moment there is slow progress [being] made. We are not happy with the case-by-case approach to addressing this problem. It will take 143 years. We must consider nationalising land. We did that with water and mineral wealth. It will be easy if land is nationalised,” he said.

The PEC considered land as a historical sin, rather than the original sin that Ramaphosa referred to.

ALSO READ: Land issue likely to shape ANC’s elective conference results

Only seven percent had been achieved in land redistribution since 1994 and that was insufficient.

“We say this market-driven willing-seller-willing-buyer [model] is not good, we will never get our land back,” he said.

The land issue and other policy proposal discussions would be discussed by ANC branches on 3 and 4 December and be refined into a provincial position at the national conference.

Backing Ramaphosa despite Phala Phala

The province expressed itself as solidly behind Ramaphosa.

The PEC believed he should be left alone on the Phala Phala theft scandal until law enforcement agencies have concluded their investigations and given reports. Ramaphosa is being investigated for an alleged unreported burglary at his game farm.

Ngxanga said every member of the ANC, including its top leadership, should step aside if found to have committed a serious offence and face charges in line with the 2017 national conference resolution and national executive committee (NEC) decision.

“We agreed that, as things stand, they are in order. We say our NEC took the right decision on step aside to save the public reputation of the organisation.

READ MORE: Ramaphosa hands over new RDP home as Letsema campaign continues despite criticism

“But the implementation must be consistent, it must not have eyes, even when leadership is charged on a serious offence, step aside must be applied,” Ngxanga said.

“We believe the president is innocent until proven guilty, like everybody. We can’t jump to conclusions, that’s putting the cart before the horse. How do we take a decision when there is no concrete evidence at our disposal.”

He said the province’s final position on Phala Phala theft would be determined by the outcome of the investigation and prosecution, if there was one.

Public criticism

The PEC was of the view that the public criticism levelled against Ramaphosa by former presidents Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma and Kgalema Motlanthe was unnecessary and unfair, and that the three leaders should have discussed the matter inside the organisation.

Ngxanga raised the issue at the NEC recently, when he recalled how former ANC president Dr AB Xuma was expelled for publicly criticising his successor Dr James Moroka, whom he accused of being an apartheid spy.

Moroka, then an ANC Youth League and All African Convention member, defeated Xuma in the election for ANC president in 1949, with the help of Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo, who demanded radical change within the party.

Xuma was replaced on the NEC by Mandela and the top echelon of the youth league was also elected onto the ANC

NEC, which marked the beginning of radicalism in the organisation.

The Northern Cape will send 274 delegates to next month’s conference.

NOW READ: ANC leadership race: Here are the leading contenders for top six positions