National Assembly adopts motion on land expropriation without compensation


A majority of MPs in Parliament, including the ANC, voted in favour of a motion put forward by the EFF to change the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation on Tuesday.

The motion was brought by the radical Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party and was widely supported by the ruling African National Congress, which controls nearly two-thirds of the parliament.

The National Assembly is set to consider a motion led by the EFF nearly two weeks after President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government would undertake a process of consultation to determine the modalities of the implementation of expropriation of land without compensation.

The EFF has now said they will support an ANC candidate only if that candidate is the former deputy minister of finance Jonas or "anyone closer to him in character". The country's constitution will now likely be amended to include the expropriation of land.

But land remains predominantly in white hands more than two decades after the end of apartheid, sparking growing discontent among South African blacks.

Cyril Ramaphosa, who was elected party leader in December and the nation's president February 15, affirmed the ANC's decision to seize land without compensation to speed up land reform, but said it would only be done in a responsible manner that didn't harm the economy, agricultural production or food security.

The vote will be considered by the Constitutional Review Committee and will get back to Parliament by August 30. "All our people ever wanted was their land to which their dignity is rooted", said Malema.

He also said that South Africans would not pay rent to the state for land, and that only corporates and foreign investors would pay rent.

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The move by the National Assembly is in line with the resolution of the 54th National Conference of the ANC late previous year which resolved that the ANC should, as a matter of policy, pursue expropriation of land without compensation.

The NFP (National Freedom Party) backed the motion, as did the United Democratic Movement (UDM), the African Independent Congress (AIC), Agang, and the African People's Convention (APC).

The loudest group in support of land seizures, the Black First Land First Movement, has denounced the motion as nothing but an "electioneering gimmick" by the ANC.

He said the party reaffirms the policy must be executed in an orderly manner and that illegal occupiers of land should face the law.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is not only flexing its political muscle but is also pushing to re-establish its centrality in a coalition government‚ say analysts.

"This thing is going to court, make no mistake".

However, left-wing and black nationalist factions have long pushed for the state to intervene - forcefully, if necessary - to achieve a more equitable distribution of land.