THE OFFICIAL ANC NEWSPAPER

ANC supports Constitutional amendment for land reform  

The Parliamentary process on whether the country’s Constitution should be amended to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation still continues, despite the governing African National Congress (ANC) expressing itself on its preference. 
 
ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced on Tuesday night that the party has resolved in its two-day National Executive Committee (NEC) Lekgotla, to support the amendment of the country’s Constitution. 
 
“The ANC reaffirms its position that the Constitution is a mandate for radical transformation both of society and the economy. A proper reading of the Constitution on the property clause enables the state to effect expropriation of land with just and equitable compensation and also expropriation without compensation in the public interest.
“It has become patently clear that our people want the Constitution to be more explicit about expropriation of land without compensation, as demonstrated in the public hearings,” Ramaphosa said in a televised address. 
 
But all these will happen within the legal processes of Parliament, said Ramaphosa. 
 
“Accordingly, the ANC will, through the Parliamentary process, finalise a proposed amendment to the Constitution that outlines more clearly the conditions under which expropriation of land without compensation can be effected. The intention of this proposed amendment is to promote redress, advance economic development, increase agricultural production and food security,” he said. 
 
The ANC took a resolution at its 54th National Conference in December at the Nasrec Expo to push for the expropriation of land without compensation, as a way of speeding up fair land ownership, especially for black people who are mostly dispossessed. 
 
In his address, the ANC President said the lekgotla reaffirmed its position that a comprehensive land reform programme that enables equitable access to land will unlock economic growth, by bringing more land in South Africa to full use and enable the productive participation of millions more South Africans in the economy. 
 
“It will also transform the unjust spatial realities in urban areas,” he said. 
The ANC expressed satisfaction that South Africans used an opportunity presented by public hearings to say exactly what they think should happen on the land issue. 
 
“The ANC applauds our people, from all walks of life – including the rural poor, farm labourers, the unemployed, the landless, urban residents, farmers and traditional leaders – for expressing their views on this critical matter. Our people have been expressing their views on the land question openly and without any fear or favour. They have been putting forward solutions on how the land question can be resolved. This is the constitutional democracy that we fought for,” Ramaphosa said. 
 
To accelerate agrarian reform, the ANC has directed government to urgently initiate farmer support programmes in depressed areas before the first rains this year, said the President. 
 
“This should include supporting farmers with tools, tractors, fertilisers, seeds, extension services, finance and access to key infrastructure”. 
The ANC President also shared the NEC Lekgotla’s decisions on boosting the country’s economy, which he admitted is “facing serious challenges”. 
 
“The recently released figures on unemployment are worrying. Given this economic environment, the Lekgotla directed government to move with urgency to develop and implement a stimulus package to ignite growth that will lead to the creation of jobs, especially for young people and women. These efforts should focus on rural communities and townships.
“This stimulus package will be based on existing budgetary resources and the pursuit of new investments while remaining committed to fiscal prudence,” he said. 
 
The package will comprise, amongst others, of the following:
Increased investment in public infrastructure.
Increased support for entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for youth and women, as well as small and medium businesses
Trade support measures for sectors such as sugar and products affected by big import surges
Ensure that procurement focuses on localization
Training for unemployed young South Africans with the skills necessary to compete in a rapidly changing economy.
 
“As deployees of the ANC in government, we have committed that the work to develop this stimulus should start now to ignite growth, tackle unemployment and mitigate the effects of the rising cost of living. We call on all South Africans to work with us in developing a social compact for economic inclusion, economic growth and jobs for all,” Ramaphosa said.