DA, minister at odds over land reform

2011-09-20 21:20

Cape Town - If aspects of the Green Paper on land reform are unconstitutional, then change the Constitution, says Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti.

Nkwinti along with his deputy minister Thembelani Nxesi and director general Mdu Shabane presented to Parliament's portfolio committee on rural affairs and land reform on Tuesday on the Green Paper on land reform.

Nkwinti replied to a question by Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Lindiwe Mazibuko about the constitutionality of the land valuer general and the land management commission.

He said: "Constitutions are tools that are created to help society move in particular directions. When society gets stuck as it moves forward we must have the courage to review the Constitution and, if needs be, amend it accordingly.

"So if the honourable members are suggesting that there are aspects of the green paper which border on unconstitutional we will ask cabinet to change the Constitution if we need to in order to achieve the objectives we want to achieve as a country."

The office of the land valuer-general and the land management commission are proposals in the green paper to improve the "trajectory of land reform".

In terms of SA's law a two-thirds majority of Parliament has to approve any change to the Constitution.

The green paper said the land management commission would be autonomous but not independent of the department.

It would have advisory, co-ordination, regulatory, and auditing functions.

The commission would also have the powers to subpoena, enquire about any land question, verify, or invalidate individual or corporate title deeds, grant amnesty or initiate prosecution, and seize or confiscate land gotten through fraudulent means.

The land-valuer-general would be a statutory office responsible for "fair and consistent land values for rating and taxing purposes".

It would also determine financial compensation in cases of land expropriation, under the Expropriation Act or any other policy or legislation, in compliance with the Constitution.

Nkwinti also admitted that the proposals on land reform were based on ideology rather than on patterns of ownership.

In reply to another question by Mazibuko, Nkwinti said that none of the department's internal challenges were addressed in the green paper as "there were too many".

Later Mzibuko said Nkwinti should withdraw the green paper, go back to the drawing board and create a document that has been properly researched and is in line with the values of the Constitution.

"In its current form, the green paper offers no vision of how to redress the inequities bequeathed by apartheid in a coherent and sustainable way," Mazibuko said.

The original target for land reform was to have at least 30% of the country's arable farms in the hands of previously disadvantaged people.

However, earlier this year Nkwinti said this target would not be met.

  • tootingdel - 2011-09-20 21:28

    Typical response - a Minister again thinks he is above the law - and if you don't like the Law just break it!! What example does that set to anyone else

      My2c - 2011-09-20 21:37

      ja nee, hierdie constitution staan nou in hul pad om verder korup te wees

      proudandpink - 2011-09-20 21:47

      Until the day I die, I will never understand the mentality. Why even bother to have a constitution if you're going to change it to whatever you want as it suits you. Pathetic!

      rasklot - 2011-09-20 21:59

      Animal Farm

      Henk - 2011-09-20 22:05


      Blikskottel - 2011-09-21 07:21

      LAW and the leagl system is not the same thing. They are not above LA, but above the legal system, which is designed to keep them in power and above it.

      JM - 2011-09-21 07:46

      Going forward, anybody that buys land or property in this country needs to have their heads examined. This proves that the ANC not only thinks that it is above the law but also above the constitution. The comments made by this Minister also prove that he has no clue what a constitution’s purpose is. Here is a tip in the form of a question - What happens when you tamper with the foundation of a building after it has been erected? The ANC will not stop until they have wrecked this country. We are fast reaching a point of no return. Frankly opposition parties are way too complacent. Where the hell has all the good leaders gone?

  • DW - 2011-09-20 21:42

    And so it starts. Please please please ensure that the ANC NEVER EVER gets more than 66% majority in elections again. To think they treat our constitution, the greatest in the whole world, with such disdain says it all.

  • dwnwitjuju - 2011-09-20 22:00

    Lindiwe Mazibuko for President!! VIVA LINDIWE!

      Mike or Mpho - 2011-09-20 22:12

      what a CHOP, but expected

      thinker - 2011-09-20 23:39

      @Nox does the whites in the cANCer know they are not welcome in Africa?

  • J T - 2011-09-20 22:12

    Class Action/Public Interest proceeding possibility in defense of the SA Constitution?

  • Nzx - 2011-09-20 22:13

    To understand what the minister says, put yourself in his shoes. His mandate is, to continue the process of transition between apartheid SA and a free SA, at the same time, give the previous disadvantaged their bit of SA soil. The constitution makes this impossible, it serves the interest of the previously advantaged , maintaining the unfair attained advantage obtained under apartheid. The constitution is not cast in stone, it is in a state of evolution, as is SA society since 94. It may be the wise thing to do, in an uncontrolled land grab, you will lose more than just land.

      JedEye - 2011-09-20 22:36

      yes Nzx, we understand perfectly what the minister is saying. Gimme gimme... same tone as Mugabe. I fail to see how this strategy, which has proven itself a failure over the rest of Africa is in the interest of the previously disadvantaged. Stupidity is the belief that doing the same thing again will yield a different result. Please consider that the land you are so desperate to occupy is currently feeding the nation. Food stops, your children die of starvation. Your call.

      Nzx - 2011-09-20 23:00

      @ JedEye That is exactly my point, in Zim, the transition was an uncontrolled land grab, with disastrous consequences. The SA minister proposes a controlled transition, although not ideal, but with an outcome in which you do not loose everything, a big difference. SA is not an ideal place, if you try and force it, you will brake it, and everybody loose.

      thewestern - 2011-09-21 03:38

      @Nzx, something like 30% of the productive farms bought by the state and given to previously disadvantaged people are lying in ruins. It helps nothing to give a productive farm to someone who has no concept of commercial farming. The outcome is you all starve.

      ChumScrubber - 2011-09-21 06:27

      Nzx - the current system was working just fine, it was just terribly implemented by the government. 1000's of hectares have already been transferred into black hands, and they have done nothing at all with that land. So why the rush to grab land when it is clear black people don't really want it - besides to take it away from us as a form of "revenge for apartheid". Nothing needs to be changed, they must just start doing their jobs. Failure of land reform is 99% the ANC's fault - but they like to abuse the truth as a political tool.

      ChumScrubber - 2011-09-21 06:28

      @thewestern - 30%!? More like 95%. Where do you get this figure from - its very far from the truth?

      Blikskottel - 2011-09-21 07:23

      Understanding evil is easy and taking from Peter to hand to Sipho, is evil, especially of Sipho is not able to be productive.

      tailormade - 2011-09-21 07:51

      hahahahhahahaha You write your comment as if the whites were a majority when the constitution was written. seriously, I just love the irony in this country: The ANC, with it's majority, does something....and they are loved for it. However, when that thing doesn't suit their needs anymore....all of a sudden it's the whites fault that they made that decision. Got to laugh.....

      FM150 - 2011-09-21 17:07

      How can a constitution, thats worldwide aplauded and accepted to be world class in modern times, be deamed out of date in a matter of 3.5years????? Im saynig 3.5years because it seems the fight against it multiplied after the Zuma regime took over in 2007! Please explain that?

  • BryanJhb - 2011-09-20 22:16

    I say change the Constitution so that Nkwinti can be locked in jailed indefinitely - its only a constitution and if this objective (locking him in jail) can be achieved by merely changing the constitution i say lets do it! While we about lets also allow for unlimited withdrawals from Std Bank (but not Nedbank) and for 364 public holidays a year!

  • marcelminnaar - 2011-09-20 22:16

    It doesnt mean that you can amend the constitution to your liking...

  • Spade - 2011-09-20 22:23

    What the minister is really saying, is that the constitution is a tool for politicians to chop and change whenever they feel like it. So if the politician cannot get his or her way, they would rather change the constitution than apply it. If the minister is incapable of doing his job, and finds himself "stuck" on a regular basis, perhaps he should move aside and let someone who is actually capable take over.

  • Thandiwe83 - 2011-09-20 22:24

    No chance changing constitution. 1 it is morally wrong and 2 you need 2/3rds in the house which you don't have. Many in the anc will also rebel!

  • Mandla - 2011-09-20 22:35

    Land issue is a ticking time bomb,it needs to be resolved as a matter of urgency.I think politicians needs to sit down on this issue.Land issue will affect anyone DA or not DA and the DA should not be a stumbling block in this issue.Solve this problem sonner or later we will regret why we did not move fast.

      Blikskottel - 2011-09-21 07:24

      First do a proper audit, then only deciode to change anything. Why was this never done independantly? Simple the ANC regime knows that the truth is that blacks and black goverment own way more than they would like to admit.

  • Peter - 2011-09-20 22:48

    Not very bright if she thinks the cabinet can change the constitution. Hope she knows more about farming :-)

  • Robin7 - 2011-09-20 22:50

    The moment the ANC start changing the Constituion that would be the signal for every level headed person regardless of race get the hell out of this country. That would mark the beginning of a sharp downward spiral of which there would be no escape.

  • rory - 2011-09-20 22:50

    Why do we need more bureaucracy? The current bureaucracy is failing in its land reform tasks so that needs to be fixed, just adding more of the same will not fix anything.

  • Sinudeity - 2011-09-20 22:59

    Please dont vote. You only encourage them :P

  • James - 2011-09-20 23:00

    If the news atricle is accurate the minister clearly fails to understand the function of the legislative body in a constitutional democracy. The minister's attitude also reflects one of the impediments to installing a proper land reform policy.

  • Craig Louw - 2011-09-21 02:12

    The saddest thing about all of this is that dubula and co think they are right, I'd like to remind everyone that most of the farms that thus far have been allocated stand empty and are useless. In zim the land is now baron. I can only hope that I'm around when dubula's neighbor kills him for his last slice of bread so I can laugh at the ignorant bas-ted.

  • Crime Buster - 2011-09-21 06:29

    I wish to sell my farm. It has a lodge with 60% occupancy, hunting, nursery and tea garden. The ideal opportunity for previously disadvantaged people to have access to a going concern. Willing to settle at bank valuation + loose assets so who do I speak to?

  • Blikskottel - 2011-09-21 07:20

    It is time that people wake up and smell the roses. A constitution means nothing to those with evil intentions and clearly government is full of such people.

  • Pixie1984 - 2011-09-21 08:21

    Shouldn't it be the other way round? You don't change the size of the foot if the shoe doesn't fit. You have to make plans around the constitution, not change it whenever you see fit.

  • Davearch - 2011-09-21 08:38

    This flippin useless govt spent Billions on ARMS .. what FOOLS .. when land could have been bought for the landless. Is the govt not the biggest land owner ? Why don't they give this land to the landless ???

  • albacore - 2011-09-21 10:05

    @ MANDLA,read the article again!."In its current form, the green paper offers no vision of how to redress the inequities bequeathed by apartheid in a coherent and sustainable way," Mazibuko said. Gugile Nkwinti really does not have the mental capacity to get this off the ground,I will put money on the fact that this issue will continue to be a meeting about a meeting about a meeting for years to come.Like everything else the ANC isinvolved with (apart from SARS).You just have to look at the shambles the health and education dept in the Eastern Cape are in.No accountability will lead to all efforts becoming non starters.Too many unqualified faithful in jobs they have absolutely no idea about.The cANCer needs to employ people who can get the job done.

  • letsee - 2011-09-21 10:45

    What a stupidity. The ANC wants to be the constitution.

  • Badballie - 2011-09-21 11:03

    And the decline into Zimbabwean status begins, Any attempt to change the constitution must be viewed as a move towards a dictatorship and must by virtue thereof be opposed by any and all means available.

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