Minister: No land reform pandemonium

2012-06-28 21:41
The ANC must not create "pandemonium" among business and the public over land reform, Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson says. (File, Beeld)

The ANC must not create "pandemonium" among business and the public over land reform, Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson says. (File, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - The ANC must not create "pandemonium" among business and the public over land reform, Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Thursday.

"I don't think we should create pandemonium or insecurity. There is no need for us to panic. Section 25 of the Constitution has always been there and we shouldn't create the impression that we are going to change the Constitution," she said on the sidelines of the ANC policy conference in Midrand.

"All we need to do is implement the Constitution."

She said Section 25 allowed the government to expropriate land with compensation. This could be accomplished by "building the capacity of the state" and completing the land audit.

"The Polokwane [elective] conference took a decision that the land audit must be completed by the end of 2012. We are convinced that we will meet our deadline.

"Once it is there, we will have a clear picture on how to fast-track land reform."

She said the commission debates around land had been "sober".

"The impacts of decisions we take in those commissions will have an impact on the economy of the country. We are determined to protect food security.

"There is no way in which, as a country, we can go towards the centenary of the 1913 land act, without having a definite and radical opportunity to fast-track land reform."

When the land reform policy document was released in March, ANC head of policy Jeff Radebe said: "The recommendation in this document expresses the view that the current willing buyer, willing seller model tends to distort the land market through inflating the prices of land earmarked for restitution, and this has the dual effect of making land reform expensive, and delays the process of increasing access of the poor to land."

In the document the ANC proposes introducing a valuer general's office. The valuer general would set standards for valuation of land that involved fair compensation.

The land reform commission was scheduled to report on its resolutions later on Thursday afternoon.

The Freedom Front Plus was happy about the news.

"The Freedom Front Plus welcomes the ANC's commission on land reform's decision not to nationalise land and that section 25 of the Constitution will not be amended," the party's parliamentary spokesman Pieter Groenewald said in a statement.

"Although section 25 of the Constitution provides for the expropriation of land with compensation, the government should rather first intervene in the failed land reform projects."

- SAPA
Read more on:    ff plus  |  anc  |  tina joemat-pettersson  |  johannesburg  |  mangaung 2012  |  politics  |  land
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