ANCYL loses land debate

2012-06-28 11:03

There will be no expropriation of land without compensation or altering of the country’s Constitution to effect land reform, the ANC’s commission on land reform has decided.

Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson rushed fresh from the commission, which she led, to tell President Jacob Zuma the news where he was busy with his walkabout of the ANC Progressive Business Forum lounge at the party’s policy conference shortly before noon today.

By all accounts it was a tough evening and morning as the commission thrashed things out, but “we had a very good team pulling the matters together and there was a very sober and responsible discussion”, she told City Press.

“I think we can be confident that there will be integrity on what we decide.”

She said land was not just an emotive matter, but it was also central to the country’s economy.

“We are determined to protect food security and there is no way in which we want destabilisation,” she said.

Joemat-Pettersson added Section 25 of the Constitution already provided for land expropriation, but the implementation of this had been weak.

She said the audit of state land would be done by the end of the year, and this would speed up land reform.

Joemat-Pettersson also told the news to AgriSA deputy president Theo de Jager, as he stood by his stall in the business lounge.

She had wanted Zuma to tell AgriSA personally, but Zuma felt this would have detracted attention from his walkabout.

He is expected to address the issue at the conference closing plenary tomorrow.

De Jager said he was happy there had been a decision on the matter, as agriculture had seen a massive loss of investment in the past few years because of uncertainty.

He said five years ago there were 22 achar factories in South Africa and none in Mozambique.

Today there are only eight left in the country, while six factories had opened in Mozambique.

The ANC Youth League has pushed for the expropriation of land with no compensation.

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