Land policy is 100% ANC – Gugile Nkwinti

2014-07-01 12:57

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Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti has defended his draft farm land policy amid reports that he did not have a mandate from the ANC.

Nkwinti said the origin of the policy was the Freedom Charter and through a resolution of the ANC’s 2012 Mangaung elective conference.

The resolution was a “one-liner” that didn’t articulate details, he said, but all the key proposals from the policy emerged from within the ANC.

“It is one thing to have a conference resolution and another to articulate it into policy,” he said.

Nkwinti said the implementation of the resolution was what he was now involved with, and after engaging with stakeholders – a process that ended in April – he would return to the ANC with a proposed plan next July.

“I will go to the ANC then and say – this is what we have come up with ... I am hoping that come July, they will agree.”

The draft policy, titled Strengthenging Relative Rights of People Working the Land, attempts to protect farm workers from eviction. It proposed a 50% share equity scheme for long-term farm dwellers.

The state will pay for the 50% portion, but the money will not go to farmers but to a development and investment trust “jointly owned by the parties constituting the new ownership regime”.

City Press reported on Sunday that ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said there was no ANC policy position on the mooted 50% share equity scheme. “We are still awaiting an understanding of what exactly this means from the ministry that made the proposal,” he said.

Other ANC insiders also questioned whether the proposals had the backing of the party’s conference resolutions.

Read: Land policy: ANC disowns draft plan

Nkwinti was speaking at a media briefing today on the signing into law of the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act, which reopens the land claims process from today until 30 June 2019. The earlier deadline for lodging claims ended in 1998.

Read: Jacob Zuma signs land bill into law

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