ANCYL calls for court petition over land appropriation without compensation

2016-09-12 21:31
ANCYL logo. (Supplied)

ANCYL logo. (Supplied)

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Johannesburg - The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) is calling for the minister of rural development and land reform to petition the Constitutional Court over the expropriation of land without compensation, it said on Monday.

In a letter to Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti ANCYL secretary general Njabulo Nzuzo said the minister should initiate a petition to the Constitutional Court which the league would mobilise society around.

"This petition should initiate a process to assess the extent to which interpretations of section 25 of the Constitution can allow expropriation of land without compensation; thus allowing the State to instead utilise the bulk of its funding to develop capabilities among beneficiary communities."

Nzuzo said this would give young African people access to land ownership as a means of changing an unjust pattern of material racist exclusion.

"This will allow them to benefit from the land value chain that involves, among other things, dividends in farming, tourism, mining and cultural use-values."

He commended the progress Nkwinti had made on land redistribution but said the ANCYL had noted "structural weakness to the process".

"There is a serious threat to land reform arising from the tendency of government to purchase land on behalf of poor communities without accompanying empowerment programmes around technical and managerial skilling for effective use of this land."

Nzuzo said opportunists opposed to the objectives of the democratic revolution commonly exaggerate the market value component of section 25 of the Constitution when expropriating land.

Focus on ownership of commercial farms

"This serves to lock the State into an expensive acquisition trap; which in turn undermines the public interest by disempowering the State from allocating further funds for development of that acquired land."

Earlier this year Nkwinti announced that government was setting up a range of measures to change the ownership patterns of commercial farms without affecting production and food security.

The ambitious plans included a proposed law that would restrict ownership to 5 000ha for large-scale farmers and stop foreign ownership of land; a network of agri-parks that would equip and support small-scale farmers and a 50/50 policy in which farm owners would enter into partnerships with their employees, News24 reported.

Nkwinti said the previous method of simply transferring land to workers or claimants had led to production standing still in many cases. This was because the new farmers did not have the financial support, equipment and business training they needed.

But with the 50/50 policy new farmers would be able to ease into the process.

Government would buy a portion of commercial farmland and hand it over to the workers to farm. The government would initially own the workers' percentage of the land.

The previous owners would keep a percentage of their land in a split that would be around 50/50 but which was flexible. The previous owners of the full portion of land would be expected to teach the shareholders how to manage a farm.

The 50/50 programme is funded by the National Empowerment Fund. Through the fund, the first recipients of the programme have learnt about setting up a company, the rights and responsibilities they have as shareholders and running mentorship programmes.

Read more on:    constitutional court  |  ancyl  |  land

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