Land expropriation for the poor, not politicians – Cosatu

2018-05-24 18:34
Sdumo Dlamini (File, Netwerk24)

Sdumo Dlamini (File, Netwerk24)

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The central executive committee (CEC) of the Congress of South African of Trade Unions (Cosatu) says it doesn't not want to see politicians benefit from the bid to expropriate land without compensation.

Reading the trade union federation's statement, second deputy general secretary Solly Phetoe, said it wanted land expropriation to benefit poor working communities.

"We want the ANC to adopt a resolution that no politician should be a beneficiary of land without compensation because that constitutes a conflict of interest," said Cosatu.

READ: We've made some mistakes on land over the past 20 years - the ANC's Godongwana

The federation held a media briefing at its headquarters on Thursday, following a three-day CEC meeting, where it engaged with President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also president of the ANC.

The CEC discussed numerous issues, including Ramaphosa's Cabinet, its calls for a job summit, the Auditor General's report on municipalities and political developments in the tripartite alliance.

Land question

The ANC is currently grappling with the land issue, having recently held a land summit to iron out the party's views on the matter.

Some have been pushing for the Constitution to be amended, while others believe Section 25 of the Constitution is radical enough to allow expropriation without compensation.

The party's national executive committee (NEC) is expected to endorse the land summit's recommendations when it meets this weekend.

After the passing of a historic motion brought forward by the EFF and supported by the ANC, Parliament tasked its review committee with researching how expropriation without compensation could take place.

"Politicians should not be allowed to be the biggest beneficiaries from the government policies they have adopted," said Phetoe.

READ: 4 myths about land expropriation that must be bust

The federation said farm labour tenants were the most vulnerable because they were unable to access government services, such as housing, electricity and sanitation.

"Workers and the poor are tired of politicians who are in it for themselves and who are driven by the 'I-did-not-struggle-to-be-poor' mentality," said Phetoe.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said they were also worried about expropriation of land being used to dispense patronage.

"A danger that is likely to happen now that [the] government can have such a policy… you will be my friend so that you are able to do one, two or three for me and I will give you [a] piece of land. This is part of what killed our moral fibre as a country and Cosatu still stands vehemently opposed to such activities," said Dlamini.

Tribal land is a sensitive issue

The labour federation, in acknowledging some of the debate in the ANC over tribal land, said it was a problem as land which was placed under the custodian of tribal leaders belonged to the people who had no actual access to the land.

He said Cosatu would push for the issue not to be treated as a stumbling block when dealing with the issue of land reform.

He pointed out that traditional leaders should not be excluded.

"You would never bypass them in dealing with this question, even if it means that this law be," he said.

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Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  politics  |  land  |  land expropriation

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