‘Take land, then negotiate’

2017-01-16 11:07
On stage at the ANC’s provincial January?8 statement celebration held in KwaDukuza on Sunday were (from left) ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, President Jacob Zuma and Nomvula Mokoanyane, minister of Water and Sanitation.

On stage at the ANC’s provincial January?8 statement celebration held in KwaDukuza on Sunday were (from left) ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, President Jacob Zuma and Nomvula Mokoanyane, minister of Water and Sanitation. (Sabelo Nsele)

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Durban - The ANC in KZN on Sunday made a bold rallying call, pushing for the expropriation of the country’s land.

The party wants the state to acquire at least 70% of the country’s land and then lease it to communities.

The provincial leadership plans to put the proposal on the table during the party’s national policy conference to be held in June. Should it receive enough support, it would then become an ANC national policy that would be implemented by government.

The call was made during the party’s provincial January 8 statement celebration held in KwaDukuza on Sunday.

It received the support of the national leadership represented by President Jacob Zuma and treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize, and speakers said democracy means nothing without land. “The national policy conference needs to be decisive on the issue of land,” said provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala.

Zikalala said the expropriation bill must be finalised and adopted as law as a matter of urgency.

“The office of the valuer-general must determine the price to be paid by the state. We cannot allow a situation where people who took our land without compensation, tell us how much we must pay them,” he said.

The party also wants those communities living on privately owned farms to be given the opportunity to run the farms or share a 50/50 partnership between the owners and the communities.

Zikalala said the party would need to adopt the “use it or lose it” policy so that those who do not use the land that is returned to them, must give it to those who will use it.

He also called for a halt to the export of mineral resources as raw materials.

“They must be processed here so that it enhances job creation,” he said.

Delivering the main address, Mkhize said the lengthy negotiation process was upsetting land reform, where land owners demanded too much money for the land.

“This can only work if we take the land and then negotiate later,” he said.

Zuma, a surprise attendee, said it was time for those who have “too much land that they are not using”, to share it with those who need it.

“We cannot say that we have democracy when people who are originally from our country, do not own land,” he said.

The celebration had earlier degenerated in to the endorsement of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take over from Zuma.

Regional chairperson Ricardo Mthembu and ANC Women’s League provincial secretary Nonhlanhla Msomi said the party was ready to be led by a woman president.

Although they did not mention her name, their call for a female president seemed to be an endorsement of Dlamini-Zuma, who is understood to have strong support in the province.

Both Cosatu and the SACP, who are known as key Cyril Ramaphosa supporters, chose to steer clear of the succession debate when they were called to deliver messages of support.

Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini and SACP provincial secretary Themba Mthembu chose not to make any references to the national conference.

The leadership warned branches to be wary of factionalism going into 2017.

Mkhize particularly pleaded with young people and with the ANC Youth League, who are known to be key Dlamini-Zuma backers, to be careful of factionalism.

“The conference must be won by the ANC, not by a faction. As young people, we depend on you. I am sure you do not want to inherit the ANC when it is no longer in government,” he said.

Making a surprise appearance at the conference was former premier and provincial chairperson Senzo Mchunu.

Since he was asked to resign as the premier by ANC KZN, Mchunu has stayed out of the limelight.

Read more on:    anc  |  zweli mkhize  |  pietermaritzburg  |  politics  |  land

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