ANC decides on expropriation of land without compensation

Enoch Godongwana. Picture: Deaan Vivier
Enoch Godongwana. Picture: Deaan Vivier

The ANC has resolved to change the law on expropriation of land without compensation – conditionally.

The ruling party wants to amend Section 25 of the Constitution in order to allow the state to expropriate land without compensation – but it has not set a deadline.

Enoch Godongwana, chair of the ANC’s economic transformation committee, who was briefing the media on the outcomes of the economic commission, held on the final day of the ANC’s 54th National Conference, said the resolution was reached after a long, difficult discussion that was so tense that it almost collapsed.

“The commission has concluded that the National Executive Committee will initiate some amendments in the Constitution’s section 25 in order to achieve expropriation without compensation,” he said, further pointing out that conditions were attached.

Godongwana said the party has put qualifications to the resolution – one of which is that the change must be on condition that it is sustainable.

“We have put a reasonable test to the issue. A test that says what is the implication to this,” he said.

Pushed for comment on the time frames for the longstanding issue, Godongwana said he would not be committing to times and the resolution did not mention the time frame during which the resolution is meant to be executed.

The ANC can expect support from opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters, which has previously offered its votes in order to amend the Constitution in favour of land expropriation without compensation.

Godongwana said all other proposals forwarded from the national policy conference held earlier this year were adopted except on expropriation with or without compensation and land reform.

Newly-elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa also touched on the issue of land in his closing speech and said the party would accelerate the land reform programme.

Ramaphosa also admitted the land issue had been a big bone of contention since the ANC came into power in 1994.

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