Farming must continue 'uninterrupted' - Malema

EFF leader Julius Malema outside the National Assembly after their motion to amend the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation passed. (Jan Gerber, News24)
EFF leader Julius Malema outside the National Assembly after their motion to amend the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation passed. (Jan Gerber, News24)

Johannesburg - Elaborating on his motion for a constitutional amendment to allow expropriation without compensation, EFF leader Julius Malema said on Wednesday that farmers should be able to continue to work their land uninterrupted, but that those parts that lay idle should be redistributed by the state.

He was answering questions by journalists outside of the party's public health care campaign launch at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, following his motion in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

"If you are a farmer and you have lost ownership of the land to the state, then the portion of the farm you are using to produce whatever you are producing should continue uninterrupted. [But] idling parts of the farm …should be reallocated to someone else who will use it for production," he said.

The majority of MPs in the National Assembly supported the motion. It received support from the ANC, IFP, NFP, UDM, Agang, AIC and APC, but was rejected by the DA, Cope and FF Plus.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Malema emphasised that there was no turning back on their call for the state to own all the land in the country.

READ: EFF on land expropriation: 'No one will lose their house'

He claimed that huge portions of land currently under white ownership, were standing fallow and farmers were keeping it just to "brag" about the hectares they own.

According to Malema, black people will also not own land. "We must all be allocated land. You can't sell it. You can't come tomorrow and say, I have sold my piece of land.

If you don't want it, you must go back to government and say, I am leaving this place and you can take that which belongs to you and the government will reallocate it to someone else," he said. The EFF leader said South Africans would not have to pay rent on the land they are working.

However, Malema said only corporates and foreign investors will pay rent to the state. "A lot of land remains idle, you don't need stats to know.

Just go to Stellenbosch, which is owned by white people. It is just idling land.

"The ownership patterns are going to be affected by the fact that now government owns land, no one will be arrogant on the bases of ownership of land," Malema said.

He said, once all land is declared to the state, those previously disadvantaged can be prioritised for redistribution.

"It is not an issue that will cause a nightmare. It will be dealt with within the confines of the Constitution," he said.

The proposed amendment has been referred to Parliament's constitutional review committee, which will open the matter for the public to give input.

The committee, which comprises MPs from both Houses of Parliament, will have to report back to the National Assembly by August 30.

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