EFF is against land ownership

2015-02-17 13:48

It's not new to say that not enough has been done to ‘redress the injustices of the past.’ In fact, mentioning this is fast becoming empty rhetoric. Weasel words, as some might call them. Be that as it may, redress is still a critical issue, especially in terms of land ownership.

The 1913 Native Land Act was the formalisation of the systematic marginalisation of black South Africans, in that it meant that they could not own land in the country of their birth. It was primary in the inequality  that plagues us to this day.

Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) was at the podium in the National Assembly today, claiming that he and his party are the only ones offering a program to ensure that South Africans regain land that was stolen from them through colonialism and apartheid.

However, when one interrogates this, it becomes clear that the EFF has no real regard for the significance of the issue of land ownership, nor what it means for a person to own land. They are simply riding on the issue to gain popular support.

As a communist party, should the EFF assume power, there would be no land ownership whatsoever. Those who have never owned land, never will.

The state would control all capital and there would be no private ownership. As such, the state would serve as a custodian of the land and have control of it on behalf of South Africans.

When asked about this, an EFF member said that the state would be subject to democratic oversight, to ensure that it does not abuse its custodianship, and that it operates in the interest of the people. Implying that room would be made for people to exercise indirect control. But how can this be, if communism would mean the shift away from democratisation? And as such, a shift away from democratic oversight?

We can attribute the spread of democracy to the fall of communism in the 1980s and 1990s. Moreover, the spread of democracy went along with liberal capitalism.

Democracy also strongly implies competition, something that communism is utterly opposed to, for fear of creating class conflict. So what we would end up with would be a single party system that claims that it is the ultimate expression of the will of the people. As such, anything that it does is automatically in line with the will of the people… and still those who have never owned land, never will.

Julius Malema quotes the Freedom Charter, saying that all South Africans must have access to land. The EFF claims that it is the only party that has the sharing of land firmly on its agenda. However, this doesn’t mean land ownership.

There is simply no way that an EFF government would in any way give South Africans an opportunity to own land.

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