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  • Plans to amend the constitution to seize lands will be pushed forward by the ANC

    Plans to amend the constitution to seize lands will be pushed forward by the ANC | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 August 2018
Opinion

Apartheid and white-minority rule in South Africa ended in 1994 however, most of the productive lands are still owned by these groups.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced plans to amend the country's constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation. A bill to advance the project will be pushed forward by the African National Congress (ANC) South African Ruling party in the Parliment soon.

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Apartheid and white-minority rule in South Africa ended in 1994, however, most of the productive lands, and about 95 percent of the wealth is still ruled by a just ten percent of the country's population. In December the ANC first adopted the measure, of land seizure without compensation as a possibility of land expropriation within the current laws, and trying to avoid the constitutional change.

However, “it has become pertinently clear that our people want the constitution to be more explicit about expropriation of land without compensation as demonstrated in the public hearings,” Ramaphosa said during the address. 

As up until now the ANC government has followed the common way of "willing seller, willing buyer" model, in which it would buy white-owned productive land for redistribution. This model has, however, only produced moderate results.

As a way to accelerate wealth redistribution, "the ANC will through the parliamentary process finalize the proposed amendment to the constitution that outlines more clearly the conditions under which expropriation of land without compensation can be affected," according to Ramaphosa's statement.

These declarations have raised concerns among the population's elite, however, Ramaphosa and the ANC are preparing a contingency plan to push the economic growth. A "stimulus package will be based on existing budgetary resources and the pursuit of new investments, while remaining committed to fiscal prudence," Ramaphosa said.

"We call on all South Africans to work with us on developing a social compact for economic inclusion, economic growth, and jobs for all."

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