Land Reform: DA looking forward to advancing workable solutions - Thandeka Mbabama

MP says her party wants to dismantle EFF populism and ANC opportunism

Land Reform: DA looks forward to advancing workable solutions and dismantling EFF populism and ANC opportunism

The DA is looking forward to engaging with stakeholders on the question of expropriation without compensation in the Constitutional Review Committee, and reporting back to the National Assembly in August, following the adoption of the EFF’s resolution on the matter yesterday.

It is our earnest hope that the Committee can consider the proposed amendment to Section 25 of the Constitution soberly and armed with the facts, away from the populism and cheap theatrics displayed in the House yesterday.

The DA is fully committed to redressing the history of violent land dispossession in South Africa, and the social and economic legacy of this dispossession which still exists in our country today.

However, the DA is unwilling to allow an opportunistic, hypocritical ANC to get away with their abject failure on land reform by diverting attention away from the fact that land reform programmes pursued since 1994 have been blighted by wide-scale corruption, inefficiency, chronic underfunding, and bad policy.

Indeed, the High Level Panel headed by former President Kgalema Motlanthe found that “the need to pay compensation has not been the most serious constraint on land reform in South Africa – other constraints, including corruption by officials, the diversion of the land reform budget to elites, lack of political will, and lack of training and capacity have proved more serious stumbling blocks to land reform”.

Government currently has some 4000 farms and vast tracts of state land available for redistribution. The ANC and EFF want to make government custodians of the land whereas the DA wants people to be owners and have title deeds to their land.

In the metros where the DA governs, we have already distributed more than 75 000 title deeds, and in the DA-led Western Cape our approach has accelerated the pace of land reform and led to the success of 62% of all land reform farms. Where the ANC governs, their success rate is only 10%, which clearly shows that the problem is with the ANC not the Constitution.

The DA will defend the Constitution and show that expropriation without compensation is not the solution to assisting the poor and marginalised in accessing land and economic opportunities.

We believe it is possible to achieve the aims of land reform and to do so in a way that truly empowers black people and strengthens the economy. We reject the opportunism of launching an attack on the Constitution to deflect from the failures of the ANC-led government.

Issued by Thandeka MbabamaDA Shadow Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, 28 February 2018