Land reform a social justice imperative - Thandeka Mbabama

DA MP says ANC had 24 years to address this injustice and they failed, constitutional change not needed

Expropriation without compensation still a big part of the ANC’s election campaign

9 February 2019

President Ramaphosa seems more determined than ever to rush through land expropriation without compensation for political gain in the upcoming elections.

In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that Deputy President David Mabuza will lead the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform that will work alongside the Constitutional Review Process. We also note the establishment of the advisory panel of experts that will advise government on its land reform programme. It is due to report back by the end of March 2019.

We have been unambiguously clear about our commitment to redressing the violent history of land dispossession in this country and have always viewed land reform as a social justice imperative which all South African must rally around. Conversely, the DA holds the view that the Constitutional Review Committee’s report that recommends the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation is flawed.

It is for this reason the DA will challenge the legality of the Constitutional Review process should this procedurally flawed report be passed. We maintain, the Constitution is not a barrier to land reform. The barriers are rather corruption, constrained budgets and a lack of political will by the failing ANC.

The ANC had 24 years to address this injustice and they failed. Changing the Constitution is simply an attempt by the ANC to buy itself time, so that it can continue its looting while citizens of this country languish in abject poverty.

We do not oppose land reform, we oppose the ANC’s attempts to use expropriation as ‘get out of jail free’ card. Their failure to take land reform seriously must not be awarded with another term in office.

Statement issued by Thandeka Mbabama, DA Shadow Minister of Rural Development & Land Reform, 9 February 2019