EFF on land expropriation: 'No one will lose their house'
Cape Town – "No one is going to lose his or her house. No one is going to lose his or her flat. No one is going to lose his or her factory or industry."
These were the words of EFF leader Julius Malema on the steps of the National Assembly, shortly after the House adopted his motion, which opens the way for the Constitution to be amended to allow land expropriation without compensation.
The motion was passed with the support of the ANC, IFP, NFP, UDM, Agang, AIC and APC.
This means that Parliament's Constitutional Review Committee, which comprises members from both Houses of Parliament, will have to report back to the National Assembly by August 30 and its process will include public hearings.
"There is no motion there saying expropriation of rural land. We're saying expropriation of land without compensation. So the question of urban or rural doesn't arise," said Malema.
"Every land in South Africa should be expropriated without compensation and it will be under the state. The state should be the custodian of the land," he explained.
"No one is going to lose his or her house, no one is going to lose his or her flat, no one is going to lose his or her factory or industry. All [that] we are saying is they will not have the ownership of the land," he said.
"They will have a lease, depending on what the arrangement is, particularly as it relates to the outcome of the Constitutional review process.
"You'll see, once we find land is owned by the state, we're going to find a lot of idle land which is not being used for any purpose. And that land should then immediately be made available to be used, particularly by the previously disadvantaged people."
The EFF is not 'going to war'
He said the EFF is not "going to war", but is "using the instruments and the institutions of democracy to achieve the founding principles of the liberation in South Africa".
The DA, which governs in three metro's with the EFF's support, did not support the motion.
Malema issued a "warning shot" to the DA.
He said on April 6, the day on which Jan van Riebeeck arrived at the Cape in 1652 and the day of Solomon Mahlangu's death, they will support a motion of no confidence in the mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality Athol Trollip.
"It will depend what is the attitude of the DA when the committee starts, because PE is the attitude in the chamber now and then in the committee, if their attitude continues, Jo'burg will follow, in the committee, if the attitude continues, Tshwane will follow," Malema warned.
An ANC mayor with integrity
He said they will support an ANC mayor with integrity and mentioned former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas.
According to Malema, Trollip was a "victim of the attitude of his own party".
The DA released a statement on Tuesday evening, explaining that it was "completely committed to redressing the history of violent land dispossession" and recognised the unjust legacy left behind.
"We view land reform as a social justice imperative which all South Africans must rally around," DA land Reform spokesperson and MP Thandeka Mbabama said.
She said the DA did not support the motion because it preferred a model which saw emerging black farmers as dynamic business people and entrepreneurs who were entrusted with full title and ownership of the land.
"The current approach by the ANC government sees the state as 'benevolent' custodians of all land, with individual black farmers denied the opportunity to really own land. This, we argue, is not real land reform. This is permanent tenancy and dependency," Mbabama said.
"Expropriation without compensation would severely undermine the national economy, only hurting poor black people even further. We therefore cannot support such an approach."
The ANC caucus in Parliament and its women's league welcomed the passing of the motion.
"The ANC in Parliament appreciates the need to take bold steps that will transform our economy including land ownership and reform.
"This resolution therefore heralded a new era of intensified land distribution to address the long-standing national grievance of African people around land dispossession," read a statement from the office of the ANC chief whip.
"We look forward to the outcome of the Constitutional Review processes on the modalities of expropriation of land without compensation. As the ANC in Parliament, we will closely monitor this process."
The ANC Women's League said it was excited, "irrespective of which political party tabled the motion, for the benefit of the landless masses who were displaced by the unjust laws of colonialism and apartheid".