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22/12/2017 20:11 SAST | Updated 22/12/2017 20:11 SAST

People In A Panic, Want Answers From ANC On Land Expropriation -- Bantu Holomisa

Bantu Holomisa wants answers to many questions: What is the exact meaning of “expropriation” in the decision? Who will be affected?

GULSHAN KHAN/AFP/Getty Images
President of South African Opposition Party, United Democratic Movement (UDM), Bantu Holomisa (R) sits on the panel discussing 'What future, South Africa' at a conference during the Daily Maverick's The Gathering event on November 23, 2017 in Johannesburg.

The UDM has called on government to convene an immediate summit, including all stakeholders, to clarify their intention for, as well as the procedure and the effect of the ANC's land expropriation decision.

On the last day of its national elective conference on Wednesday, the ANC passed a resolution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation, subject to a feasibility study, to ensure that food security and the economy were not threatened.

In reaction to that resolution, UDM president Bantu Holomisa pondered: "Is the new ANC president making populist noise for political positioning?

It is said that there is anger, but also acceptance for a sustainable solution. Only one fact is certain: People are in a panic and, at best, uncertain of the ANC's renewed land expropriation drive.

The UDM has urged the government to include all stakeholders, including political parties, business, agricultural and civil rights roleplayers, in a summit to explain their decision.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
ANC members celebrate after South African Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa was elected president of the ANC during the 54th National Conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa December 18, 2017.

Holomisa wants the following questions answered:

- What is the exact meaning of "expropriation" in the decision?

- Who will be affected?

- What is the nature and variables of the "sustainability test"?

- How does "food security" and "economic stability" impact implementation. Does it, for instance, prevent expropriation in specific circumstances. What would such circumstances be?

- How will expropriation affect traditional leaders and rural communities. How will entities such as the Ingonyama Trust [on which Jacob Zuma's homestead is situated], among others, be impacted?

- What will the effect be of expropriation on the land tenure system?

"The summit, in considering land expropriation, should also address the direct and indirect impact of land decisions on the economy, poverty, unemployment and even education," said Holomisa.

He added that land "remains the matter screaming for resolution, ever since Codesa".

A resolution is long overdue; the irresolution negligent; the ongoing uncertainty; a dismal and continuing failure by the government.

He said the effect of the ANC's decision must be determined by all stakeholders.

"Land expropriation cannot lie with ANC conference delegates alone.

"The UDM is ready and able to take its seat in addressing South Africa's most pressing and ill-attended problems, nay crises, at a summit indistinguishable in importance to Codesa, where our hitherto qualified freedom had been forged."

"Mr Ramaphosa, we have heard you at conference; let us now see and experience your inclusive, unifying leadership," said Holomisa.

The UDM's approach differs somewhat from other opposition parties.

On Wednesday evening DA MP and spokesperson on rural development and land reform Thomas Walters said the DA "will stand firmly behind the property clauses in section 25 of the Constitution and in the process, stand firm behind the rights of the poor to be included in the economy".

"Rather than looking at how the Constitution can be given real effect by extending property rights to more South Africans, thus including more people in ownership in the economy, and protecting the rights of such first-time property owners, the ANC has chosen to make the poor more vulnerable and more excluded," said Walters.

FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said his party will fight tooth and nail against an amendment to the Constitution.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi told News24 on Wednesday night that they will not react to the ANC's resolution.

"We are waiting for them to come to us."

The EFF has, more than once, offered their 6% representation.

-- News24