POLITICS
27/03/2018 05:12 SAST | Updated 27/03/2018 05:12 SAST

How The ANC Plans To Roll Out Land Expropriation

The party has decided to prioritise the redistribution of vacant, unused and underutilised state land first.

Reuters
Demonstrators demand land during a march outside the opening session of the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, on August 31, 2001.

The ANC released a full report on Monday on the outcomes of its national conference in December last year, when the highly controversial resolution to implement policies for land expropriation without compensation was taken.

In a press conference on Monday, Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe – in his capacity as the ANC's head of policy – said land expropriation will be rolled out with urgency and promised that steps would be taken before the party's national general council meeting next year.

Land expropriation without compensation is mentioned throughout the ANC's report, especially on resolutions taken for economic and social transformation.

But there are caveats.

Sumaya Hisham / Reuters
President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks in Parliament. February 20, 2018.

According to the report, land expropriation without compensation must be rolled out in a manner that "strengthens the agricultural sector", "improves economic growth" and "meaningfully addresses inequality and unemployment". It must not endanger food security or undermine future investment in the economy.

READ: Expropriation Without Consideration

The policy is based on based on three elements:

  • Increased security of tenure;
  • Land restitution;
  • Land redistribution.

To perform this, the ANC has decided to prioritise the redistribution of vacant, unused and underutilised state land, as well as land held for speculation and hopelessly indebted land.

Afterwards, active measures will be put in place to drive land redistribution, such as a land tax, support for black farmers, and preferential allocation of water rights and infrastructure provisions to black farmers. The party has promised to ensure effective programmes to increase training and support to those who receive land.

GULSHAN KHAN via Getty Images
Members of activist group Black First Land First prepare to march to the offices of financial audit, tax and advisory company KPMG on September 28, 2017 in Johannesburg.

The land that is under state control (13 percent, according to a state report) and not in dispute or subject to any land claim must then be considered for transfer to traditional communities. Traditional leaders will be made responsible for this.

The remainder, which the ANC says is 87 percent of South African land and owned privately, will be "pursued" through legitimate claims for restitution.

"Land invasions must be curbed through appropriate by-laws. Fast-track the amendment of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction Act 1998 (PIE) to deal with land for housing development ... Mining and other private-sector landowners should be encouraged to release their land to the state for human settlement purposes," the report states.

READ: The Economics Of Land Don't Add Up

Subsidised housing will be affected

According to the resolution, the sale of subsidised houses by beneficiaries should be prevented, and beneficiaries who no longer need the house must be assisted to return the property to the state for compensation, or allocation of an alternative opportunity in another area.

"The rental of subsidised houses to non-beneficiaries should be discouraged, especially in the face of growing need. Accelerate the issuing of title deeds and registration of subsidy houses in favour of the 'family', rather than the individual beneficiaries," the report states.