POLITICS
25/06/2018 14:15 SAST | Updated 25/06/2018 14:15 SAST

Godongwana: 'No Need For Constitutional Changes For Land Expropriation'

The ANC's economic transformation committee chair reportedly told Australian media that the constitution would not have to be amended... for now.

Enoch Godongwana addresses the media during the ANC's national policy conference at the Nasrec Expo Centre on July 05 2017 in Johannesburg.
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Enoch Godongwana addresses the media during the ANC's national policy conference at the Nasrec Expo Centre on July 05 2017 in Johannesburg.

Chairperson of the ANC's subcommittee on economic transformation Enoch Godongwana reportedly told Australian media that Section 25 of South Africa's constitution will not need to be amended to allow for land expropriation without compensation — at least for now.

A report by The Age on farm attacks in South Africa quotes Godongwana saying that the ANC cannot afford to pursue policies that create racial tension.

"There is little change in that skewed land distribution ... All South Africans are agreed that is a problem, other than the fringes. South Africans are wrangling over the strategy to shift this balance," Godongwana reportedly said.

According to the report, Godongwana stressed that the constitution would not need to be amended at present.

He reportedly explained that land expropriation without compensation would only occur in limited situations, such as where land was sitting idle for speculation, and that cases would be tested in the Constitutional Court.

Godongwana told The Age reporter that if land currently being utilised was identified for an urban housing development, for example, compensation would be paid according to the fair and equitable principle.

"The ANC cannot afford to pursue policies which will create racial strife in this country and undermine social cohesion," he was quoted saying.

The Age also reported that Australia's department of home affairs has received 89 applications for humanitarian visas from South Africa, involving 213 people.

In March, it was reported that Australia was considering fast-tracking visas for white South African farmers because of the "horrific circumstances" they allegedly suffered owing to farm attacks. Australian home affairs minister Peter Dutton reportedly said white South African farmers deserved "special attention" towards being granted asylum on refugee or humanitarian grounds.