The Parliamentary Caucus of South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday afternoon, chose to support a draft resolution, with amendments, introduced by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for parliament to establish an ad hoc committee to explore, debate and finally introduce a constitutional amendment to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation in the public interest.
On behalf of the ANC, the newly-appointed minister for water and sanitation Gugile Nkwinti (who before the Monday night cabinet resuffle, was the land reform minister) said that the governing party would support the motion, brought in the name of the EFF leader Julius Malema.
There was an early indication on Tuesday that the ANC caucus would adopt the resolution – and essentially make sure that it would pass – when the ANC national executive member Tony Yengeni tweeted that the governing party would support the motion.
The ANC caucus in parliament has been instructed to support the motion on expropriation of land without compensation by the EFF today precisely because it is now our ANC conference resolution and policy.. WMC and their political mouthpiece the DA are in big big trouble..!
— Tony tornado Yengeni (@tyengeni1954) February 27, 2018
In his speech, Malema drew the picture of land dispossession from the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in 1652 at the Cape, to the failure of the ANC to ‘free’ the people from the townships, which he called prison camps.
ANC proposed changes to the EFF Motion on #LandExpropriation
The EFF agrees pic.twitter.com/dA4qEzvq5c
— EFF (@EFFSouthAfrica) February 27, 2018
The EFF’s draft resolution was drawn to capitalise on the ANC’s resolution at its 54th national conference in December 2017 that expropriation of land without compensation must go ahead. President Cyril Ramaphosa made a similar commitment in his inaugural State of the Nation Address earlier this month, saying, “We are determined that expropriation without compensation should be implemented in a way that increases agricultural production, improves food security and ensure that the land is returned to those from whom it was taken under colonialism and apartheid.”
The draft resolution read: “That the House acknowledges that in his State of the Nation Address, President Ramaphosa made a commitment that government will embark on a radical land reform programme that entails expropriation of land without compensation…”