Former President Motlanthe Kgalema says most Black South Africans are too hungry for land.
Motlanthe, who is also the chairman of the panel on Key Legislation and Acceleration of Fundamental Change said people must understand that there are other needs for land, which include farming, tenure security and housing, among others.
He traced the recent land crisis rocking most parts of the country to a break down in the land use management, adding that the government must ensure substantial plans are put in place to ensure that land management is effectively implemented.
In respect to this, Motlanthe called for a revisit to the constitution in order to square address people’s needs and agitation on land.
“Land-use management has collapsed, as a result, people are building anywhere. “What is needed is legislation to properly manage the land use,” he added.
During the media address on the preliminary report held in Johannesburg, Motlanthe was flanked by parliament Speaker Baleka Mbete.
The panel announced that it would submit its final report in August. Already, it has handed over the preliminary report to Mbete as chair of the Speaker’s Forum.
In the course of its investigation, the panel reportedly visited all the provinces where hundreds participated in the process including farmers, traditional leaders, civil society organisations, farm dwellers and individuals with interest in the land.
Most people in attendance reportedly told the panel during the visits that they want to have their ancestral land back. They claimed the land were taken from them during the colonial and apartheid regime.
Motlanthe’s panel was commissioned in January 2016 and tasked by parliament to identify blockages in the implementation of various laws since the dawn of democracy.
The Economic Freedom Fighters are the chief proponents of land expropriation, better known as land grabs in South Africa.
As far back as 2013, the party in a briefing held in August, in Johannesburg reiterated its commitment towards its policy of land grabs. Malema at the time said “Anyone who resists the surrender of land will meet [with] the determination of the people.
Although Malema and his men have been pushing for a change in the constitution to make it possible to own land, the ANC maintains it must handle the matter its own way.
The fighters argued that if nothing is done fast about transferring land to blacks, then land redistribution would take 300 years to complete, they urged black South Africans to emulate Zimbabwe’s land grab style, saying it was started by the people and not President Robert Mugabe.
Malema, in 2016, made land expropriation a pivotal policy during the municipal election campaign. The same year, he faced two charges relating to land-grabs – the first was based on comments he made in 2014 when he told supporters that they should occupy lands in their respective branches.
The second charge was in connection to comments he made in June 2016, in which he said that white people cannot hold any claim to land in South Africa and that black people should not be ashamed of occupying the land illegally.
Another indigenous movement that has recently consolidated land expropriation is the Black First Land First (BLF). The movement believes that all land in SA was stolen from black people and therefore any black persons who need land must occupy it.
But COPE Leader Lekota thinks otherwise. Last week, he rubbished claims that white people stole the land, buttressing that all white people who own land in the country bought it after SA’s title deeds were introduced.
President Jacob Zuma and the ANC were recently forced to act on the land issue after being pressurised by members of the EFF.
Nevertheless, sources have it that the ANC’s official policy on land reform is aligned with the Constitution, which currently allows for the state to expropriate land from anyone, providing “just and equitable” compensation.