Growing reports have it that ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize has disagreed with President Jacob Zuma on land expropriation.
Unlike President Zuma, Zweli Mkhize wants the government to carry out land expropriation without compensation ‘without’ changing or amending the constitution.
He argued that it is still very possible for the government to deal with land expropriation without compensation “within the constraints of whatever we have”.
“I believe a lot of progress can be made within the existing constitution – but within the constitution, we [have] a lot that can be done and achieved,” Mkhize reportedly said on Tuesday.
The ANC leader also described the Economic Freedom Fighters’ offer of their 6% of the vote to the ANC in parliament to amend the constitution for an expropriation of land without compensation as a ‘political tactic’ used to put pressure on the ANC on a “very complex matter”.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema led a debate in Parliament on Tuesday February 28, on amending Section 25 of the Constitution, calling for land expropriation without compensation.
Malema told the House that the EFF would add its 6 percent to the ANC’s 62 percent to get the two-thirds required to amend the Constitution, and called on the ANC to support the motion to set up an ad hoc committee on the issue.
“If you vote against this, it’s a waste of time. We are already giving our people the land and we are not ashamed,” he said in the National Assembly.
Earlier this month, Zuma said in his annual address to the House of Traditional Leaders that there could be no economic transformation without land reform, and laws – including the Constitution.
He called for an audit that would draw a map of pre-colonial land ownership, followed by legislation that would allow expropriation without compensation.
He said at the time: “We are busy amending [laws] to enable faster land reform, including land expropriation without compensation as provided for in the constitution. The economy is not in our hands. We are not in control of economic power.”
In addition, Zuma announced that the government is also considering turning the Land Claims Commission into a chapter 9 institution to enhance its powers – the institution will equally help reverse the historical injustice on land.
The intensified calls to reinvigorate land expropriation, better known as land grabs in South Africa, is being spearheaded by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
In fact, land expropriation is a chief policy in the EFF. As far back as 2013, the party in a briefing held in August, in Johannesburg reiterated its commitment towards its policy of land grabs.
EFF leader at the time said: “Anyone who resists the surrender of land will meet [with] the determination of the people.”