The South African government is expected to begin expropriating a total of 139 farms without compensation.
Members of the ruling party’s highest decision making organ NEC (National Executive Committee) resolved to make amendments to the constitution aiming to enforce blanket nationalization and explicitly allow for the conditional expropriation of land without compensation.
The NEC has given the green light to its deployees in government, specifically the department of rural development and land affairs, to forge ahead with the process at the Land Claims Court, in which the state will for the first time refuse to pay market value for identified land portions in various parts of the country.
According to NEC, the tough changes are necessary for the long-term stability of the country.
“Both domestic and international investors must appreciate that long-term investment is tied [to] ownership of land by the majority of people. In other words, if you are talking about sustainable long-term certainty, it is tied to addressing the injustices of the past,” said Zizi Kodwa ANC NEC member and the head of presidency.
Kodwa said that the ruling party wants to satisfy itself ; [so we won’t need] to go back to this process of amending the Constitution. We want long-term certainty.”
Meanwhile NEC member Ronald Lamola former ANC Youth League leader said the party was also considering a tax for vacant land owned by so-called absent landlords as a way to free up land.
“Outside of expropriation without compensation, what we would also want to do to vacate land is to put a land tax on it, or a form of levy. If, for example, you want to live on an estate, you know that if you don’t build something by a certain time, you can lose your stand.
“So we need the same to happen to vacant land: a person must know that they must use it or be forced to sell it or pay a tax. That will also lower the property prices because there will be land available in abundance in the market,” Lamola said.