South Africa: ANCYL Firm On Mining, Land Policies

Johannesburg — The ANC Youth League will continue to push for the nationalisation of mines and the expropriation of land without compensation at the ANC's policy conference, it said on Tuesday.

"More attention must be given to the hasty implementation of the Freedom Charter so as to bridge the divide of poverty, inequality and unemployment in our society," the ANCYL said in a statement.

"The African National Congress Youth League will be attending the fourth national policy conference... [which] allows for all issues of the organisation to be presented for discussion and debate."

It said nationalisation and land reform were pertinent matters which involved the economy.

ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola had come under fire for his comments relating to land ownership. Last week, Lamola told a media briefing in Pretoria that Section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to allow for a change in land reform policy.

"The only solution is expropriation without compensation," he said.

If white South Africans did not hand over land to poor blacks, there could be land invasions like those that took place in Zimbabwe, he warned.

He also reportedly said he could not guarantee the safety of "the Van Tonders and the Van der Merwes on farms".

In Durban, Lamola said: "We need an act as forceful as war to bring it [the land] back to the Africans."

The ANC is holding a four-day national policy conference in Midrand, Johannesburg, attended by about 3500 delegates.

Earlier on Tuesday, there was no evident seating area for the ANCYL in the main hall at Gallagher Estate, and none of its top officials, including Lamola, were to be seen.

In the statement sent on Tuesday afternoon, the ANCYL said it was firmly behind the resolutions it took at its national congress last year.

"The positions formulated... reaffirmed that economic freedom in our life time must be realised and that at no point in our history will we fail the mandate of young people in the country."

It said the policy conference came at a time when there was a deepening crisis in the economy.

"The ANCYL envisages that the policy conference will successfully resolve on the multiple challenges facing our people first and foremost," it said.

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