South Africa: ANC Discusses Tenure, Beneficiaries, Spatial Planning

Thousands of people march in Cape Town to demand land for better housing (file photo).

The ANC wants its national government to lead the process of spatial planning.

This political party briefed the media on the outcomes of its inaugural land summit in Boksburg over the weekend.

Senior members had been divided over expropriating land without compensation. Some argued that it could happen under Section 25 of the Constitution, while others believed the Constitution needed to be amended first.

In a historical move, the party supported a parliamentary motion brought by the Economic Freedom Fighters over expropriation without compensation. Parliament has since asked its review committee to look into the different options available.

"Spatial planning is now happening at a local level. There is no act that gives specific powers to the national government in order to guide this process," said ANC national executive committee member Ronald Lamola.

Need for a land map

"We need an act that will allow for central government to lead the process," Lamola reiterated.

He also said there was a need for a land map, in order to determine which land exists where and how it had been divided.

"People speak of the failure of restituted land, but there is also failure in white commercial farms. There's failure of using that land. Almost 60% of our arable land is lying fallow in big, huge commercial farms," said Lamola.

He said a redistribution bill, which the ANC wanted to have introduced, would address such.

Lamola said, although the Freedom Charter spoke of those working the land being given rights to own it, there was also the issue of those who needed the land.

"When the Freedom Charter was drafted, we had farm dwellers who were dispossessed or people residing in certain areas who were dispossessed, but today that is not the only question that is to be addressed by the restitution process," said Lamola.

He added that there were many who were not dispossessed but who needed the land.

Chairperson of the ANC's subcommittee on economic transformation Enoch Godogwana said the party aimed at ensuring equitable access for all.

In outlining who the party felt should be beneficiaries, he said they were still working on defining this, but believed it had to be biased towards the class they were in, and it also had to include those who had worked on the land.

"Our focus was not a specific area [such as] the Ingonyama Trust, but communal land across the board. What form of tenure do we need to be talking about in rural areas," said Godogwana.

He added that most communal land was already in the hands of the state but that the issue was land tenure.

"What we are trying to do is make our views clear. We would like a security of tenure. What we are debating is what form should the security of tenure take," said Godogwana.

Source: News24

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