South Africa: Land Issue - Once More At Front and Centre of the ANC's Internal Politics

Farmland in the Overberg region of the Western Cape (file photo).

The issue of expropriation of land without compensation, dormant for several months, is back on the front pages. It appears the ANC wants to make a major change to the proposed process that would see judges being removed until after the process is finished. It is also pertinent to consider why this issue is bubbling up again now, ahead of the ANC's national general council later this year.

Over the weekend, the Sunday Times splashed a series of quotes from the ANC that it is planning to dramatically change the way it envisages how expropriation of land will work. It says that the ANC wants to make a change in how the value of land will be determined.

At the moment, the current draft amendment to Section 25 of the Constitution says that the value of the land being expropriated will be determined by a court (the value of that land, or transaction itself, can be deemed as "nil" which would then become expropriation without compensation). The ANC is planning to have that determination made by "the executive", in other words, the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform.

The Chair of Parliament's ad hoc committee dealing with the amendment,...

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