PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma’s call for the expropriation of land without compensation was put on hold and deferred to the party’s national elective conference for a final decision in December.
This was revealed by the ANC chairman of the Economic Transformation committee Enoch Godongwana yesterday when he addressed journalists at the 5th ANC policy conference in Nasrec, Soweto.
Godongwana said the branches were directed to discuss two options, with one of them being the expropriation of land without compensation and with compensation.
“We have handed over these two options to the branches to discuss ahead of the national elective conference in December. Some people were of the view that any form of land reform should take place within the ambit of the law and the constitution.
“Both proposals will be tabled at the conference for a final decision on the matter,” Godongwana said.
Prior to the policy conference, ANC Youth League and ANC in KwaZulu-Natal were backing Zuma on his call for the expropriation of land without compensation.
According to reports, earlier this week things allegedly got heated in the commission where NEC member and former tourism minister Derek Hanekom was harangued and forced to apologise for contending that “expropriation of land without compensation is nonsense”.
However, insiders told Independent Media that those in favour of expropriation of land without compensation have lost their battle and the first signs of defeat were evident when Zuma abandoned his call when he officially opened the policy conference on Friday.
In his opening remarks, Zuma steered clear from his own call and instead urged ANC members to allow land redistribution “within the ambit of law and constitution.
“We believe it is possible to find radical solutions to land hunger, working within the ambit of the law and the constitution,” he said on Friday.
Yesterday, Zuma reiterated his change of mind on expropriation of land without compensation when he lodged an apparent attack on the EFF for continuing to encourage people forcefully grab land illegal.
“Those who occupy land illegal should be arrested. Their acts are illegal,” he emphasised.
However, Godongwana played down the defeat on the motion of expropriation of land without compensation saying the two contradicting motions were still up for discussions.
“We are, however, going ahead with expropriating abandoned land especially those belonging to absentee landlords. We are also going to do an audit of land available including that belonging to the state for land redistribution.
“We also intend to use four million of hectares of agricultural land belonging to the state for redistribution and restitution,” Godongwana said.