Expropriation of land without compensation gets parliamentary green light

Time for reconciliation over’ South Africa votes to confiscate white-owned land

A worker leaves after working at a farm in Eikenhof South Africa

Tuesday's motion was brought by the radical left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party but was supported by the ANC, which controls nearly two-thirds of the parliament compared with EFF's 6 percent.

The motion, brought by the EFF leader Julius Malema, was adopted with a vote of 241 in support, and 83 against.

Meanwhile, AgriSA said Parliament had failed to rationally argue the impact for agriculture and the economy while debating a motion to pave way for the government's policy of acquiring land without compensation.

The EFF has now said they will support an ANC candidate only if that candidate is the former deputy minister of finance Jonas or "anyone closer to him in character".

It was not immediately clear when any change to South Africa's constitution to allow expropriation of land without compensation would take place.

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In 2017, the government found out that 72 percent of the farmland in South Africa was owned by white farmers as compared to 85 percent after apartheid (a system that advocates for discrimination) ended in 1994 and democracy took over.

The matter will now be referred to the Constitutional Review Committee‚ which must report back to Parliament by 30 August. "All our people ever wanted was their land to which their dignity is rooted", said Malema.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said after his inauguration two weeks ago that he would speed up the transfer of land to black people although he stressed that food production and security must be preserved.

DA lawmaker Thandeka Mbabama said expropriation without compensation "cannot be part of the solution", adding that it was a "lie peddled by the ANC, who fears being outflanked on the left by the EFF".

The ruling party used paramilitary thugs to push white farmers - and black farm workers - off the land, murdering many in the process.

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The NFP (National Freedom Party) backed the motion, as did the United Democratic Movement (UDM), the African Independent Congress (AIC), Agang, and the African People's Convention (APC).

The motion was voted against by parties including the DA.

Crosby emphasised that financial institutions are substantially invested in the agricultural sector and that expropriation without compensation will also impact negatively on the banking sector.

Malema claimed that huge portions of land now under white ownership, was standing fallow and farmers were keeping it just to "brag" about the hectares they own.

The latest move by the National Assembly heralds a new era of intensified land distribution to address the long standing national grievance of South African blacks around land dispossession, said Mhlauli.

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"This thing is going to court, make no mistake".

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