HON MB GWALA MPL, KZN LEGISLATURE
The IFP supports land expropriation with compensation.
Section 25 of the Constitution needed not to be amended because it is clear and without any ambiguity. From the outset let it be clearly stated that those who are talking about the issue of expropriating land without compensation are selling dreams to the people and they are aware that this matter divides the nation. This issue is unjust and undermines social cohesion.
The questions remain: Under what conditions ought the constitution to allow such expropriation? How are they planning to expropriate land without communicating a comprehensive plan on how they intend to redistribute the land to the ordinary poor citizens on the ground? How will ANC ensure that land expropriation translates into economic opportunities for the poor? This confusion plunges the discussion into panic, which obfuscates the complexity of the land reform issue and prevents ordinary people from really understanding how land reform will work for them.
The IFP believes that this urgent “constitutional reform” is not about land but is an electoral ploy by the ANC and the EFF to win votes in the upcoming 2019 general elections. Nevertheless, the IFP strongly believes that we need to develop a sustainable land usage plan and address the dynamics of ownership. It is all good and well to expropriate, but we believe South Africa needs to be discussing the ownership of land once expropriated. We don’t believe in the whole state ownership of land.
The last time I checked the total land in KZN is 9.4m hectares, the provincial government has 2million hectares of land, national government departments own 2.6m hectares of land, land owned by municipalities is 54 217 hectares, land owned by parastatals is 14 321 hectares, land owned by Ingonyama Trust is 4.3 m hectares and unaccounted land is 431 462 hectares. What is the aim of the government to rush to the land expropriation without compensation while it has failed to report what has happened with the willing seller-willing buyer approach?
The IFP is concerned with ANC fake plan of announcing its stance and without a detailed plan on what it plans to do about those land claimants who preferred to be compensated financially instead of getting back their land. Earlier this year the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Mr Bheki Mbili was quoted in the media saying that the provincial Land Claims Commission has spent more than R7 billion on buying approximately 800 000 hectares of land for successful claimants and paid over R2 billion in financial compensation for successful claims lodged before December 1998. And there are 1 900 outstanding claims of the more than 16 000 lodged before the December 1998 deadline. The question to be asked is what will happen to these claimants? The ANC must answer.
We don’t hear anything about how many farms owned by the state that are productive and those that are not productive. How much of this state-owned land has been given back to the poor people to economically empower themselves? It has failed dismally to provide necessary support including training, seeds and resources for emerging farmers. We don’t hear anything so far about how much money has been invested by government to sustain these farms. We demand that an urgent audit of these farms must be conducted and be made public.
The real problem is that the ANC itself is divided into three groups on this matter. The first one is a Ramaphosa group that understands the modern economy and taking land without compensation will be a disastrous to the economy of this country and they don’t want that to happen. The second is the group of former President, Jacob Zuma’s loyalists that support appropriation without compensation. The last group is the one that has sympathy and support to Julius Malema’s views of expropriating land without compensation.
Coming back to Ingonyama Trust the IFP supports the independence of the Ingonyama trust Board to responsible manage the communal land in KZN with the view to increase support for subsistence farmers and assist in skilling small farmers which operates in this land. Our view is and will always be that our people in rural communities are protected and cushioned from the economic realities faced by millions of others across the country. The Ingonyama Trust Board has always ensured that people working the land are protected.
It is surprising that there are people who believe that Ingonyama Trust be scrapped because of its shortcomings which we are not aware of. Now the question would that the dysfunctional municipalities in the province be scrapped as well? Government departments that are failing our people must be scrapped as well? Ingonyama Trust need to not to be taught about title deeds because the author of Ingonyama Trust, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi had seized with the matter of title deeds in that a surveyor was already been appointed in Pietermaritzburg to deal with the matter before the changes were made in the governance of Ingonyama Trust by the national government which took it away from the province.
It is nonsensical by people who are clever by half to accuse the King of using the Trust to enrich himself without a full understanding of the meaning of a word trustee (an individual person or member of a board given control or powers of administration of property in trust with a legal obligation to administer it solely for the purposes of benefiting communities).
It is annoying that people are talking about remnants of land and not about the issues such as the real borders in which the KwaZulu-Natal land falls under. This covers the borders of Swaziland and Mozambique in the East, Balfour and Ermelo in the West as well as uMzimvubu the border between KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape.