2020 ends without formalisation of SA’s land reform plan

Another year has come to an end without the controversial policy on land expropriation without compensation being completed.

Rural women from the Western Cape marched to Parliament on 15 October 2020, demanding productive land and a basic income grant. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Parliament has not yet formalised a programme on a way forward for land expropriation without compensation.

Another year has come to an end without the controversial policy on land ownership being completed.

READ: Land debate: Ad hoc committee set up to amend Section 25 of Constitution

Parliament’s ad hoc committee formulating legislation to amend Section 25 of Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation also ended on a not-so-high note two months ago.

It’s been three years since the ANC resolved at its Nasrec conference to move ahead with land expropriation without compensation.

But court cases, COVID-19 and extended public hearings have further delayed the process.

In November 2020 the ad hoc committee to initiate and introduce legislation amending Section 25 postponed its meeting to consider the draft report on its public participation programme.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said the delays were expected as the land policy had not had wide support, even from within the ANC.

He said land expropriation was still going to be discussed for some time before it became law.

“It is known that there are those groups who have certain misgivings about the way in which it was formulated. So for me, this is one area of policy about which there will still be a lot of conversation,” Mathekga said.

“So I am not so surprised if there is no programme. It is quite a difficult, contentious issue to be dealing with.”

FROM THE ARCHIVES: How do South Africans feel about land redistribution?

Mathekga said the government should prioritise the more pragmatic existing land reform programmes.

“But if you look at this programme where people will have access to land and the infrastructure, I have personally met people in Limpopo who have thrived under that kind of a system, and it has been undertaken more than 10 years ago because I personally know about it.”

WATCH: The political spectacle that was 2020

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