Missed opportunity

Andile Qolo, KTC

Once again, the African National Congress, has proven that 90% of its branch delegates to its national conference don’t really matter.

What matters the most are the views of its National Executive Committee (NEC), which is less than 2% of the delegates to conference.

Over the weekend the ANC NEC called a land summit. It was widely reported that there is group within that says Expropriation Without Compensation (EWC) must be put on hold and the constitution must not be amended, but use the clause in the constitution to distribute or acquire the land.

Even in its media statement by Advocate Ronald Lamula, it said it wanted to first use the Constitution. This means in that at the land summit there were those who were against the EWC and those who supported it.

That summit should not even have opened the discussion of who supported and who did not. The question that should have been discussed is “how do we go about expropriation without compensation?” In its 54th conference it was discussed and adopted as a policy.

So the summit does not have the mandate to say we don’t support expropriation without compensation.

The NEC also can’t retreat, but forge a way forward to fulfil a conference resolution.

As voters we must note with eye of an eagle the delaying tactic of running away from the will of the people to expropriate without compensation. The land was taken through a policy (Land Act of 1913) now it must be returned through a policy of expropriation without compensation.

The Freedom Charter is explicit that the land belongs to all who work it, and that the people must govern.

This is not the reality on the ground. The majority still do not own or control land. It must be remembered that without the land there shall be no schools, clinics and jobs. All these need to be built for people to gain access and opportunities. Until this policy is implemented the three challenges – inequality, unemployment and poverty – will continue to dominate.

The summit should have discussed the following but not limited to:

* How do we do expropriate without compensation (what is the programme of action)?

* Where to start?

* Land Bank (should) change its mandate and start to have agents sent out to teach people about farming (food security), property development and land inspection (mining).

* Time frames

* Mechanism of closing ranks against the opportunists who may want to hijack this policy as they have done with BEE.