David Masondo urges ANCYL to start expropriating land compensation as per ANC policy.
ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Dr David Masondo has urged the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) to move into unoccupied land and target arable land where farmers are hosting animals instead of producing food.
Insisting that land expropriation without compensation is a necessity, Masondo says the young lions should not be distracted by doomsayers like AfriForum and the DA, who are quick to mention Zimbabwe as a ploy to stop the redistribution of land to black people.
Masondo was speaking at the Limpopo ANCYL Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) Induction workshop at the ruling party’s provincial headquarters, Frans Mohlala, in Polokwane on Sunday. The gathering, attended by youth league leaders from across the province, was also addressed by ANCYL NEC member Sfiso Mtsweni and Limpopo ANC deputy secretary Makoma Makhurupetje.
Masondo, who was elected onto the ANC NEC at the Nasrec conference in December, said land expropriation without compensation was required to diversify the farming sector and improve food security.
“The reality is that we cannot sustain the issue of social grants. Food Inflation has been going up to an extent that if we do not do anything about it, we will not be able to sustain social grants. Because there more there is a lack of supply of food, it means that the country will be chasing a low commodity,” Masondo said.
“In some areas of Waterberg, farmers instead of producing food, they are now hosting animals. 2.6 million young people are unemployed and they are not in schools. So, at the centre of all this, we need to raise the question of land. The ANCYL must understand that they are representing young people, and the very same young people are unemployed. Because the ANC has said that let’s expropriate land, I think we need to articulate this matter more around the socio economic issues,” said Masondo.
Masondo’s address came after Parliament adopted an EFF-sponsored Motion on Expropriation of Land Without Compensation by 241 votes t0 83. The ANC, UDM, ADC and Agang supported the motion while the DA, Freedom Front Plus and Cope opposed it. The motion has since been referred to Parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee, to effect expropriation of land without compensation and report back to the National Assembly by August 30.
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the Minister of Rural Development and Land Affairs, upped the ante this week when she took a hardline approach to the land issue, saying she would use current laws to expropriate land as the constitutional review committee deliberates on the matter. She said it was unacceptable for blacks to own 4% of the land 24 years into our new dispensation.
Masondo implored the youth to target vacant and unused land as their starting point as the majority of South Africans were still occupying small portions of dried up land in informal settlements. “I think it is important that we target vacant land in a manner where we place notices to the owner to say that, we have been trying to locate you to no avail. Comrades there are land lords who are occupying these pieces of land. Because you will find that there used to be people who used to own that land but have left to England and their grandchildren whom they have inherited that piece of land are no longer interested in reclaiming it,” he insisted.
Masondo gave his presentation under the topic: “Land Expropriation Without Compensation (In the context of economic freedom in our lifetime). He maintained that black farmers continued to suffer in isolation as they did not have any support from the banks.
The former Limpopo Treasury MEC and ex-Young Communist League Chairperson accused opposition parties and white Afrikaner-interest lobby group Afriforum of using Zimbabwe as a scare-tactic to frustrate land reform.
“When you debate these issues comrades, do not allow the right wing to force you to look at Zimbabwe. Look at other countries because there have been excuses that land expropriation will lead to economic disasters. But countries that are developed have expropriated land. The United States of America has expropriated land from the Indigenous Indian community. They use Zimbabwe as an example but they do not want to use England as a reference to countries that have expropriated Land,” said Masondo.
In response to Masondo’s address, ANC Youth League spokesperson in Mopani Tumelo Mafogo said: “In Mopani we do not have an institution of higher learning which is specifically focusing on Agriculture and Mining. Because I think we are the most affected province on the land issue. So why do we not have companies such as ZZ2 selling vegetables to the people of Mooketsi by two cents.
“Comrades the plan of action should be taken now and I think we need to go back and rethink our militancy and relevancy as the Youth League on this matter.”
However, others such as ANCYL Provincial Secretary David “Che” Selane argued that the league should rather wait for constitutional amendment before grabbing land because current laws “defied the objective”.
“When we debate about land, we should be clear because the reality of the matter is that are we ready as an organization to expropriate land. A lot of studies were done around the matter, and one of the issues that arose is that the constitution defied the objective.
“We should amend the constitution because if we do not do that, we will be inconsistent. Land that should be expropriated should be for the benefit of our people.”