Ramaphosa must be frank about the ANC’s position on the EWC
June 6, 2021
The ANC is speaking from all sides on the issue of expropriation without compensation, according to the hearing. The DA demands immediate clarifications from President Ramaphosa on the exact position of the ANC on this crucial issue.
On the one hand, we have the ANC this week in the ad hoc committee to agree with the EFF that the bill (to amend Article 25 of the Constitution to allow expropriation without compensation) should be revised to allow “state guardianship” over land.
Let’s be clear. This is a stealth nationalization. A 2013 Constitutional Court ruling on this issue confirmed that custody does not imply compensation. Basically, the issue of expropriation can start with land, but nothing in the wording of the amending bill suggests that it will not soon extend to other types of property. In addition, this review diminishes the role of the courts, which offer at least some form of protection against deprivation of property and against abuse of executive power.
On the other hand, we have President Ramaphosa in calming tones, reassuring the business community and investors that this kind of expropriation will not happen and that the EWC will be undertaken in a way that does not harm the economy. and food security.
Somewhere in the middle we have Vuzumusi Xaba of the ANC trying to allay the concerns by talking about “temporary custody” which will only apply in the “period between acquisition and redistribution”. Yet, already, land acquired for redistribution is kept by the state and simply leased long-term to beneficiaries of land reform. No one should therefore be reassured by this notion of “temporary custody”.
The EWC will hurt the South African economy much more than Covid, which is a temporary phenomenon. Indeed, even flirting with the idea of EWC has already cost our economy dearly. The value of the South African financial sector has fallen by a third since Ramaphosa’s first EWC announcement in 2018. South Africa is now the only major emerging country with a net exits foreign direct investment. Foreign direct investment fell 46% in South Africa in 2020 compared to just 11% for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.
The discourse on EWCs alone has already turned SA into an investment desert, irrigated only by a bloodbath of jobs. The ANC would have South Africa believe that its pursuit of EWCs is motivated by the need for social justice. Yet nothing could be more socially unfair than leading South Africa down the path that Zimbabwe and Venezuela have already taken, in pursuit of ANC populism to maintain its patronage networks.
The DA will fight to protect and promote the rights enshrined in the Constitution. In its current form, the Constitution already provides for a real recovery and a real transformation of our society. What is lacking is the political will.
If the ANC passes this revised amendment, the DA will take the fight to court. We will also continue to fight it in Parliament and by appealing to the international community.
Posted by John Steenhuisen, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, June 6, 2021