Political parties battled it out during an emotional land debate forum organised by the Regenesys Business School in Sandton north of Johannesburg on Wednesday night.
The round-table discussion was called to discuss the impact of the expropriation of land without compensation on the economy and was attended by African National Congress (ANC) NEC member Ronald Lamola, the Director at the Knowles Mahommed Husain Lindsay Attorneys Mahommed Husain amongst others.
Black First Land First Deputy President Zanele Lwana, Afri-Forum’s Ernst Roets and the President of the Transvaal Agricultural Union Lousi Meintjies were also in attendance at the forum.
South Africans are still sharply divided on how to redress the imbalance of the past especially the land question.
Although they all agree that the 1913 Natives Land Act consolidated the sequence of uncompensated land expropriations by force or fraud since 1652, they simply don’t agree that tampering with Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation is the right tool to correct this wrong.
Mahommed Husain warned that further downgrades will be imposed on the country if the expropriation of land without compensation continues. He said there was no need to amend Section 25 of the Constitution.
Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Ken Robertson on the other hand called on government to release land in its hand to help fast-track land reform.
However, the ANC has vowed to introduce the Expropriation Bill in Parliament in the next few months to fast-track the expropriation of land without compensation.
And although Deputy CEO of Afri-Forum Ernest Roets supports land reform, he, however, insists that expropriation without compensation is not the solution.
Deputy President of the Black First – Land First Zanele Lwana was unyielding on her call for the restoration of the dignity of the landless people.