No need to amend constitution to expropriate, says expert

Tembeka Ngcukaitobi
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Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi has told the African National Congress’s (ANC) land summit in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, that there is no need to amend the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation, but rather to build strong institutions to implement the policy.

Senior ANC members are attending the two-day summit this weekend.

At its National Elective conference in December, the ANC resolve to expropriate land without compensation.

“For purposes of expropriation without compensation, it is quite clear that there is no constitutional impediment as such. So what I would suggest is that we pass legislation that would make it explicit that the State has the power to expropriate without compensation,” says Ngcukaitobi.

He says government needs institutions that can address land reform in the country.

The party is now looking at how this will be implemented.

Earlier on, former president, Kgalema Motlanthe told the summit that leasing of land to communities in the country’s rural areas is problematic.

Motlanthe was delivering a diagnostic report of the Land Reform Panel which he chairs.

“The land belongs to the people, and that’s what we must try and understand as this liberation movement, which has the responsibility to liberate our people from all the sufferings they had… I mean, you know it’s so painful that you have people who have lived on a piece of land for generations, and today they are being told they must take up leases,” says Motlanthe.

Motlanthe also says the is an issue with traditional leaders who think they own the land, not the people. He says with the exception of traditional leaders in the Eastern Cape, others think that the land they oversee belongs to them.

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