ARTICLE: THE LAND QUESTION – BLACK UNITY AND NO COMPENSATION OR NON-RACIALISM AND CONSTITUTIONALISM?
In his State of the Nation (SONA) appearance, President Zuma said “we had stated our intention of using the Expropriation Act, 1975 (Act 63 of 1975) to pursue land reform and land redistribution, in line with the Constitution” (my emphasis).
In debating this, the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti, on 14 February, said that the Government will undertake a pre-colonial audit of land ownership and “(o)nce the audit has been completed, a single law should be developed to address the issue of land restitution without compensation. The necessary constitutional amendments should be undertaken to effect this process”.
At the launch of Operation Phakisa’s agriculture, land reform and rural development leg on 24 February, Zuma asked the following rhetorical (and nonsensical) question: “How are we going to achieve all the goals mentioned in the State of the Nation Address and all the laws and policies that we are busy amending to enable faster land reform, including land expropriation without compensation as provided for in the Constitution” (my emphasis). On 3 March, in his official opening of National House of Traditional Leaders, the President repeated the Nkwinti statement almost verbatim. Land reform “in line with the Constitution” has quickly become “land restitution without compensation”.