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More political games over land expropriation

The dispossession of land was South Africa’s original sin – and our politicians are making a hash of doing anything about it. Instead of real land reform, the debate has become tied up in a meaningless but emotive obsession with amending Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation. 😪 A two-thirds majority is needed to vote the amendment through in parliament. The ANC attempted to do so on Tuesday but didn’t make it as neither the DA nor EFF voted with them – for very different reasons, of course. 

The ANC just wanted to one-up the EFF on the land issue, the red party’s core campaign. There was no meaningful change proposed and, as many experts have pointed out, we don’t need to amend the Constitution to allow for expropriation without compensation where it’s really needed. ☝🏽 

As Professor Andries du Toit, director of the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape, put it on Twitter:

“The EFF will double down on its empty rhetoric. The DA will preen and brag about having saved the middle class’s property rights – which were never really threatened… What was always needed was an actual plan that would benefit the poor, and a state that could implement it.”

Remember, the Expropriation Bill, a piece of legislation separate from the constitutional amendment, is still before Parliament. Expect similar drama around that. 

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 9 December 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.