A land reform bill is available for public comment until 17 April 2017.
The bill will establish a new land commission that will address the South African land question.
Rural development and land reform minister Gugile Nkwinti says President Jacob Zuma’s land grab comments were “aspirational ideas” and can be considered in upcoming ANC policy conference but were not currently ANC policy.
Nkwinti said the ANC was still guided by the Constitution in its approach to land redistribution and that this is the direction which the new land reform bill will take.
“The Bill introduces a Land Commission because people who own land in South Africa must register with that Land Commission, so that we know who owns South Africa [and] that we can use that as a measure to determine the extent to which land is being redistributed,” he said in Parliament on 28 March 2017.
Zuma has called for land expropriation without compensation – a direct attack to the Willing Buyer, Willing Seller policy, saying that those who criticised him for saying land should be taken without compensating should go back to the ANC’s 2012 Manguang resolutions.
His critics have charged he was being a “populist”.
Zuma reportedly told an NEC meeting on 25 March 2017 i Irene, Gauteng: “It cannot be that we spoke about this thing in 2012, and when we point out that we failed to implement it, you talk about [it being] rhetoric.
“Are you saying the branches of the ANC did not apply their minds correctly?” he was reportedly quoted.
But Nkwinti’s department says doing this should not undermine the country’s Constitution.
It said once the bill has been passed, the Land Commission will look at the current people owning land in the country – their race, gender and nationality – and will seek to address it based on that.
(edited by MLM)
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