Zuma gone rogue on land reform, at odds with ANC and Cabinet

President Jacob Zuma’s dangerous comments on land reform this morning, while addressing the National House of Traditional Leaders, point to a man who has no clear vision or policies of his own, only dangerous rhetoric. The President has gone rogue on land reform, contradicting both his own Cabinet and the ANC’s Parliamentary Caucus; and he should be reined in by his Party and by Parliament.

President Zuma states that the current Constitutional provisions are a hindrance to meaningful land reform. This is just a dishonest attempt to excuse the ANC’s own failures in government. In fact, it is corruption and bad policy that have been the greatest inhibitors to land redistribution and reform.

This past week, ANC Members of Parliament and Members of the Executive also articulated this view, saying that the Constitution needed to be actually implemented and adhered to, rather than discarded. Just this morning ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said that “blaming the Constitution for the embarrassingly slow pace of land reform is both disingenuous and scapegoating”. The President’s comments this morning are clearly not in keeping with the Constitution, or indeed with the policies of his own Party.

In the DA-run Western Cape, the Constitution has been used as an enabler for successful land reform, not an inhibitor. The DA has delivered over 75 000 title deeds to beneficiaries since 2009, making these beneficiaries owners of the homes and land that where they live. This is meaningful land reform. A workable rural strategy, with no corruption,  has resulted in a 62% success rate on all rural land reform farms. This is better than any other Province in the country, and there are budgetary provisions that have been made to ensure that even more is done.

This goes to show that with good governance, an understanding of the law and political will, land reform can meaningfully take place within the framework of the Constitution.

Today was a perfect opportunity for President Zuma to address the issue of land ownership in rural areas that fall under the jurisdiction of Traditional Leaders. He could have echoed the call made by King Zwelithini for security of tenure and title deeds for all rural residents living on communal land. But President Zuma is not interested in policies that help the people of South Africa. His only focus is on whipping up divisive emotions and explaining away the ANC’s corruption and failure to deliver.

The legacy of the 1913 Natives Land Act is still real for the majority of South Africans today, and President Zuma’s lawless and arbitrary contribution to this national issue will not work to redressing the land issue. President Zuma and the ANC do not have a vision for the people of South Africa and will do all they can to mislead the people. While the ANC s juggling contradictory positions, DA is working to ensure that we address the legacy of apartheid by building a better South Africa for all.

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  • dave simm

    I hope one day soon we can call Mmusi Mr President.

    • Contributionist

      And then get to watch that old tribalist crook Zuma and his rotten gang get frogmarched into a cell to to live out the rest of their days.

  • Craig Watt

    I suppose the question now is as much mathematical as political.

    Expropriation without compensation would be clearly unconstitutional.

    To change the constitution in this regard the ANC would need a two thirds majority.

    Would the ANC get a two thirds majority if they took up the EFF’s offer to lend their vote on this issue, and would all of the ANC MP’s in parliament support the motion for the constitutional change to make up the said two thirds?

    Perhaps finally we are staring down the precipice at the end game on Zuma’s chess board, and perhaps finally we can get closure on this one way or the other, because I am sick of waiting to see if we go the way of Zimbabwe or not.

    Especially on the back of the Esidimeni, Marikana, Gupta, SASSA, Eskom, SAA, SABC and a plethora of other disasters glibly handed to us by the incumbent ANC as bearers of “Good News” under Zuma’s administration particularly.

    I won’t be holding my breath though.