South Africa’s ANC Clears Air On ‘Land-Expropriation Clause’ This Year

President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the ruling party of South Africa expects parliament to approve an amendment to the constitution this year outlining the circumstances in which land can be expropriated without compensation.

According to Bloomberg, as a policy in 2017 to address racially skewed ownership patterns dating back to colonialism and white-minority rule, the African National Congress adopted expropriation of land without compensation. Within the party, it is seen by Ramaphosa’s foes as a test of his determination to push through decisions unpopular with the business sector.

Ramaphosa said in a televised speech marking the 109th anniversary of the founding of the ANC that the amendment would “contribute to the acceleration of land reform.” and that the “Land redistribution will be done in a manner that promotes economic growth and sustains food security.”

Constitutional amendments require the support of two-thirds of legislators, a margin that is lacking in the ruling party.

Ramaphosa reaffirmed that, in line with another resolution taken by the party in 2017, officials accused of corruption must step down. His comments came after last month’s party integrity body recommended that ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule, the president’s key rival, step aside or be suspended after being charged with crimes including fraud and money laundering.

In dealing with party members who are accused of wrongdoing, steps are being taken to strengthen the effectiveness of the ANC Integrity Commission, Ramaphosa said.

“Members who fail to give an acceptable explanation or to voluntarily step down while they face disciplinary, investigative or prosecutorial procedures, will be summarily suspended,” he noted.

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