Wednesday, September 14, 2016

ANCYL Open Letter on the Land Expropriation Bill in South Africa
12 September 2016

Dear Minister Nkwinti,

I wish to extend revolutionary regards to you.

On behalf of the African National Congress Youth League, I have made the undertaking to write this open letter to you with the intention of expressing a few critical points with regards to the Land Expropriation Bill that was passed by parliament, as initiated by your good department.

Firstly, I wish to congratulate and commend you for sterling leadership in driving the process that culminated in the adoption of this Bill against sustained attempts to block it by various interest groups of the old order. To this extent you have successfully asserted, in no small manner, the determination of the ANC to do all that should be done in order to protect the transformation project from capture and reversal by social forces whose existence is at odds with the objectives of the National Democratic Revolution.

Secondly, I wish to raise a few points that constitute what is of concern to us as the ANC Youth League; with regards specifically to the sustainability of a progressive land reform project. In this regard, I wish to highlight that:
- Whereas we commend the progress made by you and your department in giving back land to dispossessed communities, we have noted a structural weakness to the process. There is a serious threat to land reform arising from the tendency of government to purchase land on behalf of poor communities without an accompanying empowerment programme around technical and managerial skilling for effective use of this land.

- There is a an opportunism on the part of mostly racist social forces opposed to the objectives of the National Democratic Revolution. They commonly exaggerate the `market value` component of section 25 of the constitution as the only provision to be accounted for when expropriating land. This serves to lock the state into an expensive acquisition trap; which in turn undermines the public interest by disempowering the state from allocating further funds for development of that acquired land.
- In view of the foregoing, our view as the ANCYL is that you and your department should initiate a petitioning of the Constitutional Court, for which we will mobilize society around and particularly young people. This petition should initiate a process to assess the extent to which interpretations of Section 25 of the Constitution can allow expropriation of land without compensation; thus allowing the state to instead utilize the bulk of its funding to develop capabilities amongst beneficiary communities.
- We are particularly interested on this matter in the context of the need to afford young African people access to land ownership as a means of changing the unjust pattern of material racist exclusion. This will allow them to benefit from the land value-chain that involves, among other things, dividends in farming, tourism, mining and cultural use-values.

It is with hope that you will receive the matters contained herein with the critical urgency with which they`re raised. I do not profess to know the extent of your busy schedule but do wish to state that the ANCYL intends on pressuring you further on the matters raised above as long as we do not see progress.

Comradely Yours,

Njabulo B Nzuzo
Secretary General
ANC Youth League

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