Debate on “The Escalation in Violent Crimes in South Africa and Government’s Responsibility to Protect its Citizens Lives and their Property” by Cde Richard Dyantyi

14 November 2019

Intro matters:

  • The Debate by the FFPlus- is an instalment to a conspiracy campaign of a sophisticated swaart gevaar.
  • Yes, the history of dispossession was a violent one. But the Redress and Restoration of dignity – thanks to the ANC, will be guided by the prescripts of our constitutional democracy.

The escalation of violent crimes in our country is a cause for concern. We condemn in strongest terms any act of violence aimed at our people and their properties. Law enforcement agencies should deal with any form of criminality without fear, favour or prejudice.

The motion raises concern regarding protection of property, and at times this matter get conflated and deliberately miscommunicate our policy as the ANC on land expropriation without compensation.

For us as the ANC, this debate perhaps, offers us an opportunity to continue to explain to the nation and the world our Conference resolution on Land Expropriation without Compensation, as it has been misunderstood as a threat to investors and a chaotic grabbing of land.

Immediately after our 54th National Conference, we witnessed deliberate attempts by some among our compatriots who misunderstood and miscommunicated our Conference resolutions in general and the Land Expropriation without Compensation in particular.

To illustrate this point, perhaps it is best to quote what the leader of Freedom Front Plus said in March 2018. He said ‘the proposed ANC programme of expropriation without compensation will, from a political perspective, lead to unforeseen consequences including the invasion of farms, where people will force the government to expropriate without compensation…and the ANC government won’t have any argument to say we are not going to do it’. These are the words said by the leader of FF+ in 2018 Dr Pieter Groenewald.

It will be interesting to know what reference source did Dr Groenewald use to arrive to this conclusion about our resolution from 54th National Conference? Nevertheless, we will keep explaining our resolution until everybody appreciate the essence of our resolution.

Our resolution on land expropriation without compensation says that ‘Expropriation of land without compensation should be among the key mechanisms available to government to give effect to land reform and redistribution. In determining the mechanisms of implementation, we must ensure that we do not undermine future investment in the economy, or damage agricultural production and food security.

Furthermore, our interventions must not cause harm to other sectors of the economy. The ANC’s approach to land reform must be based on three elements: increased security of tenure, land restitution and land redistribution. Concrete interventions are required to improve the functioning of all three elements of land reform.

These interventions should focus on government-owned land and should also be guided by the ANC’s Ready to Govern policy document which prioritised the redistribution of vacant, unused and under-utilised state land, as well as land held for speculation and hopelessly indebted land.

The accelerated programme of land reform must be done in an orderly manner. Strong action must be taken against those who occupy land unlawfully. The programme of land reform must have clear targets and timeframes, be guided by sound legal and economic principles, and must contribute to the country’s overall job creation and investment objectives. 1

To add to this, this Parliament has passed the Protection of Investment Act 2015, whose aim is ‘to provide for the protection of investors and their investments; to achieve a balance of rights and obligations that apply to all investors; and to provide for matters connected therewith. 2

Our President has launched an Investment Summit in 2018, which was also held this year, and many investors have made investment commitment in our economy. This is a sign of confidence which investors have in our economy. It will be a contradiction in terms if on one side we call for investments and on another we do not provide assurance through our laws, the protection of the properties of investors.

Going back to the concern of the FF+ as outlined in the motion with regard to the responsibility of government to protect the lives of our people and their property, it is perfectly obvious that there are no ground to suggest that this Parliament will engage in arbitrary and irresponsible ways in dealing with the question of expropriation of land without compensation.

If we were to do that, we will be standing in contrast to our own policy position. Again, we correctly elected the route of setting up a Parliamentary process agreed to by majority of parties in this House and to which all parties enjoy equal participation.

The choice of the process of public participation, in which South Africans in their diversities make both written and oral submissions to the Constitutional Review Committee, was a deliberate one aimed at ensuring that whatever approach we take as Parliament, will be an outcome which our people have participated in it.

The ANC participated and lead the process of drafting our Constitution which celebrated by many around the world. We remain committed to implementing our policies within the parameters of the law in the interests of our people. South Africa has a history of injustice and privilege to the few. In order to build a better life for all our people, these injustices must be addressed, and be addressed within the ambit of law.

Footnotes

1. ANC 54th Conference
2. SA Act 22 of 2015