Johannesburg – The ANC’s resolution to go ahead with expropriation of land without compensation will not undermine the economy, newly elected party president Cyril Ramaphosa promised.
Delivering his maiden speech on Thursday morning, Ramaphosa spoke strongly of the need to expropriate land without compensation, saying that the party would accelerate its programmes of land reform and rural development as part of the radical economic transformation (RET) programme.
He emphasised, however, that this needs to be done with care to avoid undermining the economy, agricultural production and food security.
“The ANC has always taken care to seek to manage the economy of our country in a way that will advance the interest of our people,” he said.
Ramaphosa assured delegates that the newly elected national executive committee (NEC) will manage South Africa’s economy with “due care”.
The ruling party announced on Wednesday evening that its committee on economic transformation has agreed to amend the Constitution to enable land expropriation without compensation.
The NEC will be given the scope and time to exhaust all tests for sustainability of the policy, with no dates or targets having been set.
If successful, they will initiate proceedings to amend Section 25 of the Constitution, News24 reported earlier.
An analyst, who spoke to News24, said this was a desperate move by the ANC and that the Constitution was not an obstacle to land reform.
Analysts have also questioned how the economy will be affected by the sudden shift in the ANC, with some saying that consequences of the resolution may be seen as early as Thursday morning through the markets.
“If there is a matter that has caused a great deal of pain and hardship, and a result of poverty that we see in our nation today, it is the issue of land and education…,” he said.