Modulasetulo, ere ke tseye t?hono e ke leboge balwantwa Aforikaborwa ka bophara. Ke tswe gape ke eleletse ...
... EFF, a happy blessed 6th anniversary we will be celebrating this weekend, I thank you. Minister, it was Frantz Fanon who said:
"For a colonized people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity."
South Africa is a country of 122 million hectares, a 25th largest county in the world. Yet, a quarter years after our first democratic elections, white people still owns 72% of all privately-owned land in the country while black Africans only owns 4%. In no country in the world you have a situation where a settler minority groups owns the majority of the land at the expense of the majority, but in South Africa, the abnormal has become normal.
The consequences of this unequal distribution of wealth we see it all around us. We see it in the poverty. We see it in mass unemployment. And, we see it in our overcrowded townships.
Batho ba betagane ekere ke ditlhapi ...
... without access to basic services. We see it in the former homelands where our people have no economic opportunities. We see it
in the fact that farm workers continue to be exploited and abused by white farm bosses.
Badiri ba kwa dipolaseng fa ba patelwa, ba patelwa ka mofine. Ke gore fa ba tshwanetse go bona mogolo wa t?helete, ba duelwa ka bojalwa gore ba nne ba tagilwe gore go tsiediwa ga bona, go tswelele. [Setshego.]
Minister, the question of land is central to resolving the questions of the country. That is why cardinal pillar number one of the EFF calls for the expropriation of land without compensation for equal redistribution. The very existence of the EFF is formed by the current government's failure to resolve the land question and lead the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime.
The land was taken from our people through the barrel of a gun and through legislation, with the two often going hand in hand. There were laws such as Glen Grey Act of 1894 and the Native Land Act of 1913, which confined African majority to only 7% of the land. There was also the Urban Areas Act of 1923, the Native Trust and Land Act, 1936 and the Group Areas Act of 1950.
For the last 200 years, the law has been used to dispossess our people. The law must now be used to take back what is rightfully ours. For 25 years, willing buyer, willing seller has failed dismally. Until today, government has redistributed less than 9% of the land to black people. Section 25 of our Constitution prevents justice and economic development of our country from taking place. It protects white wealth that was built on the dispossession, blood and sweat of black South Africans.
Millions of black South Africans, especially young people and women, live in poverty without jobs and rely on grants to survive. This is the legacy and consequence of the continued unequal distribution of land in this country and it will continue as long as the land question is not resolved.
Today, the process of amending the Constitution has begun in the National Assembly and under the leadership and guidance from the EFF; this Parliament must and will fast track all efforts in this regard. No matter what the DA and the FF Plus says or does, this Parliament will change the Constitution and will begin the process of expropriation of land without compensation; they must just watch the space.
We want to remind you that it is constitutional to amend the Constitution, Minister. Once Parliament committee is established, we will then change the property clause in the Constitution to allow the state to expropriate land without compensation. But, it cannot only end here; all land must be under the custodianship of the state for equal redistribution to all. This must be done in a manner that gives maximum security of tenure to citizens and to businesses.
We must be in possession of this term to pass overarching legislations such as the Land Redistribution Act and Agrarian Reform Act, to give effort to the goals of complete restructuring of land holding in this country. This must be geared towards promoting value adding activities such as aquaculture to create millions of jobs, in vitro agricultural activities and other job including inducing land based economic activities.
The state must establish a land ombudsman to ensure that people's rights to the land are protected and not subjected to arbitrary abuse by state officials and injudicious mining companies. There needs to be a reconfiguration of the land claims courts into the people's land court with not less than 12 permanent judges to adjudicate on land matters on a full time basis.
Minister, your department is in position to fundamentally transform the South African economy and society, but that requires your government to have backbone, a revolutionary vision and then we will transform the lives of our people. But this government has allowed the elite to dictate economic policy for too long, it has been long overdue and there is little to show that things will change. Until section 25 of the Constitution is amended, unfortunately the EFF will continue to reject this Budget Vote.
Now, the MEC of the Eastern Cape, you come here and grind stand about the Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP and calling it a job. Where is the dignity in earning R680 per month? Why don't you do yourself a favour and resign from your job and go work as an EPWP employee and earn R680 per month, then you can come back and tell us if you are able to make ends meets.
Cloete, you said we all like history - no we don't. How can you like pain and death? How can you like the splitting of blood? We don't like history at all. And, by the way, we don't need advice from you and your so-called friends, the DA. We know what we want. We know what we are going to do. And, we are going to get the land and give it back to its people and we are not going to pay any compensation. I thank you. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL
DEVELOPMENT (Mr M Skwatsha): Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon MEC's Sithole-Moloi and Meth, hon members, Director Generals everybody present here, good afternoon. Today I would like to echo a call to action to all spheres of government. To rally behind the common course of speeding up land reform and eradicate the vestiges of oppression, colonial domination.
While undertaking this mammoth task, we must be mindful that we are a constitutional democratic state. We must act within the prescripts of the law. Our people are impatient, thank you very much Mam. Yes the task is long overdue but it is no licence to embark on land grabbing campaigns to make headlines. It is not the time to sow hatred, our country has enough of racial conflicts. To those who resisted temptation of spewing inflammatory rhetoric, only to get applause and score cheap political points. We will never encourage the contravention of the law, simply because we want to generate popular peacetime heroes.
The land dispossessed people deserve better than being used for fodder that does not even translate into concrete electoral support. Anyway, a Marxist worth his or her sword will tell you that there is no relationship indiscipline and radicalism. A famously quoted
revolutionary Falorn, never believed in illegal criminal land grabs. He really believed that land must be redistributed equally to the people.
Let us use the legal means at our disposal. We all know that the legislation that will eventually allow large scale land expropriation without compensation, is soon to be a reality. The amendment of Section 25 in our Constitution in order to speed up land redistribution, is no longer a matter of a story. It is a reality and it is actually the legislators that must make this a reality. It is common course that restoring the dignity of the land dispossessed people is an immense task.
We need trusted partners. There is no way that we can romanticise over this. No single sphere of government can carry out this task on its own. All spheres of government should enjoy cordial relations with each other in executing this mammoth task. We are all committed to upholding the Constitution while delivering on the respective constitutional mandates. Our experience in the struggle against colonialism and apartheid has taught us the importance of strong partnerships.
In the service delivery value chain, provinces and municipalities are crucial in this battle to redress the imbalances of the past. They are the coalface of crisis and suffering of many communities in the country. Ladies and gentlemen, with the work that we been tackling in the land reform programmes, which comprises redistribution, security of tenure and restitution, some of the key interventions include the promotion of food security, the rapid release of land for urban human settlements and the importance of growing our economy. These programmes are geared to speed the resolution of land ownership patterns and tackling the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
Furthermore, the NDP is instructive about its vision and I quote: "We must attack the blight of poverty and exclusion and nurture economic growth at the same time. Creating a virtual cycle of expanding opportunities, building capabilities and reducing poverty involving communities in their development, all leading to rising living standards."
Our deputy President during the President's budget debate re- iterated this crucial aspect and I quote him: "Poverty and inequality are not only a consequences of historical injustices of the past, but the continuing spewed capital and land ownership
patterns that hampered broad based participation in economic productive activities."
The acceleration of our land reform programme will continue to focus on improving access to land for Agriculture, economic developments and sustainable human settlements. On land administration we are in the process of revamping the extension of security tenure Act of 1997 to protect one of the most vulnerable groups in our society, farm workers. This piece of legislation should not be taken for granted. It could be one of the last hopes of restoring the dignity of farm workers. Most of whom still bear the brunt of oppressive conditions.
In the next few months, our department will table the relevant regulations for public comments. Another important development in this financial year will be the tabling of the Deeds Registration Amendment Act to cabinet. It will be amiss not to mention the programmes that are being implemented to strengthen the capacity of CPA's. The Minister has gone at length in speaking about CPA's, something needs to be fixed there.
In our sphere we are getting to grip the strengthening of the office of the Valuer General, which is an important aspect of delivering
land to our people. All land earmarked in our land property registrar must go through the evaluation process of the OVG. Therefore it is critical that this body should operate optimally and effectively. Top of the remedial list of the OVG, the re-alignment and approval of the new organisational structure. We are also going to set up a project management office within OVG, to help speed up service delivery and eliminate the property evaluation backlog.
We have noted that these matters adversely impact the meeting of annual targets, which in turn lead to the frustration of potential beneficiary. Strengthening the working relationships between the OVG and our commission on restitution of land rights, this help a lot in speeding up delivery of land.
Few words of caution, the issue that has been raised by speakers here, the frustrations of our people, so many people have taken advantage of our people in the processes that have unfolded before. Some of them, include those that engage in corrupt practices. Such people are to be found in the private sector and also in the public sector. Let them be warned that the law is going to be catching up with them.
Properties should not be priced unrealistically high values just because the client happens to be the government as it is mostly the case. Even the market must be sensitive to the bigger course of land reform. These greedy land owners contributed in the past to the slowing down of the pace of the land reform programme. Under our wards we handle the three prong programmes, referred to restitution, redistribution and tenure.
Let me quickly deal with how we have allocated the scarce financial resources for our provinces that are most important are our delivery agents. Collectively, our nine provinces have been allocated a total of just over 7 billion for the financial year. This is the household budget, for the implementation of various programmes. READ, RATE and all our related programme.
The breakdown for provinces is as follows: Mpumalanga 980 millions, Eastern Cape 789 million, Western Cape 575 million, Gauteng 434 million, Northern Cape 403, Free State 456 million. This programme has received more that 2.9 billion for all its national projects that are being executed by the provinces.
I want to say in closing, that this project of land reform needs sanity, no emotions. To the EFF as I live, you cannot say the DA is
our friends when you have propelled them into governing in many provinces, in Gauteng and in Tshwane. Thank you very much.