The EFF will expropriate land without compensation in municipalities that it could govern following the local government elections, party leader Julius Malema said on Tuesday.
It would give people free stands to live on, he wrote in the party’s newsletter.
Landlessness was the major reason the black majority lived in absolute poverty and the EFF would use the “municipal planning function” to abolish this, Malema said.
“That the descendants of colonial murderers, barterers, and robbers continue to occupy, use and benefit from illegally and illegitimately acquired land is not in dispute amongst sensible and rational South Africans. What is in dispute is the manner in which this illegally and illegitimately acquired land should be transferred to the ownership and for the benefit of the people as a whole,” he said.
Malema said the Economic Freedom Fighters was the only significant political movement with a commitment to take back the land without compensation and give it to the people equitably. Other “reactionary reformists” were saying the limited resources at the state’s disposal must be used to buy “stolen land”, he said.
“The EFF is not ashamed of, and will never retreat from, this commitment because buying illegally acquired property is a criminal offence and we will never be party to criminal activities,” he said.
“What this means is that when we are government in any municipality, we will allocate all available land to the people for residential, industrial, religious and recreational purposes, and no one will stop the EFF from doing so.”
‘Use it or lose it’
Malema quoted Section 151 (4) of the Constitution: “The national or provincial government may not compromise or impede a municipality’s ability or right to exercise its powers or perform its functions.”
He said municipalities were responsible for municipal planning, industrial promotions, local sport facilities, cemeteries, and other services that required land.
“It is, therefore, logical that when the Constitution assigned these tasks, it also gave the municipality a degree of powers to allocate land for all these purposes.”
Malema said the party would pass by-laws allowing for the expropriation and allocation of land, based on the principle of “use it or lose it”, and provide bulk services.
The municipalities would provide land for burial purposes, to avoid re-using old graves.
The EFF would support programmes to train people to become farmers, with the aim of increasing agricultural productivity, and provide free land for building places of worship.