Gauteng premier David Makhura has appealed to the EFF to stop encouraging land grabs across Gauteng.
The Gauteng government has been thrown into a difficult situation this past week, with so-called ‘back yard dwellers’ claiming tracts of land on unused, but privately owned, property across the province.
Several incidents of illegal occupation have been reported since last week Friday – in Tshwane, Johannesburg, and Midvaal.
- Olivenhoutbosch in Centurion
- Blue Hills in Midrand
- Weiler’s Farm in Elandsfontein
- Off the Golden Highway near Eldorado Park
- Orange Farm
The EFF has taken responsibility for most, if not all land grabs that are currently taking place in the province, saying that it is fulfilling it land redistribution programme that is the pillar of its policy.
EFF chairperson in Gauteng, Mandisa Mashego, said that EFF structures and branches “lead all‚ if not most‚ land occupation programmes in Gauteng. Any land occupation in and around Tshwane is no exception.”
“We revere and honour it as our pillar of strength and bedrock of all our other policy statements that‚ if pursued vigorously or fearlessly‚ economic freedom in our lifetime will become real,” Mashego said.
However, Makhura has taken exception to the party’s statements, saying that it cannot be pursuing Constitutional change while also promoting anarchy in the province.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has responded to the land grabs, saying that no person can illegally occupy private land, as it was a clear violation of the country’s laws. He warned that those who are doing so will face the full might of the law.
The ANC has passed a motion by the EFF to review the country’s current land laws, seeking to make land expropriation without compensation legal in South Africa.
However, despite the apparent agreement between the two parties, their approach is quite contrasting.
The ANC adopted the policy of land expropriation without compensation at its 2017 conferences; however, the motion to review the country’s laws are under the condition that the economy and food security are not affected by any changes.
The party is also focusing on agricultural land, specifically.
The EFF, however, want all land in the country – rural, urban, agricultural and residential – to be nationalised, and subsequently leased out to citizens by the state.