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On Land

Expropriation of land without compensation for equitable redistribution.

1. The EFF’s approach to land expropriation without occupation is that all land should be transferred to the ownership and custodianship of the state in a similar way that all mineral and petroleum resources were transferred to the ownership and custodianship of the state through the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) of 2002. The state should, through its legislative capacity transfer all land to the state, which will administer and use land for sustainable-development purposes. This transfer should happen without compensation, and should apply to all South Africans, black and white.

2. Once the state is in control and custodianship of all land, those who are currently using the land or intend using land in the immediate will apply for land-use licences, which should be granted only when there is a purpose for the land being applied for. Those applying for licences will be granted licences for a maximum of 25 years, renewable on the basis that the land is being used as planned. The state should, within this context, hold the right to withdraw the licence and reallocate the land for public purposes.

3. State custodianship of land will mean that those who currently occupy land should apply for licensing to continue using the land and should clearly state in the application what they want to use the land for over a period of time. Under this legislation, no one should be allowed to own land forever, because those who have money can, over time, buy huge plots of land and use them for counter-developmental private purposes, such as using land as game farms. A maximum of 25 years can then be placed on all land leases applied for by private corporations and individuals, with the state retaining the right to expropriate in instances where the land is not used for the purpose applied for.

4. In line with the Freedom Charter and a new vision of agrarian revolution, the state should also provide implements and related extension services to help those who work the land to use it productively. Furthermore, the state’s procurement of food should prioritise small-scale farmers so that small-scale farming becomes a sustainable economic activity for the majority of our people. The state must buy more than 50% of the food for hospitals, prisons and schools from small-scale farmers in order to develop small-scale agriculture.

5. Food production, packaging, transportation, marketing, advertising, retail, and trade should constitute one of South Africa’s biggest economic sectors. With a growing global population, and the growing capacity of Africans to buy food, South Africa needs to produce agricultural output through provision of subsidies to small-scale farmers, and open packaging and retail opportunities for these farmers.

6. A structured state support and agricultural-protection mechanism should be applied to all food products, including beef and other meats’ production and processing. The same applies to fruit, maize, and other essential food items produced by small-scale farmers. To boost sustainable demand domestically, the South African government should pass legislation that all the food bought by government for hospitals, schools, prisons, and the like should be sourced from small-scale food producers. This in itself will create sustainable economic activity, and inspire many young people to go into food production because there will be income and financial benefits to boost other economic activities out of it. The economy of food production needs well-structured protection mechanisms and subsidies in order to protect jobs and safeguard food security. Most developed and developing nations are doing the same.

7. With a clearly defined and well-structured mechanism, South Africa, which is, oddly, a net importer of food, can realise the development of the food economy in a manner that exceeds Brazil’s. This will add sustainable job creation, not the kind of short-term jobs created through infrastructure development. This will, of course, require land reform to be expedited and water supplies to be guaranteed for the sustainability of the this important sector of the economy.

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