ACDP withholds support for Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill

ACDP withholds support for Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill

Speech on the Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill

By Wayne Thring MP, ACDP Deputy President

ACDP withholds support for Constitution 18th Amendment Bill

  • Says the problem is the failure to implement the existing policy and legislation due to incompetence, mismanagement, and corruption

“Honourable Deputy Speaker,

Allow me to theologically correct the Hon. Motshekga, the original sin was man turning away from God. This was perpetuated by 27 years of the current administration, failing to properly and legally restore dispossessed land. The ACDP has always acknowledged the need for reformation and restitution of the land. The question, however, is not in the why, but how? We have consistently said that expropriation, without compensation, is not the panacea to the land question.

Property rights must be protected, because a failure to protect property rights and to issue title deeds to property owners destroys the value of such property. Foreign or domestic business will not invest where there is no security of their assets.

The ACDP agrees with former President Kgalema Motlanthe, who when he spoke in July 2019, at a dialogue on agricultural development, said: “If property is not protected by law, society, as we understand it today, will disappear because the kind of anarchy and chaos that would ensue is difficult to imagine.” We cannot allow this to happen.

It is the view of the ACDP that from a legal and constitutional perspective it is not necessary to amend section 25 of the Constitution, as the constitution caters for land reform adequately when read with the existing Restitution of Land Act. It protects property rights and also recognises the need for the restoration of rights to those who have been dispossessed of their land.

The problem was the failure to implement the existing policy and legislation, due mainly to incompetence, mismanagement and corruption, particularly in the department of Rural Development and Land Reform, as highlighted by both the Kgalema Motlantha High Level Panel Report, as well as the Special Investigation Unit Report into the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.

From an ethical perspective, the ACDP supports orderly land reform and the restitution of land WITH compensation, understanding the need for fast resolutions to the land issue as land grabs escalate around the country. We must support as many South Africans as possible, to gain access to land, with title deeds, while protecting all property rights and ensuring that just and equitable compensation is paid for any land that is expropriated.

The ACDP commits to strengthening access to security of tenure, as well as the freedom to acquire, utilise, rent and sell property, including land. We must prioritize rural and agricultural development, guarantee food security and assist small and emerging farmers to become commercially viable, by having better access to finance and markets.

The ACDP supports a just, equitable, transparent and corrupt free, land restitution process, believing that when we unite, build and grow together, it is possible to enjoy a safe, healthy, and prosperous South Africa. We do not support this amendment Bill.”