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Maimane on Land: ANC and EFF stoking racial tension

Maimane on Land: ANC and EFF stoking racial tension

Leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Mmusi Maimane, said the approach adopted by the African National Congress (ANC) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deliberately stokes racial tension and relies on force.

Maimane and the DA have found themselves on the back foot since the National Assembly resolved on land expropriation without compensation last month, with the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) positioning itself as the champion of property rights in the country.

Monday's press briefing at Constitution Hill, was an attempt by the DA to provide clarity on the party's land reform policy and alert South Africans to what it feels are the dangers presented by the EFF and ANC solutions.

"Our opponents' approach is one which has yielded only poverty and misery for the poor wherever it has been tried anywhere in the world. It is a guarantee of chaos and economic disaster," said Maimane on Monday.

"It deliberately seeks to stoke racial tension, and by definition relies on force. It is the sound-bite, simplistic solution of the violent demagogue, and should be rejected by all South Africans of every background," added Maimane.

Land reform is the most pressing discussion in the national discourse right now and has been for the past two weeks. However, like the FF Plus - which has been vocal about this for past two years - the DA feels that not enough is being said about the threat to all property rights.

In Maimane's mind, this is not just about agriculture, contrary to popular opinion.

"This motion was supported, in amended form, by the ANC. The EFF's model calls for the state to be the 'custodian' of all land, effectively the abolition of private property," said Maimane.

"While mention of this model was excluded from the final motion, it still includes reference to a 'future land tenure regime', with no further clarity offered by either the ANC or the EFF as to what this might mean.

"The Constitution also makes it clear that property does not only refer to land. The model pursued by the EFF would strip all property owners of their property - white and black South Africans alike would lose everything. Homeowners would be stripped of their homes, business owners of their businesses, innovators of their intellectual property, and more," added Maimane.

"Beyond amending the motion, the ANC has to date not said explicitly whether they support this model or not. And if they do not, they have not said what alternative model they will pursue in amending the Constitution. What is clear is that there is now sufficient support in Parliament to substantially erode private property rights in our Constitution."

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