Julius Malema says his party rejected the bill because it would set back black people’s struggle for land repossession."/>
EFF leader Julius Malema says his party rejected the bill because it would set back black people’s struggle for land repossession.
It was in 2018 that Malem's party initiated the bill for the expropriation of land without compensation. On Tuesday 7th December, yesterday, parliament voted on the matter of the bill being passed. The ANC failed to get the bill passed into law after it was rejected by the National Assembly. It needed 267 votes to pass the bill into law but only managed to get a dismal 204 - Times Live Reported.
The bill would have resulted in the amendment of section 25 of the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation.
So then, why did Malema's party vote against its own bill, and why is it now known as the ANC needing votes for the bill to pass, when it was the EFF that initiated the bill? Shouldn't it read that the EFF needed parliament to vote to get the bill that they initiated, to be implemented?
Speaking to Times Live, this morning, Malema said that the current version of the bill was watered down and was not about transferring land to black people.
“The bill that this house is asked to approve today will take black people’s struggle for land repossession many steps back. According to this bill, compensation for expropriation will remain a default position, but provides for obscure circumstances in which the amount of compensation may be ‘nil'," said Malema during the parliamentary debate.
The concept of ‘nil compensation’ was never part of the EFF's 2018 motion sent to parliament to resolve in 2018, and when it was adopted onto the report of the Constitutional Review Committee. Malema went on to say that the current watered-down bill makes meaningless provisions for the state to be a custodian of certain land and does not define what this certain land is - reported Unathi Nkanjeni of Sunday Times', Times Live.
Even when reading this over and over, going on to reading other reviews, I still cannot understand what this means. Isn't 'nill compensation' not the equivalent to "without compensation?'
Nkanjeni further reported that Malema feels that the practical implications of the current bill would be far worse than the current Property Clause of the constitution.
What this means, to me, is that there is no clear indication of what will happen to the land once it is expropriated. Malema is of the view that the ANC is not present in the interest of the dispossessed majority.
Let's unpack this. So the EFF tables a motion 3 years ago, and when it is finally tabled for voting, the motion does not reflect the initial concerns that they initiated it - and the ruling party expected everyone to vote in their favor. This sounds like when a music artist approaches a recording label for distribution etc, and then the artist's music is owned by the recording label and they change it such that the artist doesn't recognize it. Then, the recording label expects the artist to endorse the music.
I think we can safely say that we are in an era where politics is more important than the voters. Having unclear bills, and amendments puts the voters back at positions where they will say, "We miss the good old days." There is a lot of this going around, especially when we look at fuel pricing, Eskom, price of eggs and potatoes, and just food in general - the list continues. In essence, we aren't moving to a 'better' future, but one filled with politicking for the good of the few.
It is my understanding, as am sure it is a general understanding of South Africans, that this new bill was meant to take back land and share it with the displaced. Meanwhile, many people were evicted in Cape Town's District 6. News24 reported, on 27 September, that a week after the City of Cape Town law enforcement officers moved in to demolish tents and structures of homeless residents who had been squatting in District Six, disgruntled street people are complaining that they've lost all their worldly possessions. They claim they have been stripped of their IDs, medication, the roofs over their heads, and the clothing on their backs. Remember that this happened during last year's lockdown period?
Will it ever get better? Will the ANC find common ground with the initiators of the bill? Also, what do you think is the intention of the ruling party? Do you support the EFF's bill amendment? Let me hear your views.
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